[My thanks to the Transit Toronto site from which I picked up this information. With the Film Festival in progress, I’ve been a bit distracted.]
The TTC recently presented details of its preferred location and proposed layout for a new carhouse in the Port Lands. Of several sites considered, the now-vacant land at the south-east corner of Leslie and Lake Shore wins out. The land is close to Queen Street (only a few blocks to the north), and as vacant land can be easily redeveloped.
The presentation linked from the project’s website gives an overview of the site selection process as well as drawings of the new carhouse.
The big issue now will be funding. Over the past year, the debate centred on getting and paying for 204 new streetcars, but nobody talked about the carhouse they would need. That’s one of the outstanding issues going into the capital budget planning for coming years.
One item of great interest is that the drawing on page 15 clearly states that the yard capacity is 100 cars, plus 36 cars inside the carhouse.
The long-term status of Roncesvalles and Russell is undecided at this point. In the short term, they will be needed to house the existing CLRV/ALRV fleet. However, the proposed new carhouse is clearly too small, and the TTC must intend to use another site, possibly the nearby Russell Yard, as a spillover location.
Page 15 shows the interior of the carhouse with 36 LRV’s present. This means that they have room for 136 cars. You could also store about 10 cars on some of the other tracks in the yard and still leave a run around track available.
I think that it would make more sense to rebuild Roncesvalles as this would allow them to store vehicles in the east and west ends of the city which would also reduce run in times.
I see that they were also looking at the CNE grounds. Considering how underutilized this has become I think that it would have made a good location and been central to most of the streetcar lines.
Steve: I have updated the post to reflect the capacity of the carhouse building. Thanks for flagging this.
It’s not like all 204 new cars are going to arrive magically on a single day, while we still have our entire fleet of CLRVs and ALRVs.
It doesn’t sound unreasonable to build a new facility with capacity for about half of the new fleet. As the new fleet arrives and some CLRVs and ALRVs are retired and cannibalized for parts, there will come a time when they can be consolidated at either Roncesvalles or Russell while the other is redeveloped for use with new cars.
The key is to figure out the time line for this to make it work!
I would have to place my bet on Russell closing after Ronces is redone to accommodate the new model and the final vehicle of the existing fleet retired. Ronces is far too strategically located for the TTC to permenantly let go, and with Russell so close to the Portlands carhouse, Russell becomes redundant (don’t put all your LRVs in one carhouse).
Steve: One problem Ronces may have is the odd shape of the lot. In any event, this decision is many years off.
I’m with Calvin here. Once we get enough new cars, the existing CLRV’s and ALRV’s will officially retire, opening up space in existing yards. 100 in the new yard, and even 50 in each of the old yards pretty covers everything (assuming at least 4 do overnight services). You don’t need to fix them in the old yards, just shove em there when not in use. See the Malton Garage, Mississauga.
Steve: My point here was that earlier in the presentation, the two existing carhouses are rejected as unsuitable sites. A reader might have the impression that this means they would not be used for the new fleet, but that cannot be true.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding the discussion, but don’t they make their plans clear on page 5 of the presentation PDF?
“Russell will store 55 new LRV’s and Roncesvalles will store 53 new LRV’s.”
Steve: There is no reference to storage at existing carhouses in the presentation.
On Page 4, they say:
On the City’s website for this project, we read:
This implies any continued use of the old carhouse will require reconstruction for the new fleet.
The “Page 5” you refer to is on a June presentation that contained the same “Page 4” text as above, but also included a “Page 5” with the following:
This information is out of sync with current claims about suitability of the old carhouses.
Why are we only talking about fitting the new fleet – what about fleet expansion? If one of the existing carhouses is closed then we’re pretty much doomed to service cuts in the long run.
Replacing 225 or so existing & functioning CLRV/ALRVs with only 204 new streetcars is a recipe for disaster – we passengers will have to wait considerably longer for a streetcar, which will drive away ridership (pun intended).
Given Steve’s previous comments on the increased headways that the new streetcar fleet will result in and how that reduces ridership, such as ALRVs on the 511 Bathurst & 501 Queen lines, there should really be a push to retain some of the CLRV cars, to intersperse them with the new larger, low-floor streetcars.
Concurrent with this will be the need for streetcar yards to house them.
It seems to me that the TTC’s once again looking at only providing minimum service, instead of planning for different scenarios like much increased service for much higher ridership. The TTC’s current streetcar plan doesn’t leave them much flexibility for providing more service, except for bustitution. Plus the lack of a Transit City Streetcar Plan indicates the low priority the TTC gives it’s streetcar network, even though this network carries the bulk of it’s surface passengers.
Steve’s post today about how the TTC underestimated & slagged the popularity of the Metropass, even though it’s great for us passengers, is a case in point of the TTC’s estimation & planning skills, as well as their bias against doing good things for passengers.
However, this may be exactly what the TTC wants, to close down those pesky streetcar lines.
This carhouse looks like it will only have one connection to the streetcar network. If, from some reason, Leslie St is closed to traffic in the early morning, that means no streetcars.
Perhaps by 2020 or 2030, the Waterfront East LRT will reach the end of Commissioners street and there will be an alternative connection.
Also, why do they always add unnecessary wiggles in bike paths? Some people use their bikes to get to places. They aren’t just for Sunday cyclists.
Thanks for setting me straight; I apologize for my stupidity!
Steve: Not stupidity. It’s tricky keeping track of various TTC proposals, how they change, and where the internal contradictions lie. Russell and Ronces will continue, but they will need to be more than just a yard full of cars. Some indoor facilities will be needed for routine maintenance and cleaning (just as at existing carhouses), and that implies renovation or replacement of existing buildings. That should be included in the overall plan.
Kristian said: Why are we only talking about fitting the new fleet – what about fleet expansion? If one of the existing carhouses is closed then we’re pretty much doomed to service cuts in the long run.
The existing fleet needs to retired regardless of what the expansion plans are. Expansion will require ordering more of the new cars, not keeping the old ones.
There is a need for at least 3 carhouses for the interim while both fleets are in operation, estimated to be a roughly 6-year period, but after the conversion from one fleet to the other is complete, it is unlikely that 3 carhouses will be required.
If new routes are created, however, then it is a different ballgame, and a new carhouse, perhaps in the northern part of the network, would be in order. 3 south-end carhouses should be unnecessary at any rate.
Lakeshore Mike said: Replacing 225 or so existing & functioning CLRV/ALRVs with only 204 new streetcars is a recipe for disaster – we passengers will have to wait considerably longer for a streetcar, which will drive away ridership (pun intended).
Once spare rations of the existing fleet compared to what it should be for the new fleet are taken into consideration, it can reasonably be concluded that headways will remain about the same as they are today (scheduled… for whatever that’s worth).
Steve: Even allowing for restitution of service on Roncesvalles and St. Clair, the peak service requirement by fall 2010 will only be 158 CLRVs and 38 ALRVs. That’s a 19% spare ratio for CLRVs and 25% for ALRVs.
Does anyone know what operational cost differences in terms of electricity etc. to run ALRVs over CLRVs? Since presumably the driver gets paid the same to drive both, wouldn’t it make sense to operate ALRVs instead of CLRVs where there are units available even when service standards notionally call for CLRVs to provide a more comfortable experience (no standing)?
Steve: Electricity is at most 10% of the operating cost of the vehicle. The problem is that ALRVs are not available even to run service scheduled to use them, let alone improve capacity on CLRV-based routes.
The local paper ‘The Mirror’ reports that the facility is ‘on hold’ [Sept 25 – page 3] due to the need to negotiate a ‘myriad legal of issues’ with the Toronto Port Authority.
Dave R in the Beach says:
September 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm
“The local paper ‘The Mirror’ reports that the facility is ‘on hold’ [Sept 25 – page 3] due to the need to negotiate a ‘myriad legal of issues’ with the Toronto Port Authority.”
I know that this will not be popular in some places but maybe Toronto could make a trade: drop opposition to the Island Tunnel for the car house property.