toronto ttc hand rails

TTC set to fix most annoying feature of Rocket trains

The TTC's Rocket subway trains could get some pricey new ceiling hand rails as part of a series of safety upgrades over the next few years, if a new report is adopted by the TTC board next week.

The areas beneath the heating and air conditioning units, located near the doors of the Rocket trains, do not contain any hand-holds, posing a safety issue during rush hour. One of the new Rocket trains (pictured above) has been fitted with prototype rails and plastic straps to positive customer feedback.

The cars will also be fitted with exterior speakers as a result of feedback from riders with visual disabilities. The devices will make the three-note door chime easier to hear from the platform.

The total cost of the work is estimated be in excess of $15 million, but thanks to a series of credits owed to the TTC by manufacturer Bombardier, the net price has been reduced to $465,000. Before the discounts were applied, the design, engineering, and installation expense of the hand rails alone was $4.3 million. The speakers were marked at $11 million.

"Our engineers review these issues very carefully. Given the number of cars, material and time it will take, I trust the professionals got [the price] right," TTC spokesman Brad Ross said in an email.

The hand rails and speakers are due to be in place on all 70 of the Rocket trains by the end of 2016.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: twurdemann/blogTO Flickr pool.


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