See The Ghost Subway Station! [Updated]

Trips through the little-used legs of the Wye between Bay, St. George and Museum Stations will be standard operation for six weekends from February 24 to March 31, 2007.  Thank to Tim Bryant for pointing out the change in the planned start date.  The TTC page on this event is here:

This unusual operation is required to permit work on the tunnel west of Upper Bay Station where the Bloor line passes under the Park Plaza Hotel.  This can only be achieved by closing the line for a few days at a time.  Conveniently, the wye is in just the right location to permit a subway “diversion”, not the sort of thing you see every day.

The Bloor-Danforth route will “divert” south on University Avenue, turn around and return north so that trains can continue their trips in each direction. 

The westbound service (“Kipling via Museum”) will divert westbound from Yonge Station through Lower Bay Station and south on the University line.  After stopping at Museum to drop off passengers, the trains will deadhead south to Osgoode pocket track.  They will return north, pick up at Museum, turn west through Upper St. George Station and then through the connection track down to the Bloor line and Spadina Station.

The eastbound service (“Kennedy via Museum”) will divert eastbound from Spadina Station through Upper St. George Station and south on University.  After a stop at Museum, the trains will deadhead south to St. Andrew pocket track.  They will return north, pick up at Muesum, turn east through Lower Bay Station and then through the connection track up to Yonge Station on the Bloor line.

Bay Station will be closed, as will Lower St. George.  You will be able to see Lower Bay, but not use it.  Museum will become the grand transfer station for the two Bloor services and the regular University-Spadina trains which will operate over their normal route.

Each of the three routes (Bloor Westbound, Bloor Eastbound and Yonge-University) will run a wider-than-normal 6 minute headway.  This will give enough room for a combined 2 minute headway on University from Museum to Osgoode.  Note that this is possible because the Bloor trains will only be stopping at Museum, and each direction of Bloor-Danforth service has a separate turnback south of Osgoode and St. Andrew stations.  This will keep the folks in the tower busy as they route trains hither and yon all day long, and Museum Station platform will no doubt be the scene of much confusion, at least for the first weekend.

The TTC is lucky to have two separate turnbacks on University so that each of the two services can be managed independently.  Also, with several minutes of dead-heading south from Museum, there will be lots of time for the guards to walk back to the north end of the train and set up for a quick turnaround at the pocket tracks.

37 thoughts on “See The Ghost Subway Station! [Updated]

  1. It’s going to be very interesting to see how they handle the 3-way merge onto University (both branches of Bloor + Spadina). If they can do it with a minimum of delay, it would prove my point that the original wye closure was mostly due to politics. Are they going to put the coils back on all the trains to gong and flip the signs?

    I think it would have been operationally easier to run Finch->Kennedy, Finch->Kiping, and Downsview->Spadina routes, but what do I know. Who knows, the Bloor customers might get to like this pattern.

    If anybody at the TTC reads this, why not keep the trains in service until the pocket tracks? — that way riders won’t have to change at Museum if their destination stop is on University north of Union … and the same in reverse when the trains pull out to head north.


  2. Thats really amazing that we can see the Lower Bay Station…This will go down in History as the first instance that people were able to see the Abandoned Station…And Luckly now we have Digital Cameras to snap pictures of it too…

    I Hope i can check it out myself but getting from Vaughan to Bloor, just to see the station is not justified.

    Im sure the Newspapers will have something about this and a little history about it so that everyone, not just transit fans, knows about Lower Bay.

    Nice move by TTC.


  3. To answer Joseph C … most people already do know about it.  When the wye originally closed, the public outcry was huge.  The Toronto Star carried a huge poll in the paper the week after and most passengers from the west wanted the Y back (at least during the rush hours), but the TTC would not hear of it.  Passengers from the east pretty much didn’t care.  It was an east-coast west-coast kind of divide.  I seem to recall one dirty incident where SIX Woodbine trains passed by in a row late at night and a bunch of people got stranded on the platform when the subway closed — they had been waiting in vain for a Keele train!!


  4. This is quite interesting what the TTC is doing.  Aside from the fact that Lower Bay station will be semi-open to the public, the fact that the TTC used this kind of diversion is surprising to me.  I noticed that the TTC usually likes to keep things simple (e.g. fare system), and this seems like one of the more complex things they have done.  Just like you said Steve, there are going to be a lot of confused riders on the first weekend, possibly for the whole six weeks!

    That being said, this is a railfan’s dream come true.  Now that Lower Bay is open, transit fans will be taking pictures of the secret station, refurbished or not!


  5. Typical TTC. For years–decades, in this case–saying something cannot possibly be done, then going ahead and doing it!
    Remindes me of Father Duddleswell’s line in “Bless me, Father” : “In the Catholic church, everything is forbidden until it is compulsory”!


  6. In response to Mimmo’s first point about service operating Finch-Kennedy, Finch-Kipling, Downsview-Spadina, operationally there would be crews from each line operating in unfamiliar territory on the other line, which would likely require some amount of “refresher” training beforehand. The setup being used minimizes the amount of “off-route” operation. BD crews need only get trained to use the wye and as far as the St. Andrew-Union centre track and it’s business-as-usual for YUS crews other than waiting for the signals to continue south of St. George.

    Also, emptying the trains at Museum ensures that there is enough time to clear any wayward passengers and for the guard to set up for turnaround. If you transfer from a BD train and want to go to Osgoode another train should be along in two minutes. Given that, is it worth the effort keeping the train in service all the way to Osgoode or St. Andrew? Of course we’ll see how well this really turns out in practice.

    As for coils, they were last used in December 2004, and my understanding is that they are all gone. A good idea though if they were running Finch-Kennedy or Finch-Kipling.


  7. Is all the switching going to be done manually?

    The 3 entrances and 3 exits to the wye used to be controlled by 6 ATDs.  These are long gone — what did the TTC replace them with?  Can the wye be pre-programmed to operate automatically now as it did then?

    Steve:  All of this will have to be manual.  Don’t forget that there are also the turnbacks at Osgoode and St. Andrew.  Indeed, manual is preferable.  The old “automatic” system enforced strict interleaving of each service rather than first-come, first-served, and produced vastly more delays than were necessary. 

    The fact that the TTC scheduled it as one totally integrated line with trains switching routes all the time, rather than as three separate services, doomed the operation from opening day.  The schedule was impressive, but utterly impractical.  (I have a copy, but don’t ask me to post it — it’s on two huge sheets of paper.)


  8. Though I, like most Torontonians, have never seen Lower Bay station I assume it is not lit.  Maybe the TTC could turn on the lights – or plug in a few floodlights – during these weekend diversions so we can all see what’s there?

    Steve:  The lights are on all the time.


  9. Wow! This is so unexpected, and so exciting! Sorry if I sound like a little kid, but this is good stuff! It’ll be neat to see how they handle merging three routes on University, not to mention finally getting to see Lower Bay. My week-ends are officially booked from Feb 18 to March 31! Of course, my wife may have other ideas…


  10. This question is for Robert or anybody else in the know … why is it the TTC never used the Identra coils to actually signal the switches at the Y? This is what Chicago did at their junctions to set up routes at interlocking sections, and it was a much more intelligent and flexible system.

    Steve:  The Identra coils did signal the Y to set up routes, but the train dispatching system enforced the train sequencing at the merge points.  Rather than a first come first server system, the TTC instituted a scheme guaranteed to foul up service, prove that the Y “wouldn’t work” and let them get on with running separate lines as they had always wanted.


  11. In regards to running Kipling-Finch, Kennedy-Finch and Downsview-Spadina, 3 additional concerns emerge:

    1) Passengers heading south of Spadina (eg downtown, or transfer to B-D) would need to transfer twice to eastbound Danforth trains (once at Spadina, another at another station, most likely Museum or Bloor-Yonge).

    2) The connection at Spadina is rather inconvienent, with the long walkway and seperate platforms in use.

    3) Frequencies between Museum and Finch would be shorter than required (4 minutes), which means more operators need to be found for the weekend.

    I wish as well that it could be operated in this way (mostly restoring the original interlining), but there are too many technicalities to figure out for a temporary weekend diversion.


  12. Andrew,

    But, during the weekend, all Bloor passengers would have a transfer-free ride all the way downtown (and that’s where most of them are going). Those coming from the east could still transfer at Bloor-Yonge. Those from the west would just go down University and “around the horn” to reach any station on Yonge.

    We can thank the TTC for removing the walkways at Spadina, but those passengers would only have to switch once to get downtown, or twice to get on a Danforth train.

    They could operate each branch on an 8-minute headway for a combined 4-minute headway on Yonge-University. This is much better than what they’re currently proposing.


  13. A few questions on informing passengers of the diversion, to reduce confusion:

    1. Will there be any indication of where trains are going other than the rollsigns? Could the P.A. system be used for this purpose? I presume that there are no other ways to do this, since the old “Next Train” signs are broken and there are no ad screens in Museum station.

    Steve:  I expect lots of announcements, but they have to be careful to craft one that works everywhere.  The proposed temporary map shows two new routes:  Gray from Museum to Kipling, and Orange from Museum to Kennedy.

    2. Will temporary signs be used to indicate that trains are going to Museum, since there is no indication for Museum on the new rollsigns? Or, will the rollsigns be set to “Downtown”, “St. George” or “Union Station”?

    Steve:  The trains will be signed “Kennedy” and “Kipling” as appropriate.

    3. Will ad screens and P.A. announcements be used to inform passengers of this diversion?

    Steve:  Considering that the TTC only has one small line on the ad screen normally, it will be interesting to see if there is any capability of taking over the whole sign.  This is supposed to exist, but I have never seen it used even for major emergencies. 


  14. Steve wrote, “The fact that the TTC scheduled it as one totally integrated line with trains switching routes all the time, rather than as three separate services, doomed the operation from opening day.”

    I believe that political forces within the TTC doomed the operation from well before that, during the design phase.

    As we all know, as separate lines only Upper Bay is used and St. George has YUS trains on the upper level and BD trains on the lower level. With interlining, if you were an eastbound passenger at Bay or a westbound passenger at St. George, you wouldn’t know what level you needed to board at until you arrived at the station and checked the signage to see which level would receive the next train.

    At Bay, westbound passengers board at the upper level (as they do now) and downtown passengers board on the lower level. Eastbound passengers would have their trains alternate between the upper (coming from the west) and the lower (coming from downtown). A similar situation occurs at St. George for westbound passengers.

    Many other cities around the world have services that involve some form of interlining, but it is generally not done in a way that requires checking for alternate platforms (notwithstanding South Yarra station in Melbourne!). If the plan really were to have interlining, the track alignment in the stations would not have been built as if they were separate lines.

    I strongly suspect that politics was involved. It is far easier to get approval to extensions to existing lines than to build totally new lines (which has really only occurred twice: the original Yonge line, and the Sheppard line). All other subway development at the TTC has been extensions of the existing system — the Bloor-Danforth line was likely to be a new line, but politics entered and it could only get off the ground if it were presented as an extension to the existing system.

    That may a rather cynical view, but I challenge anyone to prove that wasn’t behind it in at least some small way. The Sheppard line only got off the drawing board after the project was cut back to an affordable piece that ended up being known as the “subway to nowhere”, but just watch the proud politicians there to open up extensions of it (assuming a total change of heart to real LRT does not take place).


  15. Another fly in the ointment of running Downsview – Spadina is the innaccesible YUS at Spadina. Even on a temporary basis, I doubt the TTC would operate a non-accessible transfer point.


  16. I hope the TTC gives the public a lot of warning in advance of the changes, other than the usual “post the changes on the website the DAY AFTER they have been implemented”. This gives the impression they really don’t give a damn.
    Unlike OC Transpo here in Ottawa, who post changes weeks in advance, and, except for the fiasco of the O-Train expansion (which is really a city hall fiasco), actually informs the public about changes right from first proposal.


  17. This is in response to Calvin’s post — the TTC didn’t design the Bloor-University system — Norman Wilson did.

    Mr. Wilson arranged the platforms to support integrated *and* segregated operation. Integration was intended to run ONLY during rush hours.  This is why he didn’t design Bloor-Yonge, St. George, and Bay as wide platform high-volume major transfer points.

    The signage at Bay was pretty straight forward. Passengers waited on the upper level and arrows would light up (not flash) on a directional sign to tell you whether it was Bay Lower or Upper that would receive the next eastbound train.

    Yes, sometimes you would just miss a train on the lower level and have to climb back up the stairs (even at St. George), but contrary to Steve’s earlier post, the services didn’t always strictly alternate between platforms, especially later in the day as delays piled up.  The branches were so frequent that even if you missed the first available train, so what?

    Steve:  I watched and rode the integrated operation, have a copy of the schedule in all its gory details, and have read the reports of big problems  with strict interlining causing delays on one branch to propogate to the others.  The branches were “so frequent” only in the peak period when the combined headway was just over two minutes, but off peak, the trains came about every eight minutes through upper or lower Bay (and similarly at St. George).

    The way the schedule was designed and operated, service screwups were guaranteed thereby “justifying” a move to separate routes.  The TTC gets itself into similar problems with scheduled short turns on the Yonge line where the turnback trains have to fit into a precise spot because the sequence is required for proper operation of the next trip.  If the short turns and through trains were treated as two separate routes, it would not matter which sequence they were in relative to each other.  The short turns would always be “trippers” that came out for the peak and disappeared back into the carhouse afterward.


  18. I don’t think that interlining ever really made very much sense because of the way the interlined service was arranged. The interlined service from both ends of the city went down University, which was not the final destination of most people, rather than down the more heavily populated Yonge. This did have the positive effect of keeping the University line open, however. Interlined operation was really only useful for people going from Keele or Woodbine to points on the University line or the southern Yonge line, although it saved little or no time compared to walking up the stairs at St. George. It was not very useful for people going from Eglinton to Keele or Woodbine or vice versa, since it would have usually been faster to transfer at Bloor-Yonge (especially on Eglinton-Keele). Finally, it was very inconvenient for cross-town east-west traffic, which has increased significantly.

    If I were building the subway, I would have scrapped interlining at the design stage, although I would have kept the wye (minus Lower Bay) for transferring trains between lines. Then, I would have made the platforms at St. George and Bloor-Yonge much wider.


  19. Steve, has the TTC ALWAYS looked at the subway’s scheduling operation as totally different from surface routing?  Even in 1954?  I was never sure about this, but were not the cross-overs at St. Clair, Bloor, College and King meant as short-turn measures, and were they EVER used (other than Bloor)?

    Steve:  The original crossovers at King, College, Bloor and St. Clair were not electrified and could only be used in emergencies with staff at track level to throw the switches manually.  They were extremely rarely used.  Decades later, the crossover at Bloor was electrified, and the others were removed.  I have seen trains turned manually at King and know of one occasion when this happened at College.


  20. Andrew, with respect to running Downsview to Spadina, Kipling to Finch, and Kennedy to Finch. I agree with you about the complications in transfering from the Spadina line to downtown, as passengers would have to transfer at Spadina, then at Museum. However, why not run all the way (i.e. Downsview to Finch)? The result, if each line had an 8 minute headway, would be trains every 2 min 40 sec all through downtown, and up yonge street. Which would help meet demand on the Yonge line.

    Personally, I think they should look more seriously at interlining for today’s system. Lines from Kipling to Finch, Kennedy to Finch, Downsview to Finch, and Kipling to Kennedy. This would remove significant demand from Yonge-Bloor station, instead of trying to build that crazy 3 platfrom scheme that didn’t work because the station would have been shut down for 6 months. Headways would be 4 minutes on Bloor-Danforth, assuming 8 minute headways on every line, 2 mintues 40 seconds from Museum to Finch, and 8 minutes on Spadina. This would address capacity constraints on the Yonge line, and excess capacity on the Spadina line. One Finch bound line could also be turn onto the Sheppard line, which would put more demand on the Sheppard line by removing the transfer. But…these are just my dreams!


  21. Yes Steve this is true. In fact, the transit authorities of London and New York told the TTC at the time that the wye would work, but to NOT EVEN TRY to run the services through the “triangle” in a strict sequence during the peak periods. TTC policy at the time was to preserve the strict sequencing for delays up to 15 minutes — after that they improvised. A delay southbound at Museum would, within minutes, cause all east-west service on Bloor to stop, as well as northbound University service.


  22. I can’t wait to see all the hand-written, duct-taped, undesigned signs the TTC will be plastering all over these stations.  Can you say recipe for confusion?

    Steve:  There is actually a new route map with two new line colours:  grey for Bloor and orange for Danforth.  The real question will be how many of these will still be on display by July.


  23. Was the possibility ever considered of running alternative termini (interlining) for the Yonge and Sheppard lines where, say, every second or third train going north on Yonge would be a “Don Mills”?  Given the shortness of the Sheppard line and that the Yonge line generates most of its eastbound traffic, this would seem to make sense and not be inordinately complex from an operational standpoint.

    Steve:  Because of the track layout, a Yonge-to-Don Mills train would not actually stop at Sheppard/Yonge station.  This could be rather confusing.  Also, there is no corresponding west-to-south curve to allow a corresponding inbound movement in the morning.  If this had been the design, Sheppard and Yonge would be completely different than it is today.

    We also must remember that when this line was being designed, it was going all the way over to Downsview as a through east-west service, and the Yonge line was going to loop north and west into an extended Spadina line as another option.  Neither of these would work well with an integrated Don Mills to/from downtown scheme.


  24. This thread is getting interesting — in the 60s downtown was anything south of Queen, so the interlined service made sense. Yonge didn’t have enough room to soak up all the Bloor passengers (and still doesn’t today) — that’s why University was built in the first place.

    It would make sense now, but we have Spadina, so we can’t do it anymore. Had interlining been kept, the Spadina route would have followed the Christie alignment and Christie would have become an interchange. Eventually the line would have been extended south down Grace to Queen and into the core. If the arrangement had been kept, service into the core would be better than it is today. The TTC shot itself in the foot.

    Off topic — Adam Giambrone doesn’t own a car? I’m all for transit, but that’s weird. How can a young guy like that manage without a car? — this isn’t Manhattan.

    Steve:  The real tragedy for core area capacity was that we did not build the Don Mills line.  I might argue about whether it should have been LRT, but if a subway was going to be built, it would have been a much better candidate than Sheppard.  However, there was a marriage of convenience between Jack Layton who didn’t want more transit capacity into the core (in the vain hope that somehow development would be choked off) and Mel Lastman who wanted his subway on Sheppard.  Jack supported the Sheppard line in exchange for the demise of the Don Mills proposal.

    As for Adam Giambrone’s travel arrangements, I suspect that he does the same as me — use cabs and friends with cars as and when needed.


  25. Brendan: Yes, full interlining would be good, and benificial to the subway system.  However, a peak headway of 8 minutes on Spadina is too short.  The TTC’s standard is approximately 6 minutes headway maximum (what Sheppard runs on now).  The short headways will drive people away.

    Steve:  I assume that you mean that an 8 minute headway is too little service, that is to say, too wide a gap to be attractive.  Also, the policy headway on lines other than Sheppard is 5 minutes.

    The Spadina subway was meant to relieve pressure from Yonge, so taking off trains from Spadina and putting them on Yonge will not solve matters.  Also, Bloor-Danforth is busy enough that the 4 minute headways you’ve provided will certainly overcrowd the line.  Steve will provide comments about the serious peak overcrowding at stations close to Yonge.

    Steve:  Ah yes.  I went west from Broadview in the morning rush hour on Monday, December 11, and had to let two trains go past before I could get on one that clearly, based on its light load, had come out of Greenwood Yard as an extra.

    Perhaps an additon could be Downsview-Spadina (it would be inconvienent, but turning trains at St. George is near impossible (the crossover is on the east side), and the University line would be too crowded to run more trains).  More trains can be run on the Kipling-Kennedy stretch to fill in service.  This, however, brings up the strictness issue the TTC will no doubt impose.


  26. Joseph C Says:

    “And Luckly now we have Digital Cameras to snap pictures of it too…”

    I never understand this thinking. Some of us were snapping away in the TTC with fast film long before this whole digital camera thing took off …🙂


  27. “I never understand this thinking.  Some of us were snapping away in the TTC with fast film long before this whole digital camera thing took off … :)”

    All I meant by that was before most people didn’t just click away because each picture is each wasted exposure which is each print payed for.

    With Digital Cameras you can literally click away because all you need is memory, put it all onto a computer and print out whatever photos actually look good.

    With a Film Camera you either process it all or just don’t process it period.  There was no middle option.

    Thats what i was trying to say.

    Steve:  Ah technology changes.  Of course the really serious railfans had motor drives on their cameras and burned through slide film at an astonishing rate.

    For me, the far more interesting trend has been that still pictures are holding their own over videos.  Aside from the vast amount of memory a moving image requires, a still photo can be composed, cropped, shaded and easily manipulated digitally (or in the old darkroom style too).  A video image can be screwed up so easily by camera shake, crappy lighting, unexpected stuff wandering into frame.

    Whatever you’re using, have fun!


  28. Hey Steve, just to confirm, is this still going through?

    I haven’t seen anything on the TTC’s website, but then again, that’s no surprise.

    Steve:  Yes, this operation starts next Sunday, the 18th.  The TTC claims that it is going to do a good job of informing the public on this one.  We shall see.


  29. I saw signs at Museum and St. George station about this today, and they weren’t the TTC’s usual photocopied or handwritten signs – they were made of plastic and glued onto the pillars. And they actually had useful information about the rerouting!


  30. Regarding the comment made by Steve. I hope the TTC places these signs/posters regarding the rerouting in all subway stations. People needing to travel further east then Spadina from the west or west of Yonge from the east need to know why the trains are going a different way on the weekends. Not everyone checks the TTC website for information because of the difficulty in using it.

    I have seen signs to date at Museum and St. George Stations, as well as one just sitting on a seat in a car on a BD train. With luck, they will install them in all of the trains, not just in the stations, as they are more important than the innumerable ads for, for example, the Special Constables.


  31. Today I took the subway over to the Annex, and experienced first hand how the TTC managed the Bloor-Danforth diversion. While it was very cool to see Lower Bay and the tunnels in the wye, I think it would have been better for riders if the TTC had carried out the diversions differently.

    I think there should have been a YUD route, a YUB route, and a separate Spadina route running from Downsview to Spadina. Even though Spadina isn’t an accessible station, I think it would have been much better for overall service. Train traffic through the wye was bad during the mid-day hour I was on the subway, and Musuem station was absolutely packed because every single passenger on a Bloor or Danforth train had to get off there. By running YUD and YUB routes, those people heading downtown would have been able to stay on their train, which would have greatly reduced the crowds and confusion at Museum. Another benefit would have been a significant reduction in train traffic through the wye, because there would have been only two routes heading south via Musuem, instead of the three that were in place today. Going back home, the train I was on waited several minutes at Spadina (on Bloor), a few more minutes in the tunnel, and again several minutes at Upper St George. In total, it took close to ten minutes to get from Spadina to Museum.

    The bottom line is that Spadina carries far fewer riders than Bloor/Danforth, and I think that should be taken into account when planning this diversion. Having said that, I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining – it was great fun going through the wye and Lower Bay, and I’ll do it again several times over the coming weekends. These diversions are much better than shuttle buses, that’s for sure!

    Steve: The scheme you propose was an alternative advocated by some within the TTC, but they lost out on that debate.

    As for delays at the wye, the big problem seems to be long dwell times southbound at Museum to chase passengers off of trains. You can’t run a two minute headway and have trains sit for 45-60 seconds at the stop immediately after the point everything merges together.


  32. One thing that I noticed about the rerouted trains today is that the announcements being made by several subway operators led to confusion and to more disruption to passengers’ normal routine than was necessary.

    I was on a northbound YUS train approaching Museum when an announcement was made that all passengers transferring to the Bloor Line both eastbound and westbound must switch trains at Museum. As passengers headed West could in fact still transfer at St.George, a station that is much better designed for this transfer it would have reduced confusion on the Museum platform had the operator only asked eastbound passengers to disembark.

    Conversely on my way downtown approaching St.George on BD eastbound despite the fact that north and southbound transfers could take place at St.George the operator announced that those transferring to the southbound YUS should remain on the train and transfer at Museum.

    Steve: This is one of those cases where there’s no simple answer. I think the approach that was taken was to have one message: transfer at Museum. It’s easy to explain, and it simplifies maps, announcements, handbills, etc. Also, it allows the TTC to concentrate their assistance at one location. If there was a problem at St. George, it was that they were thin on the ground with staff to deal with lost passengers trying to get downstairs (including by elevator). Lots and lots of signs, but people don’t always read them or understand exactly how the info affects their trip. However, I did see a TTC worker helping a blind man for whom the complete rearrangement of subway service was obviously a big challenge. In coming weeks, there will be a larger body of regular riders who understand how things work and explain it to others, and I expect that we won’t have as many problems.

    In both cases that passengers were being funneled unnecessarily into Museum Station.


  33. I was surprised to see the Bloor-University wye running so smoothly this weekend. Aside from the Museum switch commiting suicide on Saturday afternoon, most trains were not held on the Museum approach. Of course, there was no merging on the other wye exits to slow things down, but I hope the TTC will look at using the wye for some rush hour trains in the future (especially from the west). It can work smoothly with the right dispatching pattern in place and would probably divert many passengers away from the overcrowded Bloor-Yonge interchange.

    The best part of the ride is going through the very high ceiling/cavern structure on the westbound->southbound track. I noticed they installed a camera on the platform and really cleaned up the place, and the graffiti on the tunnel walls. Still, it looked pretty bad.

    And, all of the weirdos come out of the woodwork to see it. Who cares about the station — it’s the convenience of a transfer-free ride downtown that counts.


  34. This diversion is going to occur for several weekends. Did the TTC ever consider opening Lower Bay station? If not was this because of the work going on at the station itself or are there other reasons?

    Steve: The stairways are walled off and there are no escalators (aside from the relatively tidy collection of escalator parts on the platform). At the very least, the walls would have to be torn out to provide wide enough pathways for people in case of an emergency at the lower level. A single, standard-sized door does not meet code for a subway station.


  35. Hi Steve:-

    I was working in the subway on track maintenance when the King, College and St. Clair X-overs were removed. It was a great planning and execution exercise in how to remove existing special work and have the track safely back in service in the a.m.

    As to those X-overs being used, I understood that King was used when the Union Stn. subway train fire had happened so that trains would be kept away from the site of the problem.

    I witnessed the facing switches at St.Clair being used on two occassions while out on switch inspections, with signal maintainers and way staff, in the wee a.m. hours. Cars RT-14 and 15, trained together, were sent from the NB to the SB track to change ends for a return to Greenwood yard. The sizziling, arcing and sparking from all of the wheels while fighting for a ground was something in itself but more particularly from the shoes on the dirty and corroded short legs of power rail as they mimiced an arc welding operation.

    Steve: As part of the resignalling of the YUS, these three crossovers (King, Bloor and Rosehill) are to be reinstalled and automated. If they had not been m anual crossovers originally, I doubt they would have been removed. This will happen sometime in the next 8 years or so.


  36. I am not clear … when the interling experiment was operational how does a delay affect the whole system?

    If a train was delayed at Museum, couldn’t the east west trains just keep going east – west and the Yonge trains north south Union to Eglinton.

    If there was a delay on the Yonge line … couldn’t the rest of the trains be turned back at Union. etc.

    I am not clear how a delay affected the whole system!!!

    Steve: The TTC scheduled the operation in a way that required all of the trains to stay in the correct order on the system, rather than treating each of three services as a separate “route”. This was done to preserve the alternation of destinations on each branch even through headway changes before and after the peak periods. However, the result is that if a train from Woodbine going downtown was late, its mate coming from Keele to downtown had to wait before going through the wye.

    In effect, bad design of the schedule ensured that maintaining service was much more complex than it had to be.

    You can see a variation on this problem with the integrated operation this weekend, but the difficulty is more that there are more trains trying to go down University Avenue than the line has capacity for. This is not helped by long dwell times at Museum.


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