ABB wins electrical traction subway contract for the Ontario Line in Toronto

  • The initiative is ABB’s fourth major transit project in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • The Ontario Line subway will reduce congestion and help protect the environment by removing up to 28,000 cars from the city’s roads each day.
  • ABB to deliver safe, continuous power solution through its energy efficient technology including medium-voltage switchgear, a full range of rectifiers and feeder breakers.

ABB has been awarded a contract by Hitachi Rail to provide a traction power supply solution for the Ontario Line subway project in Toronto, Canada. ABB’s Transportation Rail and Infrastructure team will provide the full solution for the power supply architecture including ABB key power distribution components for the Ontario Line to ensure its safe and reliable operation.

The Ontario Line will stretch 15.6 kilometers across the city with 15 stops along the way. The trains will travel up to 80 kilometers per hour at normal operating speed, offering passengers a greener way to travel across Toronto. Construction is now underway.

With passenger safety at the heart of ABB’s cost-effective, energy efficient and sustainable solution, the new line will be powered by two medium-voltage incoming stations, and nine traction power substations feeding the subway rails with 1,500 volts of direct current. The traction power equipment, designed to feed and distribute ongoing electricity to the electrified rail networks, will include the UniGear ZS3.2, which is a medium-voltage, metal-clad, air-insulated switchgear, ZX2 gas-insulated switchgear, and ABB’s Relion® relays used for protection and control of the power distribution.

Side view of the exterior of an Ontario Line subway train behind the transparent platform-edge doors, which are opening in sync with the train doors. - Photo credit
Metrolinx and Connect6ix
Side view of the exterior of an Ontario Line subway train behind the transparent platform-edge doors, which are opening in sync with the train doors. - Photo credit Metrolinx and Connect6ix

The solution will also guarantee service continuity for the Ontario Line with reliable power transmission, distribution, and power energy control protection and monitoring. The robust and compact switchgear features a modular design and the highest standards of safety – a key factor for public transport.

Additionally, ABB will provide a rectifier transformer and its own Enviline™ TDR (Traction Diode Rectifier), required to power subways, and will convert alternating current to direct current efficiently, reducing any distortions in power supply. It is complemented with rectifier and feeder breakers that will provide protection in cases of overload, eliminating any damage or disruptions.

“We are pleased to be a part of this very important project for Toronto. ABB’s products and solutions for rail transportation are energy efficient and designed for heavy-duty traction applications. This equipment will play a key role assuring the public transport infrastructure is part of the solution for a sustainable future,” said Jose Dos Santos, ABB Rail Segment Manager for Americas.

“The Ontario Line is going to be a game changer for Toronto commuters. Hitachi Rail is delighted to be bringing a proven, efficient, automated train to the city, along with established partners like ABB to ensure we deliver high quality from end-to-end of the project,” said Gabriel Colceag, Connect 6ix’s Design Build Joint Venture Director. Connect 6ix is the Project Co. delivering the Rolling Stock, Signals and Operations and Maintenance for the Ontario Line, and Hitachi Rail is part of the group.

With a wide range of expertise in the rail industry, ABB is a one-stop shop for a complete traction power supply package. ABB’s comprehensive offerings for traction power supply has helped power light rail, metro and tram systems, connecting cities and areas seamlessly and electrifying the world.

ABB has previously won similar contracts for the Hazel McCallion Line, and Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West light rail transit projects, also being delivered by Metrolinx as part of its expansive LRT projects. For the Ontario Line, ABB will work in partnership with Connect 6ix, the subway’s consortium consisting of Plenary Americas, Hitachi Rail, NGE Canada, Transdev, and Webuild.

ABB Electrification is a global technology leader making efficient and reliable use of electricity from source to socket possible. With more than 50,000 employees across 100 countries, we collaborate with our customers and partners to solve the world’s greatest challenges in electrical distribution and energy management. We help businesses, industry, and consumers run their facilities and homes efficiently and reliably. As the energy transition accelerates, we are electrifying the world in a safe, smart and sustainable way.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on over 140 years of excellence, ABB’s more than 105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.


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