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Torontoís Gloucester subway cars:

Torontoís Gloucester subway cars:


††††††††††† My all time favourite subway cars were the original subway cars built for the TTCís Yonge subway line: The Gloucester cars.


††††††††††† The 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.


††††††††††† The 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.


††††††††††† When 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 The G-2s were the first Gloucester cars to be withdrawn from service and converted to work cars.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.


††††††††††† In 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.


††††††††††† As 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!


††††††††††† The 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.


††††††††††† The 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.


††††††††††† The 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.


††††††††††† The 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.


Four 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.


††††††††††† This 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.



††††††††††† The 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.



††††††††††† The 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.



††††††††††† This 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.



This 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 freight train.



I took 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 the G-2s.



Moments before I took the photo above, I also saw the G-2 grinder in the yard.



The next three shots show the Gloucester rail grinders post March 2004.





The next view shows RT-34 and RT-37 after the March 2004 accident. However, you canít get a good look at the damage.



This 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.



In May 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.