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TTC Bids Farewell to the CLRV

Written by John Thompson, Canadian Contributing Editor



Year-end 2019 saw the retirement of a unique, Canadian-designed and built streetcar: the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) after 40 years of service, a near-record in today’s transit industry.


Year-end 2019 saw the retirement of a unique, Canadian-designed and built streetcar: the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) after 40 years of service, a near-record in today’s transit industry.

As Autumn descended on Toronto, the once 196-car fleet had dwindled to about 40 serviceable units. The end came on Sunday, Dec. 29, which was 40 years to the day after the arrival of the first CLRV in Toronto, from Switzerland. CLRVs were in service on part of the Queen crosstown route, providing free rides to the public.

The CLRV was the third new car type ordered by the TTC, the predecessors being the legendary Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) and Peter Witt streetcars. Thankfully, both the first TTC PCC, car 4000, and the first Peter Witt, 2300, have been preserved in museums.


Development of the CLRV, a completely new design, occurred as the result of a confluence of events in the early 1970s. At that time, the TTC’s PCC fleet, which had been the world’s largest, was 20-25 years old and showing the effects of heavy service on Toronto’s streets (the last Peter Witt cars were retired from regular service in 1963).


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