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'It is very serious:' TTC CEO concerned as subway trains on Line 2 approach end of design life

A woman boards a Line 2 subway car on a hot day. A woman boards a Line 2 subway car on a hot day.
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The aging subway trains used along Line 2 will be at the end of their design life in 2026 and the TTC is still short hundreds of millions of dollars that it will need to cover the cost of replacement vehicles, CEO Ricky Leary is warning.

Leary made the comment to reporters at city hall on Thursday afternoon after the TTC board received an update about efforts to procure 55 new replacement trains to service the line.

The TTC and the province have already committed to paying $1.52 billion of the project cost but the federal government still hasn’t indicated whether it will cover the remaining $758 million that is required.

“It is very serious. We have seen what happens when you extend the life of vehicles beyond their useful life,” Leary warned on Thursday. “So I am looking forward with continuing what the board just talked about and that is trying to get money from the federal government to pay for the new trains.”

The trains that currently run along Line 2 have been in service for nearly 30 years and Leary said that he worries about a “degradation of service” as those vehicles approach the end of their life, with more delays and mechanical issues a possibility.

He said that while there have been some encouraging signs in conversations with the feds, the TTC also has to prepare for the possibility that it will have to invest in refurbishing the trains to keep them on the tracks should funding not materialize.

The TTC previously spent tens of millions of dollars on extending the life of the trains used to service the Scarborough RT before ultimately scrapping the line months ahead of schedule following a derailment last summer.

“It is one of those things where you hope for the best and prepare for the worst and that is what we are doing here. We have to prepare. Their (the trains) useful life is coming to an end and we have to be ready to audible should the funding not be available,” Leary said.

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