In the midst of all the Transit City postings, something for those who love to monitor the reconstruction of our streetcar system. Here are the track plans for the TTC as published in the 2007 Capital Budget. Note that these will change between now and the actual proposed dates, but it gives a sense of what’s in the pipeline for the next few years.
- Dundas from Morrow to Sterling Road, and from Lansdowne to Broadview including all intersections that have not been recently overhauled.
- St. Clair: exact sections of rebuilding to be announced, but likely the far west end of the line as well as St. Clair West Station Loop. Further details when I get a definitive answer from the TTC.
- Fleet Street from Bathurst to Strachan (starting May 2007) including creation of reserved streetcar lanes between Fleet/Lakeshore and Fort York Blvd. This work also includes the special work at Fleet Loop which is closed at present as being unsafe to operate.
- Queen and Bathurst is listed, but this needs to be confirmed.
Also planned are:
- Changes at Roncesvalles Carhouse so that the first few tracks in the northeast corner of the property will no longer be stub tracks into which vehicles must reverse.
- A storage track inside Davenport Garage (!) at Hillcrest for indoor storage of the Peter Witt car.
- St. Clair: Whatever has not been done in 2007 will be finished in 2008. This will also include the short stretch of track on Vaughan Road from St. Clair south to Bathurst.
- Harbourfront tunnel.
- Bathurst from the bridge south to Fleet Street.
- Roncesvalles from Dundas West to Queen.
- All of the “non-revenue” trackage on Parliament, Wellington, Shaw, Ossington, McCaul, Dufferin, Richmond, Victoria, York (from King north), and Church. In this list, McCaul doesn’t entirely make sense as it was rebuilt (for the first time since pre-TTC days) not long ago and does not see intensive service. The one-way streets downtown will almost certainly lose their wrong-way track, but I hope that the TTC will take advantage of any intersection rebuilds to add missing curves that would be useful in the one-way structure.
- Church Street intersections at Queen, Richmond and Adelaide.
- Spadina intersections at Queen and Dundas. These really don’t make sense as they are less than 15 years old. It is possible that this is a partial rather than a full replacement.
- Bathurst from Bathurst Station to St. Clair including the entrance to Hillcrest Shops
- Queen East from Connaught to Coxwell plus Connaught Avenue.
- Spadina from Sussex to the Bloor Portal. Although this line only opened in 1997, this short section of track is badly worn for some reason.
- Spadina from King to Queen’s Quay, and Queen’s Quay from Spadina to the Harbourfront Portal. This is the original Harbourfront line built about 20 years ago. The track is badly corrugated in spots and causes much noise due to the way the track is build into the road slab with no mechanical isolation.
- King from Queen/Roncesvalles to Close. This completes the reconstruction of the King route.
- Kingston Road from Queen to Bingham Loop.
- Adelaide from Charlotte to Bay, and from Yonge to Church. Finally, Adelaide will be navigable again as a diversion track between Spadina and Church. It has been closed for many years after losing fragments to construction sites.
- McCaul Loop
- York street intersections at Queen, Richmond and Adelaide
At this point, all of the old-style track will be gone except on a few small sections, and the claim that streetcars are “noisy” should disappear with it. This shows the problems of short-term planning with long-term infrastructure.
The TTC tried to save money even after it officially was retaining streetcar operations by going cheap on its track construction. This is laughingly referred to as “state of the art” in the Capital Budget even though it wouldn’t have passed muster in the 1920s. In fact, the TTC stopped building robust track in the late 1960s. This, combined with the all-concrete construction and the use of untreated wood ties produced a network of junk that predictably fell apart in ten years. The CLRVs with their heavy axle loadings and their original noise-generating wheels did the rest. (The wheels were replaced once research proved that they were helping to destroy the trackbed, not to mention their rumblings through neighbourhoods.)
- Part of Roncesvalles Carhouse
- Queen and Parliament, and Queen and Vancouver (west end of Russell Yard)
- King and Bathurst, and King and Spadina (two grand unions!)
- Adelaide and Spadina
- Part of Roncesvalles Carhouse
- Spadina Circle
- Gerrard Street Bridge. This is probably timed to coincide with a city bridge project, but I worry that some of the track here won’t last until 2011. Some of this track was an early attempt at resilient track construction, but it was very poorly done and has been falling apart.
- Long Branch Loop
- King and Parliament
- Wolseley Loop
- Dufferin Loop
- Kipling Loop
- Dundas and ROncesvalles
- Queen’s Quay Loop
- Russell Yard — south end
Some of this work will obviously be affected by new lines now under study in the waterfront area.
[Please don’t send me comments asking how this list was constructed. I am just letting you know what the TTC’s plans are. If you have any authoritative updates, I will add them here.]