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Bombardier shipped unfinished streetcars to make TTC delivery target

Struggling to meet a revised delivery target for the end of 2016, Bombardier had to deliver four incomplete streetcars to the TTC in December.
Struggling to meet a revised delivery target for the end of 2016, Bombardier had to deliver four incomplete streetcars to the TTC in December. Don Mitchell / AM 640 / Global News

Having to deliver 30 streetcars before the end of 2016, Bombardier reached out to the TTC in December for a concession which would allow them to ship incomplete street cars in order to meet its contractual obligations.

The aerospace giant, who was already working with revised targets due to production delays, was able to talk the TTC into accepting four streetcars that were not street ready as it became apparent that completed vehicles would not be possible.

“So what they proposed was they would largely complete the cars in Thunder Bay,”  TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told AM 640, “and get them to Toronto without any problems and then do the work to complete them here so we can do our testing”

READ MORE: New TTC streetcars could be delayed again, missing 2019 deadline

Green said the cars were 95 per cent complete, and that largely cosmetic work was finished by Toronto-based Bombardier employees before the end of the year.

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“It was really a matter of moving some final stages of completion, very cosmetic kind of things, to Toronto so we could quickly get them into service.”

WATCH: Part of the TTC’s new streetcar fleet experiencing technical failures. Lama Nicolas reports.

Part of the TTC’s new streetcar fleet experiencing technical failures
Part of the TTC’s new streetcar fleet experiencing technical failures

When the four cars arrived in Toronto, they were functional in terms of propulsion and cabling, according to the TTC. The missing components were largely exterior panelling and some interior fixtures.

“The solution they came up with toward the end of last year, was a creative solution which we were able to accept. It meant that we were still able to do our (street) testing and get those cars out to the customers as they were expecting them,” said Green.

READ MORE: TTC board to do business with other rail providers in light of Bombardier delays

Bombardier is expected to deliver a total of 204 streetcars to the TTC before the end of 2019. So far, the company has delivered 30 with the expectations of delivering another 40 by year’s end.

The TTC said in its 2016 staff report that the current fleet of legacy street cars are averaging between 32 to 37 years old and were expected to have been retired by now.

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With delivery delays from Bombardier, which date back to 2013, the TTC will now have to extend the life of the current 224 car legacy fleet with the final car not being retired until 2024.

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