Earlier this August, Toronto was struck with a powerful rainstorm that caused widespread flash flooding and power outages in several areas of the city.
As a result of the flooding, the TTC has taken four of its Bombardier streetcars out of service for repairs after the vehicles suffered extensive damage during the storm.
According to the TTC, on August 7, a total of nine LFLRV (low-floor low-rail vehicles) were impacted by the flooding, though five of them have already been repaired and put back in service.
In an email statement from TTC spokesperson Stuart Green, the damage occurred after a “steady surging chute of water” burst open a manhole cover in an underpass on King Street West near Sudbury Street, ultimately halting traffic and trapping the streetcars in rising flood water.
While streetcars ahead of the first trapped low-floor were able to make it through, the rapid accumulation of water short-circuited critical systems.
“The fact that a car ahead of the streetcar was also disabled meant that our streetcar was trapped while water levels continued to rise,” said Green.
— Teena in Toronto (@TeenainToronto) August 8, 2018
Following the flooding, two streetcars with severe interior damage are being sent back to Bombardier’s facility in New York state for major cleaning and repairs as well as parts replacements.
Two other streetcars will be repaired by Bombardier staff at Leslie Barns over the next couple of months, depending on the extent of the repairs needed.
The TTC says it’s not clear when the damaged vehicles will return to service, as the extent of damage has yet to be determined. However, the transit agency doesn’t expect the loss of the four streetcars will have an impact on service.
“The repairs to the four cars requiring Bombardier’s assistance are being done under contract and we do have insurance for situations like this,” said Green.
— Graham Rowlands (@beachrockinc) August 8, 2018
Green also says the operators did all the “right things” in terms of getting passengers onboard to safety.
He added that the TTC has already learned from this incident and has revised its extreme weather protocols to ensure the TTC avoids areas that are prone to pooling when heavy, flash flood-level rains are predicted.