TTC still searching for issue that damaged 25 Queen streetcars

TTC workers spent Wednesday afternoon and overnight inspecting the Queen streetcar tracks inch by inch — but still can’t explain why 25 streetcars sustained damage to their supplementary brake systems.

“We found nothing on the main Queen Street route itself, so now our track engineers are turning their attention to these diversionary routes,” said TTC spokesperson Stuart Green.

Streetcar service has been suspended on Queen since the brake damage was discovered on Wednesday afternoon, with about 90 buses brought in as a replacement.

The damage, Green says, is to a supplementary brake system that hangs close to the ground on Toronto’s new Bombardier Flexity streetcars. The issue has only been discovered on streetcars that travel the Queen route.

On all 25 of them, Green said, the damage is on the left side of the wheels, suggesting that each one hit the same obstruction or piece of problematic track.

Now that the Queen tracks have been cleared, inspection has moved to the tracks used by streetcars that are diverted from the main route, such as on Broadview Avenue and Shaw Street.

Green says that even if the problem is discovered and fixed, a big issue remains: 25 out of the 35 streetcars that travel the route are now out of commission and need to be repaired.

That will likely mean buses are part of the Thursday afternoon commute as well. The TTC is also considering bringing functional streetcars from other routes, like Carlton, and putting buses there instead.

“We’re going to have to do some juggling this afternoon, even if we get service back on Queen Street,” he said.

The TTC has added additional service to King Street and is encouraging commuters to take Line 2 of the subway until the issues are resolved.


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