Torontoís Gloucester subway cars:
all time favourite subway cars were the original subway cars built for the
TTCís Yonge subway line: The Gloucester cars.
Gloucester cars ran between 1954 and 1990. I vividly remember riding
them in service. There were a total of 140 Gloucester cars built between 1953 and 1959 and they were divided
into four classes. The company that built them was the Gloucester Railway
Carriage and Wagon Company in England. In 1963, six cars were destroyed by fire. The cars were
designed to run in sets of two as the cars shared mechanical components. They
usually ran with the odd numbered car being one higher than the even numbered
car in the set.
G-1 cars were numbered 5000-5099. They were built with steel car bodies and painted
red with two yellow stripes circling the car bodies. One stripe was half way up
the car body and the other was above the three sets of double doors. Their
roofs were black. Currently three cars still exist in 2008. The three surviving
cars are numbered 5068, 5098, and 5099. Car 5068 is part of the TTCís Gloucester rail grinding train and numbered RT-36. It is mismatched
with a G-2 car with I will go over in more detail shortly. Cars 5098 and 5099
are preserved at the Halton County Radial Railway Museum in Rockwood, Ontario.
the TTC realized how heavy the G-1s were, the Gloucester Railway Carriage and
Wagon Company offered the last four cars of the original order (which was soon
increased to six) to be built of aluminum. The cars were delivered in a plain
aluminum finish with two parallel red strips running on the side of the car
body being interrupted by the doors. The G-2s were the first Gloucester cars to be withdrawn from service and converted to work
cars. Two were converted to a garbage train which was retired and scrapped in
1998. Two more were hauled a car that washed the tunnels until 2001 when the
tunnel washing unit was made to run on its own. Two more were converted to a
rail grinding train. A set of G-1s were also converted to rail grinders. The
garbage train was numbered RT-38 and RT-39. The units that hauled the tunnel
washing unit were numbered RT-14 and RT-15. The G-2 grinder was numbered RT-34
and RT-35. The G-1 grinder was numbered RT-36 and RT-37.
March of 2004, the G-2 grinder broke down and was being pushed into the Greenwood subway yard by the G-1 grinder. The G-2 grinderís brakes
werenít working and the crews in the car were to talk to the crew of the G-1
grinder who would do the braking for the two trains. However, they were
inadvertently operating on different radio frequencies.
the cars were approaching the entrance to Greenwood yard, the crew in G-2 car RT-34 saw a train of T-1 class
subway cars that they were going to sideswipe. They tried to radio the crew in the
G-1 grinder, but they didnít hear and the trains collided. Someone in the yard
heard the impact and described it as a rumbling sound. Fortunately, no one was
injured, but the T-1s suffered serious damage and four T-1 cars were out of
service. RT-34 derailed, but only suffered a damaged corner post and two broken
windows. Following the accident, the TTC sent the T-1s back to the factory
where they were built for repairs. They didnít repair RT-34 as a result of the
age of the car. However, the TTC must have thought RT-35 was in better shape
than RT-37 because a few months after the accident, the remaining Gloucester rail grinder ran with G-1 RT-36 and G-2 RT-35. RT-34 and
RT-37 were stored for over a year at the south end of Greenwood subway yard until early winter 2007 when they were
scrapped. RT-35ís original number was 5103. Ironically enough, the T-1s reused
the numbers from the Gloucester cars. One of the cars involved in the collision carried
the same fleet number as one of the six Gloucester cars that were destroyed by fire in 1963!
G-3 cars were bought to expand the fleet when the TTC experienced a ridership
surge on the Yonge subway. The G-3s were numbered 5200-5227. However, to save
money, the TTC decided not to equip them with driving controls and marshaled
them in between pairs of G-1s so they would run as a fixed car set like this:
5000-5201-5200-5001. The G-3s were built with steel sides and aluminum roofs
and were painted exactly like the G-1s.
G-4s arrived right after the G-3s and were numbered 5110-5115. They were
delivered with experimental controls. Cars 5110 and 5115 were delivered with
driving controls while cars 5111-5114 were not. In 1965, the carsí experimental
controls were removed. Cars 5110 and 5115 became a two car set and were
reconfigured as regular G-1 cars. Cars 5111-5114 were reclassified as G-3 cars.
Cars 5111 and 5114 were marshaled in between G-1s 5030 and 5031 while cars 5112
and 5113 were marshaled in between G-1s 5028 and 5029. The cars had steel car
bodies and painted like the G-1s and G-3s.
Gloucester cars were 57 feet long and 10 feet 4 inches wide. They
could seat 63 people. The next order of subway cars were built by the Montreal
Locomotive Works and were 75 feet long but just as wide as the Gloucesters.
Besides their shorter length, the Gloucesters had other features that set them
apart from the MLW subway cars and cars that followed. First, the operatorís
cab was on the left hand side while on subsequent orders, the cab was on the
right. The insides of the Gloucester cars were lit by incandescent lights which drew their
power from the electrified third rail. All subsequent subway cars were lit by
fluorescent lights which ran off their own generator. As a result, whenever a
G-train would pass over a gap in the third rail, the lights would blink off for
a couple seconds.
Gloucester cars were retired between 1987 and 1990. G-1 cars 5098
and 5099 were donated to the Halton
County Radial Railway Museum in Rockwood, Ontario. The six G-2s and G-2s 5068 and 5069 were converted to
work cars. When the Gloucester cars were retired, they were still in good shape. The TTC
offered to sell 120 of the cars to Lima Peru for their subway system. However Lima was unable to buy the cars. As a result, the cars were scrapped.
more G-1s were also retained. They were being held for possible conversion to
work cars or for a museum in England. Unfortunately, neither thing happened and the cars were
scrapped in the spring of 1996. Those cars were numbered 5066-5067 and 5074 and
5075. What follows are some photos of the Gloucester cars.
was the very first transit related photograph I ever took. It shows three Gloucester cars parked at Wilson subway yard. This was taken in early 1991; a few months
after the last train was retired. If I had panned to the right, I would have
seen a sad sight of Gloucester cars being scrapped. I didnít want to get the scrapped
cars in my shot.
next shot shows one of the four Gloucesters that were stored until 1996. The
TTC boarded up the windows on the side of the cars and painted over the car
numbers. Unfortunately this view isnít the greatest.
next shot shows G-1 cars 5098-5099 at the Halton County Radial Railway museum.
The cars had been stored outside for years and their paint had faded. However,
the cars still run okay. HCRR hopes to paint them in a few years.
photo taken of the interior of G-1 5099 at the Halton County Radial Railway
museum shows the typical interior of a Gloucester car. All Gloucester cars had this interior with some exceptions: Two
Gloucester cars were given experimental fluorescent lights. Another car had
yellow interior panels installed to try to brighten up the interior.
picture is of a picture at the TTCís Greenwood shops. It shows G-1 5098, M-1 #5335, and a set of H-6
cars. The H-6s were bought to replace the Gloucesters as well as to expand the
fleet. This photo was presumably originally taken in 1991 just before 5098 and
5099 left for Halton County. They were moved out from Greenwood by rail and were transferred to a truck for the rest of
the way to the museum. Shortly after the Gloucesters arrived at Halton
County, I saw a picture of one of them on a flatcar on a CP
this photo in 2001 from an in service train. This shows one of the G-2 cars
that hauled around the tunnel washing car. It is parked near a retired H-2
subway car. Note the livery on the Gloucester. All Gloucester work cars were painted like that; even the G-1 grinder.
The TTC painted the G-1s silver then added the yellow work car stripe to match
before I took the photo above, I also saw the G-2 grinder in the yard.
three shots show the Gloucester rail grinders post March 2004.
view shows RT-34 and RT-37 after the March 2004 accident. However, you canít
get a good look at the damage.
view shows what I believe to be RT-34 lying on its side at the scrap yard in Hamilton. I am 100% that this was a Gloucester car. I believe it is RT-34 because of the damage in the
area of impact of the accident that RT-34 was involved in.
of 2009, I learned that the remaining Gloucester rail grinder is to be deemed surplus in the near future.
Unfortunately, it seems that it will be scrapped unless a museum offers to take
it. This will leave 5098 and 5099 as the last two Gloucesters left.