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Time to say goodbye to the TTC's oldest subway train

Posted by Chris Bateman / June 13, 2013

toronto h5 subwayAt midday tomorrow train number 5736, currently the oldest in the TTC's subway fleet, will make its final run round the Yonge-University-Spadina line. The H5 model, noticeable for its yellow interior highlights and narrow doorways, has been sold with several other preloved Toronto trains to a new rail project in Lagos, Nigeria. This is a better fate than what faced the H4. Retired about a year and a half ago, it's last stop was the scrapyard.

The H5 fleet entered service in 1976 and were the first in the city to feature built-in air conditioning. Originally fitted orange and brown vinyl seats, a major overhaul program in 1997 brought the now standard red fabric seats to the aging trains and tweaked the interior layout.

toronto ttc h5 interiorIn the past the trains have experienced problems with the control systems, axels, and rust. Several cars were destroyed in the deadly Russell Hill accident on August 11, 1995.

After tomorrow, the only trains running on the TTC will be H6, T1, and the new Toronto Rockets. The retired H5s are being stored in the United States in preparation for a major refurbishment program ahead of their shipment to the EKO Rail project in Nigeria.

toronto ttc h5 subwaySpeaking a few months ago, Michael Schabas, one of the partners overseeing the African rail project, said it would be "a few more years" before the H5s enter active service. Surprisingly, the heat isn't expected to be an issue for the old trains. "You may be surprised to know that Toronto actually gets hotter than Lagos. But it gets less snow," he said.

The train will make a complete circuit from Wilson to Finch and then call it a day at the Downsview yard.

Are you happy to see dated the H5s go? Are you pleased the trains will find new life overseas? Will you take the final ride?

Here's a couple of (poorly) Photoshopped images from EKO Rail that show what the trains are expected to look like when they've been refurbished and repainted.

toronto ttc eko railtoronto ttc eko railChris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: TTC



Stan Smith / June 13, 2013 at 02:59 pm
Thank you for years of service
You will not be missed!
alan / June 13, 2013 at 03:15 pm
H5 you will be missed....
Darnell Jefferson / June 13, 2013 at 03:23 pm
Toronto gets less snow than Lagos?
Andrew / June 13, 2013 at 03:24 pm
I won't miss this model as much. The A/C system is notorious for growing some sort of mildew or something; I always avoided these cars when I'd see them pull in because they'd smell like urinals.
Jamaal / June 13, 2013 at 03:29 pm
I love the sound these trains make... it has this high-pitched whirring sound... hard to describe but the closest sound I can think of is the sound a car makes when reversing. I'll miss it
Eric / June 13, 2013 at 03:30 pm
The narrow door openings on the H5 were the worst part especially during rush hour.
Adam / June 13, 2013 at 03:31 pm
I got to ride once on the H4 before it went.. I got a lot of mileage on this and the H6 though. Someday I'll go to Lagos and get nostalgic as I ride a TTC subway again!
Mark Dowling / June 13, 2013 at 04:21 pm
Thank goodness. Roll on the turfing of the H6s.
tommy / June 13, 2013 at 04:35 pm
So for that last picture, they just swapped the red and green channels?!
iSkyscraper / June 13, 2013 at 04:40 pm
What, no more faux woodgrain?
Moaz Ahmad / June 13, 2013 at 04:46 pm
I said my goodbyes to the H5 trains a long time ago when they removed the orange & brown vinyl seats. I missed those moving sofas (the blue ones in the previous trains weren't as nice.)

I'm impressed by the graphics on the EKO Rail train and hope blog TO will follow up with a picture once the train is painted, and a 'where are they now' article when the trains go into service in a few years.

Cheers, Moaz
Dogma / June 13, 2013 at 05:01 pm
No! No!!!!
Not 5736!!
Why?! WHY?!!
Brent replying to a comment from Eric / June 13, 2013 at 05:10 pm
I actually liked the doors better... they are narrower but they open so much faster than on the T1s and the new trains.
McRib / June 13, 2013 at 06:18 pm
I'll miss the smell of dust and piss.

its kind of cool to think that these trains will live on, and some dude in Nigeria will one day be riding the same subway trains we all rode in Toronto.

Enjoy the H5, Lagos!
Keith replying to a comment from McRib / June 13, 2013 at 06:47 pm
..some dude in Nigeria will be riding this car to a cafe to send a bogus "419" email to some dude in Canada ;-]
Holy Thundering Jesus / June 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm
I betcha they'll be on time and cheap to ride in Lagos.
Steven / June 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm
Like the new paint job. Too bad the TTC is so cash poor. Rock on Lagos!
Jamie / June 14, 2013 at 12:56 am
Gonna miss that insanely loud A/C.
ttc person / June 14, 2013 at 09:48 am
The H6s will be soon to go. It's a matter of months before they will go too. They are also going to Nigeria .
h. / June 14, 2013 at 11:00 am
Dogma ... There are 5 other cars that are part of the trainset too. Maybe they're better :-).

I'll try for one last ride on the train. Once the H-6 series go, I will miss my favourite seat on the subway cars. (solo seat behind the operator cab.)
Hawker Siddeley / June 14, 2013 at 02:18 pm
5736 was retired in March. It was not part of the last train.
Moaz Ahmad / June 14, 2013 at 06:23 pm
I still wonder why the love seats at the cab end of the T1 train carriages both face into the train. I wish they had put 1 outside and 1 inside-facing love seat ... either two facing each other (creating a conversation nook) or back to back (creating one observation area at the front of the car).

When the H series cars are withdrawn there should be a wake for that 'railfan' & kids seat.

Cheers, Moaz
Islington Steeles replying to a comment from Moaz Ahmad / June 15, 2013 at 12:11 am
Simoleon replying to a comment from Hawker Siddeley / June 15, 2013 at 12:30 am
long live the UTDC!
Jimmy Banks / June 17, 2013 at 05:06 am
I don't see what's so "poorly" photoshopped about that image....pfft

BTW follow our discussions about the Lagos Rail here;page=6
Nic replying to a comment from Jimmy Banks / June 17, 2013 at 08:23 am
I also wondered why the word "poorly" was relevant smh

I'm a Nigerian and I'm happy to hear that they'll be reused.

Simon Tarses / June 17, 2013 at 11:38 am
All of that oil and all of that oil money, and Nigeria can't afford new trains for the subway they're building? Shame.
Jimmy Banks / June 17, 2013 at 05:10 pm
Yes because Oil swimming in cash.

How many people actually know how much Nigeria earns from Oil?

And no...this project is not funded by the first place. It is a project that is funded by private and state investors in Lagos State Nigeria, a State that receives the least amount of Oil Revenue in Nigeria!
Alex R (Toronto) / June 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm
The H6's will still run for a while for those Bloor-Danforth subway riders, these ones have orange and brown interiors which have been around since the 1980's, they will retire most likely by 2014
Sicheng Lu / June 20, 2013 at 08:24 pm
I miss h5 because h5 has retire and move to USA goodbye h4 and h5 .
Alex R (Toronto) / July 4, 2013 at 06:15 pm
Actually the only trains still running in the TTC system are H6, T1 and the new Toronto Rockets (TR), as well as the Scarborough RT trains.
Sicheng Lu / August 10, 2013 at 04:24 pm
When h6 will retire and when the tr deliver complete. Scarborough rt train is retire in 2015 and close for few years.
Sicheng Lu / August 10, 2013 at 04:25 pm
What subway number does colour green door and seat from TTC. I saw a picture in down.
Alex R (Toronto) / August 12, 2013 at 06:38 pm
The car number 5736, used for one of the H5 trains was not part of the final run back in June 2013, that car number is now being re-used on one of the brand new Toronto Rocket (TR)
Alex R (Toronto) / August 12, 2013 at 06:42 pm
As it stands for now, the delivery of all 70 TR trainsets is scheduled to be finalized by mid 2014, by which point all H6 trains should be completly retired from service.
Ru replying to a comment from Mark Dowling / December 16, 2013 at 08:36 pm
Shut up. The H5's were and are the best trains and long live the remaining H6's too. The new one sucks and you do too!
Curt / February 12, 2014 at 11:44 am
I will miss these trains. I've looked through all of my vids and pictures and happily found found some H5 pics. Does anyone know when the H6's will retire, and will they pronounce the date before it happens?
Curt / March 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm
I believe they said only 3 or 5 sets of H6 trains are left, meaning there are either 12, 16, or 24 H6 cars left. Get them while you have the time!
H5 replying to a comment from Jamie / May 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm
What are you talking about, the TR's have way louder ac.
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