All Roads Lead to Spadina

With the construction projects now in progress, the service on Spadina Avenue is an impressive mixture of cars from other routes.  Scheduled PM peak service now consists of:

  • Spadina cars every 2 minutes from King north to Bloor
  • Queen cars every 5’30” from King to Queen
  • Bathurst cars every 5’20” from King to College

Some of the turns to and from Spadina have working transit priority signals, while others don’t and the streetcars have to fight their way through traffic.

Weekend service is almost as frequent especially when extras are thrown in on Queen and Bathurst to compensate for diversion delays.

The new Bathurst/Queen intersection is now assembled, and concrete placement was in progress on the north-east quadrant when I visited earlier today.  Once that work is out of the way, the new intersection track must be connected to the existing tangent rails in all four directions.

This intersection, like other recent work, includes a large amount of vibration insulation including rubber sleeves around the running rails, and rubber encapsulation of the castings except where they are bolted together.

Ed Drass passed one observation about the Bathurst service on to me:  Why is the Bathurst car diverting via College, thereby missing an important destination, Western Hospital, even though the track layout allows a diversion via Dundas?  Did the people planning the diversion not know a Dundas route was possible?  Is there any possibility of changing the diversion before north-south service resumes on November 5?

5 thoughts on “All Roads Lead to Spadina

  1. How about a shuttle service to Wolseley loop?

    Steve: It would have to run with buses as Wolseley cannot be entered by streetcars from the north. The main problem is that Bathurst north of the loop was used as a staging area for construction, although this stage is now completed.

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  2. The issue is not the track at Dundas and Bathurst, but the track on Dundas at Spadina. Track exists from south to east, south to west, and west to north, but nowhere else, I believe. You could put the streetcars south to Dundas and have them divert west, but that would mean having to divert all the way to Howard Park and Roncesvalles, not a very good diversion if you ask me.

    Steve: When this intersection was rebuilt for the Spadina project, the pair of curves in the southwest quadrant was added. I was looking at them yesterday, and have ridden diverted cars around both of them. The design you describe is the pre-1997 layout. Maybe the TTC is using the same old track map.

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  3. I’m hearing that a paid duty officer could have been required to facilitate turning streetcars through the heavier pedestrian volume at Dundas and Spadina, and that the cost was possibly deemed prohibitive by TTC. I have not confirmed this.

    Steve: Considering the heavy delays at all of the turn locations, some sort of assistance would have been quite helpful regardless of which intersection. This is another example of a situation where the TTC should be able to use its own supervisory staff who are “Special Constables” to do the work.

    Oddly, they pay a bundle for pointmen to operate track switches where they have never been electrified or where the automatic system is disabled, but they won’t pay for someone who would get the service around corners and through traffic faster. Never mind that we skip an important traffic generator in the progress.

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  4. I was recently near Chinatown and asked a 505 driver about this. His take is that because of the large pedestrian volume at Dundas and Spadina, it would be difficult for a 511 streetcar to make the right turn at Dundas and Spadina. With the large amount of pedestrians crossing Spadina, you can be sure that there will be delays in traffic and bunching up of other streetcars at that point. Apparently they decided that College and Spadina was easier to manage than Dundas.

    Neither the switches at Dundas and Spadina or College and Spadina work, they have never worked since Spadina’s opening (switchboxes are there, just no switiching equipment, from what he tells me). The time needed for a streetcar operator to get out and manually set the switch would only add to any delay time and considering Dundas and Spadina, it would be considerable.

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  5. Bathurst service has resumed through Queen and Bathurst. This won’t be a surprize to anyone, the shelter was removed during reconstruction of the island on south side of Bathurst and has not been replaced. The lighting is also missing from the island.
    The good news is that the bone jarring ride through the crossing has been reduced.

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