Light rail vehicle approaching Martin Grove Road

Finch West LRT vehicle testing explained

Testing and commissioning is currently underway for the rapid transit project.

May 15, 2024

Progress continues on the Finch West LRT project in northwest Toronto as the new line continues testing and commissioning.

Testing and commissioning is a critical phase for every new transit project where systems are rigorously tested, and any issues are found and fixed before the project can safely open to customers.

What is the Finch West LRT?

Watch this video to get the full picture on the new rapid transit line coming to Finch Avenue West.

Progress is happening on the Finch West LRT

Central to this new line is the fleet of 18 light rail vehicles (LRVs).

They’re powered by overhead wires which means they are emission-free and can hold up to 300 passengers, which is three times the capacity of a bus.

You might be wondering how does vehicle testing work?

Testing and Commissioning Broken Down into Four Steps

Step 1: Validation

The tests performed on LRVs consist of testing the communications systems and brakes on the vehicles.

Next, the team performs low-speed tests, ranging from 2–5 km/h in the yard of the maintenance and storage facility (MSF).

Step 2: Faster Pace

Following an LRV’s successful completion of these first tests, the team moves onto higher speed tests along the route to confirm braking and acceleration capabilities.

Step 3: Burn-in Phase

This test phase sees the LRVs operating on a section of Finch Avenue West, making stops, opening and closing doors, and traveling at the same speeds they would when the Finch West LRT is open to the public.

Once ‘burn-in‘ testing is complete, a Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) is issued.

Step 4: System Integration

Once FAC is achieved, the LRVs are handed over to the contractor for full main line testing and integration of the signaling and train control and communications systems.

When the Finch West LRT is operational, the LRVs will be monitored from the project’s operations centre located in the MSF which oversees and monitors the LRVs as they travel up and down Finch Avenue.

Light rail vehicle approaching Martin Grove Road

A light rail vehicle on the Finch West LRT. (Metrolinx photo)

What’s next for the Finch West LRT?

Crews continue to put the finishing touches on two of the major stations for the new line, Humber College and Finch West Stations.

Follow us for more updates on these stations and the entire Finch West LRT project.

by Robert Candido Senior Advisor, Capital Communications