TTC 2013 Capital Budget Part I: Subway Fleet Plan

This is the first article in a series examining various aspects of the TTC’s Capital Budget for 2013 and the 10-year plan running through 2022.  The report linked here gives an overview, but I have now reviewed the roughly 1,300 pages of supporting information in the “Blue Books” which detail each capital project.

Those books are not available on line, but contain much valuable information.  When the Commission considered its Capital Budget, this material had not yet been assembled.

To avoid creating a post as long as the Blue Books, I will break this into separate articles for major topics.

The Subway Fleet Plan

Subway Fleet Plan 2012.10

This plan provides for additional trains on the Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor-Danforth subways, but only on a limited basis.  The fleet of Toronto Rocket (TR) trains will be used exclusively on YUS and the T1 trains (now split between both major lines) will operate on BD and, in four-car sets, on Sheppard.

The TR fleet is just large enough to accommodate the extension to Vaughan with a short-turn operation to Wilson Station, but only at the current level of service.  The T1 fleet is larger than required for current schedules on the BD and Sheppard lines, and so the surplus is used up at the rate of about 2 trains every 3 years on BD with no additional service on Sheppard.

The projection presumes that the spare factor for TR trains can be held at 13%, and it is unclear today whether this can be achieved and maintained over the life of this fleet.

Those extra T1 trains have been counted as “free” on more than one occasion for subway expansions proposed for the near future, but obviously they can only be used once be it for extra BD service, or on extended Sheppard or Danforth subways, or on the first phase of a Downtown Relief Line (DRL).

Line and Yard Capacity

Adding service triggers problems with the limitations of signal systems, terminal operations and yard capacity.

On the BD line, extra storage space for the T1 fleet will be provided by reopening Keele Yard, adding a storage track at Kipling, converting a dual-gauge delivery track at Greenwood to a storage track, and consolidating the Track & Structures fleet of work cars at Davisville.  (Some tracks at Davisville are too short for TR trainsets limiting that site’s usefulness for that equipment.)

Adding T1 trains to the peak service will reduce headways from the current 141 seconds (2’21″) to 119 seconds (1’59″), although terminal layouts could be a problem below 130 seconds as discussed earlier on this site.  The Fleet Plan notes that BD will be signal constrained in the period 2014-16, and a study regarding this is in progress.  Cutover to ATC on BD is planned for about 2024-5 with design to start in 2014, but this project has no funding.

On the YUS line, extra storage will be provided at Wilson for the Spadina extension’s 10 new trainsets.  At one time, the TTC had an additional 10 trains for growing demand in the budget, but these were cut to trim future spending projections within the limitations of available funding.  They could well reappear, but this will trigger a need for more storage space.

Two major options for storage have been considered:

  • An underground yard north of Finch Station:  This would involve the pre-building of the Yonge north extension to Cummer Station with a three-track section (basically an extension of the existing tail track structure at Finch).
  • An underground yard in Richmond Hill north of the proposed subway terminal.

The Fleet Plan notes that after 2015, the YUS is capacity constrained pending full implementation of ATC, but “significant delay mitigation will be required”.  In other words, the number and length of delays to service must be reduced so that capacity is not lost to interruptions.

More trainsets are needed to handle the combined effect of shorter headways and the line’s extension.  For example, the PM peak fleet of 47 trains provides a 151 second (2’31″) headway on YUS between Finch and Downsview with no short turn.  (There are 2 gap trains which count toward peak requirements but which do not affect the headway.)  Adding 20% capacity through headway reduction to about 126 seconds (2’06″) would require 11 more trainsets (10 for service plus 1 spare) and storage to hold them.

The shorter headway is also challenging because of geometric limitations at terminals if all service operates to the end of the line.  A 126 second headway is probably below what Finch or Downsview crossovers can handle, and the geometry at Vaughan is likely to be similar.  A short turn point is viable only if demand beyond that point can be handled by less than full service, and if the short turn itself can be operated without seriously delaying trains on close headways.

The AM Peak has the added complexity of already operating on a 141 second headway (2’21″) albeit with a short turn at St. Clair West.  A 20% capacity increase would require the headway to fall below two minutes, something that the terminal at Finch cannot handle, and which, I suspect, would be difficult for the short-turn operation at St. Clair West (or any extension of this).

A further problem related to the location of storage is the movement of trains from yards into service.  The YUS is already a two-hour round trip, and this will grow with extensions to Vaughan and to Richmond Hill.  The line must be “loaded” with trains from the yards for the start of service and this takes quite a while especially if most trains are stored at one location (Wilson).  A similar problem affects the BD line with almost all of its storage capacity at Greenwood Yard.  This affects the maintenance window for overnight repairs, and the TTC has even considered an earlier closing time for the subway to compensate for the lost maintenance time.

We hear a lot about how Automatic Train Control (ATC) will allow for shorter headways, but nobody at the TTC has explained how this will get around the constraints at turnbacks.  The TTC hopes to gain 35% in capacity by getting headways down to 105 seconds (1’45″) or so, but this may not be practical.  If so, the headroom for additional capacity on YUS may be less than commonly thought, and the need for new downtown capacity even more pressing.  There has been far too much “we don’t need the Downtown Relief Line yet” coming out of the TTC, most recently in the DRL study, and this could dangerously compromise future network growth.

The Cost of Better Service

The Capital Budget does not contain any provision for additional trains, not even in the list of unfunded projects (last page of the budget report), nor does it allow for the storage these trains would require.  The second-last page shows a number of projects cut to make the 2012 Capital Budget fit with available funding, and these projects have not reappeared either in the main budget or in the unfunded list.  These include:

  • 10 TR trainsets, $161m
  • Wilson Yard expansion, $182m
  • ATC for BD line, $150m

The subway projects related to capacity on the unfunded list are:

  • Upgrade Bloor-Yonge Station, $205m
  • Further study of the DRL, $5m
  • Yonge North extension, $4.2-billion
  • Platform Edge Doors (PEDs), $550m for YUS, $614m for BD

These are “gross” costs, and with most of the Yonge extension being north of Steeles, the net cost to Toronto will likely be small.

As for PEDs, this project is contingent on implementation of ATC to allow precise train positioning.  Another consideration is the proposed future use of 7-car trains on YUS which could change the geometry of door layouts if there is one “short” car added to train consists.

There are several questions to be answered about the actual need for additional facilities related to subway capacity including detailed study of the dynamics of terminals and turnbacks to determine the minimum headway these can support with ATC in place.  This will determine a realistic upper bound on subway capacity and, in turn, the additional fleet required to achieve that capacity.

Projections for riding growth, including the effects of opening the Vaughan extension and potential improvements to GO Transit service that could offload the Yonge line must also be included.  Alternate scenarios should be considered including weak or robust growth as a sensitivity measure for the range of effects and the “drop dead” dates for addressing capacity problems.

The Capital Budget and projections for future spending must adopt a realistic view of what is needed and practical to achieve improved subway capacity.  Whether funding is available is immaterial.  Any debate about funding must be informed by a complete view so that the scope and urgency of requirements are well-understood.

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52 Responses to TTC 2013 Capital Budget Part I: Subway Fleet Plan

  1. nfitz says:

    The seventh car for the TR trains seems to be missing from both the capital budget – and the discussion.

    Steve: Yes. A recent reference to future plans for BD has the six-car TRs moving from Yonge to Bloor in the mid 2020′s (after ATC is in place) and new seven-car trains being ordered for YUS. At that point, the first of the T1s will be 30 years old. Of course there are more TRs in the YUS fleet than BD requires, and so the issue of some 7th car retrofits is also on the table along with a decision on what vehicles will provide short train operation on Sheppard. None of this shows up on the Fleet Plan, only as a side note in other discussions.

  2. George Bell says:

    Do the PED’s require that we know if we will have 7 car trains or not? Wouldn’t it just make sense to put the doors in such that they line up with the train when it is lined up with the end of the station, and then the extra door would be already in place and just need to be “activated”? At the least, it would only require re-doing one car worth of doors (assuming the 1/2 car could go in between the first and second cars)…one wonders when the PED’s will be required at Yonge/Bloor…right now it’s only a major delay away from having people pushed onto the track…does the TTC have numbers on how much time is lost by “going slow” into stations? I assume they could enter/exit faster with PEDs at the major stations…as well as load/unload faster…

    Steve: Much depends on how bright the TTC is about a six-car PED implementation and where, technically, a seventh car would fit into a train. It is mathematically impossible for both train configurations to line up with one set of doors. The distance between the first and fourth doors (the ones over the trucks) is 54′ with intermediate doors at 18′ spacings, but the intercar spacing is about 21′. If a short car is inserted anywhere other than, this will throw off the spacing for part of the train. Remember that what is the front of the train northbound is the back of the train southbound, and any scheme must ensure that the train stays pointed in the same direction. Only if the extra car goes in the middle would the effect be symmetrical regardless of which way the train is facing. Then, there is the problem of co-existence of six and seven car trainsets on the same line.

    My gut feeling is that if we are to have PEDs and seven-car trains, a monoculture of new trains must come first, and we won’t see that until the late 2020s. Conversely, if we install PEDs for six-car trains, then we are stuck with that configuration.

  3. Dan F says:

    Hi Steve,

    Is there any discussion of the cost of looping the YUS line around so that it runs in a circle and trains don’t have to turn back? If that were the case, how close together could they run in best case scenario? What would it cost?

    Steve: That was the original scheme for the Yonge/Spadina line when both were only going as far as Sheppard — build a loop to eliminate terminal delays. However, it also effectively blocked northward extensions, and as the two lines moved further apart, the cost of a “loop” became prohibitive. To put it in context, the distance from Vaughan Station over to the equivalent point on an extended Yonge line is longer than the proposed Phase 1 of the Downtown Relief Line, although it would be built through less demanding territory. I doubt that either York Region or Ontario would shell out for that scale of construction, not to mention for all of the extra trains the TTC would need to fill up that track with frequent looping service.

  4. Michael S says:

    From a ‘people-as-cargo’ standpoint, how does station geometry prevent ATC frequency at terminal stations? Assuming that the next train will arrive (and depart) in less than two minutes, then it’s not so big a deal if a few people get left on the platform due to frequency requirements. This obviously ignores the concept of service standards and not making passengers feel like, well, cargo.

    Steve: It is not the platform geometry, it is the approach crossover. A few years ago I wrote an article about this problem with specific data from observations of trains at Kennedy Station whose track geometry is, if anything, a bit kinder to this sort of problem than some terminals. The difficulty lies in the time it takes to cycle through trains whose movements will always conflict with each other. The time for each step in the process is constrained by how long a six-car train requires to move through the crossover assuming it starts from a stopped position (which on a minimum headway it always will inbound as well as outbound), for the signal system to detect and verify that the track is clear, for the switches to move into a new position, and for the next train movement to occur. At Kennedy, the lower bound was roughly 130 seconds. This has nothing to do with ATC and everything to do with basic physics — there are limits to train acceleration and speed through turnouts. All that ATC gives us is the ability to guarantee the fastest possible response from a train to a clear signal, or “GO” order, that no longer depends on an operator’s reacting to a signal. (The problem of the operator actually being on the train, not in the loo, or walking down the platform, when the route is clear remains. This will require much more disciplined crew management as well as built in breaks at terminals with crews always dropping back a few trains.)

    At a turnback like St. Clair West, there are additional potential sources of delay including the need for a southbound slot to arrive at just the right time to accept a train that has only recently entered the pocket track. The consistency of such events is dubious, and so a very frequent short turn operation needs to include dispatching logic that will give a short-turn train priority if the slot it might use has not yet arrived. There is also the passenger management issue of spending an inordinate amount of dwell time offloading short-turn trains and, in the process, blocking through service.

    Very short headways are possible, but conditions including track and station layouts, local and express services, train lengths and the degree of full or partial automation all bear on the question. Just because system “X” manages to get a 90 second headway in an area specifically engineered for it does not mean that an existing 60-year old line can be “converted” to operation for which it was not designed.

  5. Tom West says:

    Is there any realistic way of adding significant amounts of storage to the YUS at somewhere other than Wilson?

    Steve: On the existing line, no. That’s why there are proposals for the underground yards north of Finch and/or at Richmond Hill. There is also a scheme floating around (for which I have seen no plans) for a new carhouse somewhere north of Richmond Hill. I can’t help thinking someone has a piece of property they want to unload.

  6. ncarlson says:

    In terms of order of magnitude would the DRL be operable with 4 car trains? If not I’d think that once the T1s start retiring we would need to take a very close look at the value proposition of separate fleets vs LRT conversion or (already roughed in) platform extensions. Of course this is dependent on post TR orders actually being articulated, and I have to wonder if that will be the case; its hardly the first time internal gangways have been tried, and historically they’ve been regarded as not worth the lost of flexibility.

    Steve: The demand projections for the DRL are certainly in 4-car territory. The real challenge will be the station boxes and whether they are designed as 4 or 6 car lengths. I plan an article on DRL options and issues which, I am sure, will generate a long comment thread on its own.

  7. Benny Cheung says:

    ATO will not only reduce the latency for a human operator to respond to a “clear to go” signal. It also reduces the time that the metro takes to stop. In other words, a metro can enter the station at a faster approach speed since the ATO controller is able to stop more precisely. A higher approach speed will shave precious seconds in braking time. For reference, the Yamanote Line has platform length of 712 ft. The approach speed of ATO controlled train is usually about 70 km/h.

    Steve: The constraint on the entry/exit speed is the ability of passengers to handle the G-forces at turnouts. This affects trains crossing over on entry or exit. Shorter crossovers have smaller traversal times, but tighter turnouts (see Eglinton Station). The braking may shave a bit, but I don’t think this will be enough to overcome the time required at the crossovers which is a function of their (and the train’s) length.

    There is no requirement that the DRL has to be able to interpolate with the existing metro lines. Yes, money can be saved by having a common fleet, common driver training and common maintenance. But there are also limitations to that as well. By starting fresh, we can use more slender rolling stock which will reduce tunnel cost. By building the DRL with less curves, it can be potentially easier to expand it to 12 car operation in the future. The reason why Toronto has such a big problem right now is that station spacing is too close. Otherwise, we can think about running 12 car operations.

  8. Deborah Brown says:

    There is something in this plan that I don’t understand. According to the data provided in the spreadsheet, there are no plans to add more trains to the YUS line once the extension to Vaughan opens until at least 2025, which presumably means that there will be no change to existing service levels, at least during the morning peak when demand is greatest. What, then, is the purpose of ATC, if the constraint to adding more frequent service – and therefore increased capacity – is not the signalling system, but the fleet size? I remember there was a discussion here about “high-rate” operation, which would allow existing trains to run faster. Is this what the TTC has in mind once ATC is in place? Increase capacity on the line by running the Toronto Rockets in high-rate (or its equivalent)?

    With regards to geometric constraints at the terminals, it’s worth mentioning that even with current headways, rush hour service on YUS and BD lines NEVER finishes on time, so it’s dubious things will get better with ATC, particularly if there will still be an operator on board and therefore delays to washroom breaks, crew changes etc.

    Steve: That is correct. The current fleet plan has no provision for more trains, but there has also been no discussion of “high rate” in the fleet plan, and I am not entirely certain that the TR equipment even has such a thing. The TTC could have been running in high rate for some time now as all of the equipment that was prone to failure at the higher speeds has been retired. However, any discussion of this was always downplayed as it had implications for track maintenance, and would cut into the size of potential orders for new cars.

  9. Walter says:

    What if the 7th car was full size. Would that mean that 1 set of doors would not open (since it would not be at the platform), or would it be more. With walk through trains, it may not be that bad to have the last train with one set of doors that do not open. Maybe people riding around the bottom of the YUS line would go into this part of the 7th car and they can move to the doors (that actually open) when the train empties out a bit. With a bit of signage, this would be understood by the riders. This would come closer to increasing the train capacity by 14% (7/6).

    Steve: Yes, a full-size car would work for the PEDs. One problem, however, is that some locations designed for 450 foot trains, where extension for 500 might already be tight, could have even bigger problems with a 525 foot train. At this point, the TTC does not properly understand all of the factors involved in increasing the capacity of the YUS, and this all needs to be sorted out before we embark on any of the individual projects. Too much planning to date has been based on justifying a “no DRL” policy, and we need to understand whether the claims for potential YUS capacity can be achieved and at what cost, not to mention the practicality of various alternatives.

  10. Karl Junkin says:

    Benny Cheung said: By building the DRL with less curves, it can be potentially easier to expand it to 12 car operation in the future. The reason why Toronto has such a big problem right now is that station spacing is too close. Otherwise, we can think about running 12 car operations.

    Expanding stations later is very complex, extremely expensive business, as has been demonstrated by the current Union second platform project as well as the proposals that have popped up from time to time for Bloor-Yonge. The simpler approach to “extending later” is to rough-in from day one, like Sheppard did (6-car box roughed-in, but only 4-car-length finished), although that has significant up-front costs.

    Toronto stations are not too close together, in fact, in the outer portions of the system, they’re too far apart – especially Yonge north of Eglinton. Station spacing has little impact on train length though (except maybe south of College St, where stations are less than 500m apart, but the hills in this area are a bigger factor on train length than station spacing).

    There will always be an upper limit somewhere for the cpacity of a given line/technology, but this is why networks are so important.

  11. John F Bromley says:

    Has anyone considered extending current tunnels PAST the terminal points for a distance of, say, three train lengths, with at least two crossovers? I think that this is common on some European systems. Trains come to terminals, dump the load, move beyond the station and lay up waiting their turn for direction change. When time to leave, trains re-enter the station, gobble the waiting bodies and hare off down the line.

    The system can also be done by hostlers, giving train crews breaks (after an hour run) from cramped cabs. Hostlers return each train to station in arrival sequence, crews gets back on. Works best with a step-back system to give crews at least 6-7 minutes. Beats having to pee in the cab, too!

    Steve: This is certainly an option, but it requires extending terminal tail tracks substantially as you say. It may be workable, but like so many of the other proposed ways of stuffing more trains and people onto the YUS, it needs to be openly discussed. At this point, the options and associated costs are not even on the table, much less in the budget, and this means that politicians are not forced to accept the real, looming cost of providing more capacity in ways that can actually be achieved.

    Platform edge doors represent a billion dollar item in the “unfunded” budget even though their contribution is mainly to service reliability through suicide prevention and reduction of litter on the trackbed. They do not allow trains to run closer together. Andy Byford himself is uncertain about what PEDs can achieve and has said that in very congested stations they can actually hinder operations by causing bunching of waiting riders around doors on the platform. There may be a place for PEDs in the busy central part of the system, but when this project first appeared, it looked like a make-work megaproject for TTC Engineering & Construction. It is carried in the budget at full cost, not at a more reasonable figure for implementation only where it might be of use.

  12. Firstly, why would the DRL not be built for 6 car consists? Especially with the desire to get people away Bloor-Yonge Station, it makes sense to make sure that there is potential for such service.

    Secondly, Kipling’s track already extend west past the station – why would a “yard” need to be built – although those tracks could be extended over an existing portion of the parking lot.

    Steve: The TTC is already plans to store trains overnight where it is practical, but if the number of trains on the line is increased beyond the current T1 fleet size, then we need someplace to put them. Storage for, say, 10 trains takes up a lot of room given that each of them needs about 500 feet of track. Originally, land had been set aside east of Kipling Station for a new yard, but the TTC gave it up for the proposed “downtown Etobicoke” which may yet rise at the six points. In the process, they lost the opportunity to improve capacity and spread out the fleet for the BD line.

    Lastly, are doors at the stations really required? I can see this slowly trains down if the driver does not hit his spot right on with the train. Right now there can be some leeway in the stopping of the train as long as the train is totally on the platform. How much of a positive gain will there be for over $1,000,000,000 (the combined cost of both the YUS line and BD line) which could be used for other capital projects (like the DRL.)

    Steve: ATC will allow precise stopping of trains at the correct position on the platform, but PEDs are not the panacea they have been made out as (see previous comments/replies in this thread).

  13. Bradley Wentworth says:

    Just musing here, but could some capacity constraints be dealt with on a pricing basis? Like you Steve, I really wish factors outside the TTC could be taken into account, like the impact of better GO service. I’d also extend that to the entire GTA-wide transportation from expressways to Bixi to pedestrian infrastructure. Why not simultaneously introduce Toronto-wide congestion pricing on both the road network and the TTC? Once Presto is in place that should be possible, and it won’t be long before most or all cars can be charged automatically through onboard GPS systems or even a driver’s smartphone. If people want to travel during the peak period by car or transit, they pay more; the TTC could compensate by extending frequent service beyond the shoulders of rush hour. It’s simply a more efficient way of using scarce transportation resources.

    Steve: Many riders do not have a choice in when they travel. This is imposed by factors such as shift hours, class schedules and a need to synchronize one’s work/school day with home life. Your dream of widespread charging for road use is not likely to see implementation soon, and yet I am sure that the car-oriented politicians will be more than happy to think that “congestion pricing” on transit will bring both a “user pay” factor into play while absolving them of the need and duty to improve system capacity.

  14. Neil says:

    Steve, In 2009 you commented on the TTC Yonge Subway Yard Study. One of the options there was the Downsview to Yonge-Sheppard connection. The study said the capital cost was much larger than the savings in operational cost. That is true, although the time savings in “loading” the YUS line is not insignificant . Also that line extension doesn’t stand on it own in terms of cost benefits. What that connection could do is increase YUS throughput in the AM peak. If a certain percentage of YUS trains were looped in a clockwise direction, this would provide more trains with “seats available” south of Yonge-Sheppard station. This would perform the same function that the gap filling trains launched from Davisville do now. Short looping trains would be much quicker than short turning them.

    Steve: There is another problem with the Sheppard connection as a way to load the Yonge line — Wilson Yard is already constrained in the rate at which it can push trains out into service regardless of where they are headed. This would be particularly messy for trains that would need to cross over mainline service on the Spadina subway to reach the Sheppard connection (unless it were grade separated, something that may not be possible given that the existing layout was designed on the premise of at grade crossovers). Inserting trains southbound from Sheppard requires enough track time to fit them in, something that even with ATC would be a challenge. The “gap” trains fit precisely because they come out into unscheduled, unexpected holes in the regular service.

    If we are going to spend a lot of money, better it be on the proposed Finch “yard” available by extending the three-track section north from Finch to Cummer, a structure that would cost much less than the Sheppard West link and provide useable tracks for a future extension to Richmond Hill. The Finch option is priced at roughly $700m including the prebuild of the shell of Cummer Station. The existing Sheppard Subway structure ends about a block east of Senlac (an emergency exit building marks the spot), and from there it’s over 3km to Downsview Station including a crossing of the Don River.

  15. Kevin Love says:

    Steve, you read 1,300 pages of TTC bumpf? You deserve some type of transit specialist medal!

    Steve: I did not read every page because I have been through these budget books in previous years and know which parts I can skim over, the things that have not changed and the minor projects that I don’t plan to comment on. But, yes, it’s important to read some of the details because there is information not available elsewhere that gives an insight into where the TTC is going, or not.

    Failure to adequately plan for future capital expenses could condemn Toronto to years of inferior service with ongoing excuses about how the TTC would love to run more, but doesn’t have the resources. We have been down this path before.

  16. Steve wrote about PEDs,

    “The distance between the first and fourth doors (the ones over the trucks) is 54′ with intermediate doors at 18′ spacings, but the intercar spacing is about 21′. If a short car is inserted anywhere other than, this will throw off the spacing for part of the train.”

    I’ll start off by saying that I believe that PEDs are a waste of money, though there may be some redeeming benefits of being able to race into crowded stations faster and not having delays due to fires caused by people throwing garbage on the tracks.

    I am not so sure the geometry is that difficult. Now, I am going by drawings that are fairly low resolution, so the figures I see may be a bit off, but in measuring what I have seen in drawings, the centre-to-centre distance between adjacent doors on two different cars is pretty close to the same centre-to-centre distance between doors on the same car.

    Even with low resolution drawings, it is clear to me that 54′ is NOT the distance between the centres of the front and rear doors on any single car. 54′ is the truck-to-truck distance, NOT the centre-to-centre door spacing between the front and rear doors on each car. The door at the gangway-end of each car (the non-cab end of A type cars, and both ends of B and C type cars) is roughly half a door width closer to the end of the car. I say this because drawings show the truck centred under the gangway-end door appears to be centred under the inner door of the pair. This truck is centred 10′ 6″ from the end of the car (coupler face), which is where Steve gets the 21′ figure above.

    However, given that each door is 2′ 6″ wide (for a 5′ wide doorway), that makes the centre of the gangway-end doors only 9′ 3″ from the end of the car. This makes the centre-to-centre door spacing of doors at ends of adjacent cars 18′ 6″.

    Furthermore, the low resolution drawing I have seen shows a centre-to-centre door spacing within a car of 18′ 6″. My calculations confirm this: the truck-to-truck centre spacing of 54′ on an A type car is 54′, but the gangway-end doors are 1′ 3″ closer to the end than the truck centre. That makes for a centre-to-centre door spacing of 55′ 6″ divided by 3, or 18′ 6″.

    This would mean that a shorter “D” type car with the same door spacing as B and C type cars could be placed at any point in the consist (except for the first or last position, of course!) and everything would work fine. In fact, if the PED control system were designed correctly, 6-car trains with A, B, and C type cars could work on the same line with 7-car trains having a “D” type car, so a monoculture of trains is not necessary.

    How long can a 1 “D” type car be? A 3-door model would be 55′ 6″ long. A 6-car TR set with A, B, and C type cars is 446′ 2″ long (2 A type cars that are 75′ 1″ long, and the 4 B and C type cars that are 74′ long). Adding a 55′ 6″ car would make the set 501′ 8″ long. I suspect 10″ (or so, depending on the ATC tolerance) of the nose and tail beyond the platform length would not be a problem.

    Food for thought.

    Steve: But the B and C cars are 75′ (22,860mm) long, not 74′. This requires a door spacing of 18.75′ for uniformity along a train. I also dread the thought of how well-maintained the PEDs would be, but that’s a whole different discussion.

  17. Stu says:

    “Platform edge doors represent a billion dollar item in the “unfunded” budget even though their contribution is mainly to service reliability through suicide prevention and reduction of litter on the trackbed”

    With regards to litter, I’ve never understood why the TTC doesn’t just purchase a vacuum train, or at least go back to actually maintaining their rights-of-way in the tidy manner they used to.

    Steve: The TTC does clear the tracks manually, but generally during hours when there is no service. My own observations are that litter does not stay around for long (not days on end as was once the case), but I have not actually seen a cleaning crew for a few years.

    I have to take it on faith that all of the “smoke at track level” incidents really are caused by debris on the tracks, not by electrical issues on passing trains or by dirt and grease buildup on the third rail supports. I have a gut feeling that track debris is one of those TTC mantras like “traffic congestion” that is a catch-all excuse, but cannot be sure. If this is so, then the incidents that are not caused by debris won’t be affected by PEDs.

  18. Ed says:

    Steve comments,

    “All that ATC gives us is the ability to guarantee the fastest possible response from a train to a clear signal, or “GO” order, that no longer depends on an operator’s reacting to a signal.”

    Would the doors also be operated automatically, no guard intervention required?

    Steve: Possibly. There is also the question of whether the TTC will move to one-man crews, but this is a matter for future negotiations.

    I don’t see automatic door operation working well. Either you make the dwell time long enough to be sure that everyone can get off and on, which slows down overall operation when loads are light, or you make the closing brisk and risk riders not being able to get off the train, never mind on, at a stop. (When trains are as packed as the south end of Yonge is during rush hour, it can be a major chore to get to the doors if you’re not close to them already….which leads to people clustering around the doors….which is just a vicious circle.)

    If the doors remain human-operated, well I’ve been on my share of trains where the driver pumps the brakes to alert the guard that the signal has changed and the doors should be closed. This typically happens at terminals and schedule control points.

    Steve: One tactic used on automated system (which mimics what happens on manual ones) is to have different programmed door cycle times depending on the anticipated load at each station. This works provided that the station is not badly crowded.

  19. Robert Lubinski says:

    Is there any mention of T-1 fleet body overhauls or mid-life refurbishment? The oldest T-1s are now 15 years old and I suspect they have had some overhaul work but not a comprehensive program. Many T-1 cars have what looks like corrosion along the roof line and on the car ends, making them look rather shabby. I don’t know what condition they’re in underneath body-wise, but a program to at least get them into the paint shop would go a long way to improving their appearance. Every previous class of M & H cars had a body and paint work program on the bodies and car ends/roofs to keep them in a “state of good repair”.

    Steve: Yes there are overhauls planned for the T1 cars. If you look at page 27 of the TTC Capital Budget Report, under item 4.16 Subway Car Overhaul, you will see money allocated in years 2013 to 2017 for the 15-year overhaul of the T1 fleet. There is also a line for the 20-year overhaul mainly in the out years of the budget.

  20. Steve said,

    “[platform edge doors] can actually hinder operations by causing bunching of waiting riders around doors on the platform”

    If the SRT is any indication, people will do that when ATO is implemented and they can predict exactly where the doors will be. In Kennedy SRT station people line up in neat rows exactly where the doors are going to be when the train arrives in the station.

  21. Train Operator Allan A. Jordan, MTA New York City Transit says:

    Since I am familiar with the workings of ATC (CBTC on the Canarsie ‘L’ Line), there really has been little increase in service on that line that couldn’t have been handled before CBTC. As you rightly have pointed out, the problem is terminal track geometry (2-track island platform with diamond crossover at both terminals on the ‘L’ line) which slows relays.

    There is a short turn at Myrtle which is being under-utilized (20 minute intervals). As train operators and knowing the operation of the switches, we move trains over terminal switches as efficiently as possible. For even more efficiency, drop back crews are essential.

    In my opinion, ATC would afford no faster service than block signalling as long as terminal track geometry remains the same (which would be 120″ intervals at best).

    If the DRL is built from St. Andrew to Eglinton and then connected to the Sheppard line by continuing up Don Mills to Sheppard with stations at Lawrence and York Mills, then the tailtracks west of Sheppard-Yonge could be converted to an underground yard which would afford the luxury of running 6-car T1 trains on the line.

    Steve: The physical location of Don Mills Station makes through running of a Don Mills DRL onto Sheppard impossible. Most of the station box lies east of Don Mills Road, and it is very deep. A DRL would have to dodge well east of Don Mills under existing apartment tower complexes just to get in position to link into the existing station. Alternately, a completely new station would be required. As for 6-car trains on Sheppard, this would require existing stations to be finished out to their full length as the platforms are now only built for 4-car trains.

  22. What about building loops at the future terminals instead of crossover tracks (before the stations) or crossover + storage tracks (after the stations)?

    With both the Yonge & Spadina portions poised to reach “Highway” 7, perhaps it is time to make a statement that the YUS line will “go no further” … a 2 hour trip is already significant, and additional extensions would probably be more than the system can handle, given the constraints of yard space, scheduling etc.

    Perhaps that would also give the TTC & Metrolinx the impetus that they need to actually build out the North-South GO lines and additional TTC service (LRT, or perhaps an “Overground” system sharing track with GO services).

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: There is already talk of going further than Highway 7 on Yonge.

  23. Steve wrote,

    “But the B and C cars are 75′ (22,860mm) long, not 74′. This requires a door spacing of 18.75′ for uniformity along a train.”

    My error was in converting the metric overall lengths to imperial. Yes, the B and C cars are 75′ long, and the A cars are 76’1″.

    However, the door spacing is pretty much uniform all down the train at 18’6″. The centre of trucks on B and C cars (as well as the gangway-end truck on A cars) are 10’6″ from the end of the cars, and the truck-to-truck centre spacing is 54′, thus making B and C cars 75′ long. Those trucks that are centred 10’6″ from the car end have doors above them that are centred only 9’3″ from the end, thus making them 18’6″ apart, just like the other doors on the same car.

    The issue then becomes the overall length of a train. Adding a 55’6″ short car in the train would make the overall train 507’8″. The front and back of the train would have to extend 3’10″ beyond the length of the platform. I don’t suspect that this is a problem, since the cab-end doors on an A type car are centred over the truck at 11’7″ from the end of the car. The front and back truck centres would be 7′9″ from the end of the platforms. This makes the front and back edges of the first and last doors 5′3″ from the end of the platforms.

    Even with the nose and tail of the train each extending 3’10″ beyond the platform, the leading and trailing axles of the train would still be sitting on rail within the station’s 500′ length. I don’t have the exact measurements, but from drawings I estimate that the edge of the trucks at the cab-end of A type cars are at least 5′ from the end of the car (they appear to be less than half way of the 11’7″ from their centre to the end of the car).

  24. nfitz says:

    Is there talk of a storage facility north of Richmond Hill other than the 9-train facility that York Region has shown in recent presentations in the pre-built tunnel between Richmond Hill Centre and 16th Avenue stations?

    Steve: Yes. A few years ago there was reference in the budget to keeping money free in case a piece of property that would hold a new yard became available. This idea seems to have dropped off of the map for now. I do not know the location.

  25. J says:

    Darwin – i suspect people know where line up for the SRT doors not because of ATO, but because they have to wait outside the doors of the packed train that is about to leave! Poor service really does have interesting consequences.

  26. Ed says:

    Stu asks,

    “With regards to litter, I’ve never understood why the TTC doesn’t just purchase a vacuum train, or at least go back to actually maintaining their rights-of-way in the tidy manner they used to.”

    The prevalence of free newspapers, which are treated as 100% disposable, doesn’t help.

    I remember back in the early 1970s mice scurrying around the tracks at Bloor station (first time I had the opportunity to observe the behaviour of these rodents). So they weren’t all that sanitary back then either. (Plus lots of cigarette butts.)

  27. Andrew says:

    Steve: The demand projections for the DRL are certainly in 4-car territory. The real challenge will be the station boxes and whether they are designed as 4 or 6 car lengths. I plan an article on DRL options and issues which, I am sure, will generate a long comment thread on its own.

    It would be extremely short sighted in my view to build a DRL and not have it run 6 car trains. The fleet used by the DRL might well be incompatible with the existing system anyway, if some sort of fully automated system is used. The redevelopment of the Portlands area (which would create lots of potential demand for the DRL) as well as any hypothetical extensions north of Eglinton along Don Mills Road, could easily overwhelm 4-car trains.

    I would say the same about Eglinton and Sheppard, but this has been discussed before, and I guess we have to “agree to disagree” on this issue.

  28. I wrote,

    “Thus, the front and back doors would be about 7′ 9? from the end of the platforms.”

    Clarification: the front and back truck centres would be 7′ 9″ from the end of the platforms. This makes the front and back edges of the first and last doors 5′ 3″ from the end of the platforms.

    It seems as though the TR cars are designed with consistent door-to-door spacing all down the train, though I think my next trip may be with a tape measure. I am wondering if Bombardier makes PED systems. If they do, it would be in their best interest to design vehicles with consistent door-to-door spacings all down the train. That way, it would support trains of varying lengths to stop and varying locations on different platforms – a feature that would be a good selling point.

  29. Benny Cheung says:

    Bombardier Transportation just makes rail vehicles. Although if a customer requires it, they can partner up with companies like SNC Lavalin who will design and build things like stations and platform doors.

    Train door spacing is not dictated by the maker but by the customer. The foundation of the T35A08 is based on the MOVIA platform. It can be configured any way the customer desires. For example, you have two cars in the middle with six doors on each side and no seats (standing room only). Some can even be configured with mood lighting LEDs. For example, depending on the time, interior lighting can change from purple to blue then to red.

    The TTC is in a unique situation where platform doors was unfunded when the T35A08 orders were placed. If engineering plans were made at the time, they could have requested Bombardier to build them a certain way.

  30. Raymond Kennedy says:

    @Calvin Henry-Cotnam. You state going 3 feet 10 inches beyond the end of platform would not be a problem. I think it might well be. Remember, the signals are located just beyond the platform. Stopping that close and that accurate is questionable and is asking for trouble. You must allow room for the visual line of sight by the operator.

    Use of a 55 foot car (or maybe 45 feet to give a margin for error) would be a very expensive matter since I am sure Bombardier would want a premium price for such a special car. Likely the same or higher price than a full sized 75 foot car.

    Having said that, if the TTC does go for the 7th car I would suggest painting the exterior a different colour and not installing any seats at all! SRO. Carry more riders than a 75 foot car.

  31. David Aldinger says:

    I’ve always thought that the tail tracks at Finch already went right up to Cummer. If not, then just how far towards Cummer do they go?

    Steve: To the Hydro corridor. It’s a bit more than half a km to Cummer, and then there is the length of the station structure. The driving factor will be how much storage for trains is desired given that it will be three tracks wide to the new station, and two tracks thereafter.

  32. John Diamond says:

    All the “T1″ Trains are being moved to the Bloor-Danforth Line while more new “TR” Trains are being introduced on the Yonge-University-Line at the same time, all the H5 and H6 Trains are being sold and transported to Lagos, Nigeria which would all be moved out sometime in 2013, I am wondering even if you were to withdraw the 3 sets of “T1″ cars that are currently being used on the Sheppard Line, That leaves with just over 350 subway cars that need to be stored at Greenwood Yard and a couple sets stored at the tail ends at Kipling and Kennedy, You were mentioning that Keele Yard would be reopening in order to accommodate the excess fleet of “T1″ Trains and I’m wondering if you are able to know a rough date on when the Vincent Yard would be planned to open?

    Steve: I have not seen a date for Vincent to reopen, but work to enclose the yard to prevent vandalism is required. Since the T1s will all have been displaced from Yonge by the end of 2013 according to a recent interview with Andy Byford, Vincent/Keele Yard needs to be refurbished this coming year.

  33. Raymond Kennedy wrote,

    “You state going 3 feet 10 inches beyond the end of platform would not be a problem. I think it might well be. Remember, the signals are located just beyond the platform. Stopping that close and that accurate is questionable and is asking for trouble. You must allow room for the visual line of sight by the operator.”

    Two points. The need for accurate stopping position (a must for PEDs) would be accomplished with ATC/ATO, so the line of sight for the signals is not such an issue.

    More importantly, have you ever looked to see just how close the signals are? With some exceptions, such as the turnback signal at the south end of the northbound track at Osgoode that is ON the platform, the signal is typically a metre or so beyond the steps from the platform. The top of these steps are a good food beyond the gate that is in line with the end of the platform. I estimate that run of these steps, based on the building code, is in the range of 36″ to 45″. That puts the typical signal a good 7′ into the tunnel. Finally, that 3′ 10″ is to the face of the coupler, not the position of the operator’s eyeballs.

    That said, given that there are situations where some signals are positioned rather close, the upgrade to the signal system could provide the opportunity to make changes where needed, or add signal repeaters to provide a line of sight that might be difficult to provide otherwise.

    An alternative would be a car that is even shorter, but still maintains the same door spacing. Instead of a 55′ 6″ car (with 3 doors per side), that would be a 37′ car (with 2 doors per side).

    Raymond Kennedy’s suggestion of a 7th car that is SRO makes me think of another possibility: no doors. The car would have to be either 37′ or 55′ 6″ to maintain the same door spacing for the rest of the train, but if PEDs are ever installed, an intelligent system could automatically not open doors where such a car was. It could also display a message above the door in advance of the train’s arrival, as is the case with the system at Denver’s airport.

  34. Steve: There is already talk of going further than Highway 7 on Yonge.

    Eeek

    Cheers, Moaz

  35. Steve wrote:

    ‘I have not seen a date for Vincent to reopen, but work to enclose the yard to prevent vandalism is required.’

    What work? It is already surrounded by a fence – what other works needs to be done? A couple doors on the each of the bays? I am just saying that it looks pretty secure to me – mind you as I wouldn’t do anything illegal, I might assume it is more secure than it is.

    Steve: That fence is little deterrent to local graffiti artists. The space must be enclosed out to a distance that will hold two trains on each track.

    The only concern I have about Vincent Yards is that the last time I heard the TTC kept some work cars there that would need to be moved.

    Steve: Works equipment is being consolidated at Davisville because the odd track layout there is not suitable for six-car trainsets on all tracks.

    As for Kipling, they could potentially store four consists there easily – two west of the station, and two inside the station – and this is without any modifications. With an extension to cover a portion of the parking lot to the west, they could maybe store six easily. Maybe not a big deal, but any little assistance helps.

    Steve: There is also an unused bay north of the station into which a track will be added.

  36. M. Briganti says:

    The design limit at Finch is 2 minutes — a 2-minute headway at Finch was attempted in the PM rush in 1975, without success. Subsequent analysis of the pen recorder data showed that the average headway over a 3 hour period was actually 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

    Steve: Thank you for this info. It confirms what I concluded by watching operations at Kennedy.

  37. Sjors van Dimms says:

    Steve, if a 16th Avenue Station is proposed for the Yonge extension and is just north of the storage yard that is also being proposed, considering construction wouldn’t begin for quite some time, why not include 16th Avenue as a station, build it, and have trains turn back there?

    I would think it is faster to turn a train back at a “less busy” station than a major transportation hub like Richmond Hill Centre. Over there they would have to deal with boarding times of crowded platforms (THEY WILL BE CROWDED) and it will just be Finch all over again.

    How much could building 16th Avenue possibly cost and why not eat that cost?

    Politics is always a factor but if we let politics get in the way of everything then NOTHING will ever get built. Oh wait, nothing is getting built (outside of the Spadina extension).

    On a side note, has there ever been a proposal to change Carville Road’s name to Rutherford Road or 16th Avenue West for it’s stretch?

    Finally, if it was up to you, would you build that station? and would you venture even more north than 16th Avenue up to the terminal near Elgin Mills or stop at 16th Avenue.

    Steve: As and when the Richmond Hill extension is built, half of the service will turn back at Finch (or possibly Steeles) and so terminal congestion up at 16th (or wherever) won’t be an issue. One big political issue will be the question of who will pay the operating costs for this extension. Toronto got suckered by York Region into taking responsibility for most of the costs (York only pays for the operation and maintenance of the surface connection facilities) in return for all of the revenue. However, the projected net cost to the TTC of opening the Spadina line is $14.2-million annually. The new revenue (remember that many riders are not “net new” and contribute no additional revenue, but get much better service) is not enough to pay the operating costs much as the situation has been on the original Spadina extension, the SRT and the Sheppard line.

  38. Back in the 70s when I was in high school and rode the BD line from Islington to Spadina every day there was more than one case – perhaps twice a year – when the train overshot the station and the front door opened off the platform in the tunnel. The signal was not tripped on any of these occasions.

    While I suspect that if an Operator had been caught doing this he (it was he in those days) would have been disciplined, it was also long before the subway crash and the TTC might have been slightly less strict. Also I think the BD trains were still operating on “high” at that time.

    Steve: The signals and trip arms are generally well past the end of the platform, and in any event will be clear almost all of the time unless service is badly backed up, or if you are at a timing point like Ossington eastbound. Overshooting under most circumstances does not trip anything.

  39. M. Briganti says:

    I remember a couple of overshoots. In one case, we heard a double-bell signal (presumably to delay the doors) just moments before the driver left his cab and visually verified that nobody was trying to use the doors that were in the tunnel.

    In another case (at Royal York), the train was so far into the tunnel that it actually backed up. I was on the opposite platform and watched on in amazement.

    I take it the TTC must have a trick up its sleeve for working around the 2-min terminal constraint at Finch. In the days when terminal departures were controlled by ATDs, you could actually see the departure queue (the rotary stepping switches would diverge).

    When they set the 2 minute headway, they tried moving the automatic inbound route selection point further back (this is the point on the northbound track where trains are auto-routed into platform 1 or 2, and the NEXT TRAIN arrow at Finch starts to flash). The bias was to always route into platform 1, but the downside was that a fixed timer gave precedence to outgoing trains if the ATD was within 30 seconds of firing. Then, the outgoing route would be locked in for 60 seconds after that. So, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    Steve: The problem with any tinkering on the inbound route selection is that it assumes an unconstrained terminal where the approaching train is not in a queue sitting at the double-red just outside the station, but arriving after serving North York Centre. It is really not practical to lock up the crossover for such a long time on very close headways, and that’s why double tail track operations work better — nothing goes across a conflicting route at the crossover, and the terminal has turnaround points that are not constrained by passenger service times. Finch, however, only has a single-length tail track.

  40. Kristian says:

    Not sure how many of you have been by Vincent Yard recently but they have been busy tearing the crap out of the tracks and fully replacing the outdoor sections with entirely new parts. They appear to be keeping the original power rails but putting in new mounts and coverboards. As to anti-vandalism provisions I figured that they would only be replacing the rotten old fence down the laneway side and installing monitored security cameras. Had you heard of official plans for actually enclosing the entire length of the sidings? I can see that being done in an incredibly cheap and ugly manner that won’t be effective without active security monitoring.

  41. M. Briganti says:

    I suppose they could use the existing tail tracks at Finch, but they’d have to back into them very slowly. If anyone here remembers Islington when it was a terminal, it had no tail tracks at all. As a result, westbound trains crawled into the station at an extremely slow speed and stopped just short of sand bags and a plywood wall. That slowed the turnaround times even more. I don’t know exactly what route locking rules are in effect at the terminals these days, but NX/UR always protects against the worst possible case, at the expense of train turnaround times of course. It’s really a dumb system that locks switches longer than necessary and relies on a lot of safety timers to expire. We stayed with that 1940s NX/UR crap for backward compatibility and integration (because that’s what the original Yonge line had), even when more intelligent signal systems were available in the 60s.

  42. Vic says:

    I while ago I heard that there was a rail yard that was being put up for sale just south of Kipling station, near the hydro corridor. I heard rumors that the TTC could use this location as a rail yard (although there was never confirmation that the TTC was even interested in doing this). Sorry I can’t describe it better as I am unaware of the name of that rail yard. Do you know that status of this yard Steve, or even what I am talking about?

    Steve: Yes, I know the yard you mean, but don’t know if the TTC or Metrolinx (more likely) has their eye on it.

  43. Deborah Brown says:

    The same principle described by M. Briganti above for Islington Station in the 70s can be seen working in all its splendor at Don Mills Station. The tail tracks are too short because the Ministry of Transportation apparently refused to allow tunnelling under the 404 at the time the Sheppard line was built. As a result, at Don Mills the blind trips on both tracks remain activated (in the “up” position”) even after the route for an incoming train is set up through the interlocking, resulting in trains slowly crawling into the station and the crossover being occupied for a longer period of time. However, given the wide headway on which the Sheppard line operates, this of course has no effect on service reliability, but I guess it might become a problem in the (distant?) future should service be significantly increased.

    An identical problem occurs at any other terminal when a train is routed onto a platform and there is another train occupying the tailtrack beyond the station on the same side. I guess the 1940′s technology is here to stay.

    Steve: Yes, thank you for reminding us of that foolish design which I have seen add substantially to the queue at Kennedy. It’s not just a case of stashing a train out of the way, but of keeping the terminal operating at full capacity.

  44. L. Wall says:

    By adding a 75′ car into the middle of a TR train and stopping the trains with each end in the tunnels, we would also save money by eliminating the guard position and DWA!

    Steve: The DWA is already problematic because the guards are riding at the back of the TR trains, not in the middle. Stopping with both ends in the tunnel would leave the operator unable to look at the platform other than on video cameras.

  45. Alex (Toronto) says:

    Hey there Steve they should have planned for the early H5 subway car farewell charter in December 2012 so Torontonians can say good bye to those trains, after serving the city of Toronto after more than 30 years on the job like they did with the old H4 subway cars. As for the H6′s they will start retiring shortly sometime after the H5 cars are retired with the first H6′s to leave service starting August 2013 or so when the second batch of TR orders come in with the last H6 subway cars going in early-mid 2014.

    Steve: Subway charters are prohibitively expensive, and even if a group is willing to pay, the TTC throws up roadblocks that make them next to impossible to organize. The general public won’t care, although they may notice the absence of cars whose AC units smell like they haven’t been cleaned since the cars arrived.

  46. Robert Wightman says:

    Steve: The DWA is already problematic because the guards are riding at the back of the TR trains, not in the middle. Stopping with both ends in the tunnel would leave the operator unable to look at the platform other than on video cameras.

    Actually the guards are riding at the rear of all trains on Yonge, H6, T1 or TR. I asked a guard about this and he said they were instructed to do this for consistency of operation.

  47. Jennifer says:

    Hi Steve,

    I just started reading over your series on the capital budget. Thank you for summarizing a lot of the information. You mentioned that this was based off of the Blue Books; I was wondering if that is available to the general public and if so, how I could get a copy or a glimpse of it if it is not available online.

    Thanks!

    Steve: You can arrange to view them through Brad Ross at the TTC or via a member of Council who sits on the TTC as they all have copies.

  48. Robert Wightman said: Actually the guards are riding at the rear of all trains on Yonge, H6, T1 or TR. I asked a guard about this and he said they were instructed to do this for consistency of operation.

    Could that become an issue? The DWA was placed opposite of where the guard’s car would stop. The lighting, benches and cameras are still there, but one safety component (the guard’s presence) has been moved some 100+ feet away.

    Does the TTC eventually plan to move the DWA to the end of the platform as they move the guard to the end of the train?

    Cheers, Moaz

    Steve: No. The premise is that on a TR train, someone who wants to be near a staff member can walk to that part of the train. Of course if we ever go to one-man crews, that will be a long walk for some people.

  49. Alex (Toronto) says:

    As you mentioned Robert Wightman, the guards are at the very last car on all trains on the YUS line such as the H5, T1 and the new TR trains. H6 trains DO NOT operate on the YUS line, they only run on the Bloor Danforth.

  50. Kristian says:

    Alex and Robert are both right – H6 trains do operate on the YUS but only during that ‘creative’ weekend diversion service witnessed in recent times. This raises questions regarding moves toward differing line standards and operating practices – What is the effect of the two lines running with different guard locations if the TTC ever does the diversion service through the wye again? If ATC went into use would they even bother despite having the replacement fixed-block system in place? How might PEDs and longer trains factor into this?

    Steve: You are asking about a detailed level of planning far exceeding what is typical at the TTC. I don’t think they fully understand the implications of having two lines with different operating fleets and cultures.

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