TTC Capital Budget 2010-2019 (2): Subway Fleet and Service Plans

The TTC Capital Budget contains many projects related to subway fleet, capacity and future operations.  Collectively, these projects amount to billions of dollars and many of them are not yet funded.

There are two major problems faced by subway planners:

  • Everything has a very long lead time, and plans made today need to balance between overspending on capacity we might not need and underspending that could produce future constraints on service.
  • Everything costs a lot of money, and unexpected additions to the budget can crowd out other necessary projects.

Large organizations and projects share issues familiar to many:

  • Left hand, right hand.  One department plans on the assumption that another project will actually happen in the announced manner and on a definite timescale.  Plans change, but co-ordination is less than perfect, and plans go out of sync.
  • In for a penny, in for a pound.  A project is “sold” politically on the basis of improvements it can bring.  However, actually achieving these improvements triggers the need for many follow-on works that are not budgeted.  Proponents of the first project in this chain innocently claim that they were simply creating the ability for some future enhancement.  Privately the attitude may be that the politicians would never approve something if they knew how much it would actually cost.  In a robust economy, the extra funding is always found somewhere, but when times are tight, budget surprises are unwelcome.

Both of these effects can be seen in the TTC’s subway fleet and service plans.

In the detailed budget papers, we find the following statement:

Provision for additional cars to facilitate line expansion or reduced headway operation associated with ATC resignalling can be accommodated in the existing car order as a result of 10% capacity gains with the new TR subway cars.  (page 973)

Unfortunately, the truth is not quite what the TTC claims.  Here are the actual fleet plans as shown in the detailed papers.

Yonge-University-Spadina Fleet Plan

Bloor-Danforth Fleet Plan

In the YUS plan, note how the additional capacity of the Toronto Rocket (TR) cars is used to reduce the total train requirement by up to 9 trains in the out years.  The TTC can’t have it both ways — either they will provide more capacity with roomier trains, or they will provide the same capacity with fewer trains.

Additional trains are forecast in:

  • 2010 (3 trains) to extend the St. Clair West short turn to Glencairn
  • 2013 (5 trains) to provide additional capacity taking advantage of automatic operation (ATO)
  • 2015 (9 trains) to extend the Spadina subway including shifting the short turn operation to Wilson
  • 2019 and 2020 (1 train each) for ridership growth

The 2010 adjustment won’t affect headways, but will simply add capacity between St. Clair West and Glencairn.

The 2013 adjustment presumes the availability of ATO to handle closer headways, but this isn’t actually needed!  The six trains deducted from requirements due to TR capacity more than compensate for the five trains added for better service.  The result will be a headway almost identical to what operates today, and ATO is not required to support it.  The fleet plan clearly shows the number of trains in service on YUS declining between 2010 and 2012 from 49 to 45 trains as the TR fleet gradually displaces the existing T1 and H fleets, with a jump back to 50 trains in 2013.

Out in 2021, 60 TR trains, allowing for the Spadina extension, will provide almost the same frequency of service as the TTC operates today with 48 T1/H trains.

Current service provides a capacity of about 25.5k/hr based on 1,000 passengers per train (design level for service, not crush load) and 25.5 trains/hr.  The TTC believes that there is a 10% latent demand for capacity that is not met by current service, and that there will be a 1.35% annual growth over the next decade.  The combined effect of these factors gives a growth of about 30% by 2021.

However, most of the improvement the TTC plans is the added space within the TR fleet, roughly 10%.  Therefore the planned fleet and level of service will not be able to handle demand projected by the TTC’s own assumptions.

Using TR equipment with a design capacity of 1,100 passengers per train, the YUS could handle 33k/hr with 30 trains/hr or a 120 second headway.  If these were T1 or H trains, this would require a 109-second headway.

Such headways, even with ATO, would be difficult to sustain on the current system given the geometry of Finch Station.  This has not been addressed in TTC plans because they assume the line will be extended further north, and a short-turn operation will eliminate this problem.  However, the Richmond Hill line would not open until at least 2019 even it were funded, and that’s a $3.8-billion (current estimate) hole in everyone’s budget.

I do not argue that we are wasting money on ATO (the YUS does need updated signal equipment).  However, the City and TTC are being hoodwinked if they think that substantial additional capacity will be provided within the existing budget and fleet plan.  Moreover, that plan, based on the premise that headways will become too short to be managed without ATO, includes the premature replacement of the H6 fleet.  The option for additional trains must be exercised by mid-2010.

The TTC claims that replacing the H6 fleet now is cost-effective on a Net Present Value basis, partly due to the discount available from Bombardier to keep the TR production line going.  This effectively replaces future operating costs (maintenance) with a capital expenditure, and we must believe that the future savings will actually be achieved to justify spending scarce capital now.

Why doesn’t the TTC keep the H6 trains on BD and run T1 trains on YUS?  It turns out that the T1s, the pride of the fleet only a few years ago, will cost a lot of money to upgrade with ATO equipment.  The TTC also claims that keeping the H6 fleet alive is not cost effective and it should be replaced now because additional TR sets can be obtained at a discount.  Is this plan still valid in the larger budget context?  We don’t know.

Nine additional trainsets are required for the Spadina Subway extension, but these currently sit as an isolated order in the fleet plan at a time where there could be a surplus of T1 and H6 cars if the latter remain in service.  Should the Spadina requirement come from a smaller extension of the current TR order?

By the time new cars are required for the Richmond Hill subway extension, the H6 fleet will be at its normal retirement age.  What premium would Toronto pay for a small TR order only for Richmond Hill rather than a larger order including the H6 replacements?  Would this be an appropriate time to begin the shift to 7-car trains with 33 new trains and 48 retrofits?

On top of everything, the TTC has another unfunded project proposal for platform doors on the YUS.  The intention is to improve station operations by allowing trains to move in and out without fear of hitting people on the platform.  Many other benefits are claimed for these doors (fewer delays due to suicides, less trash that can start fires, possible ventillation improvements, even more room for advertising), but the bottom line is this:

  • The budget for this project is almost $1-billion in the detail sheets.  Some at TTC claim that they wouldn’t install the doors at every location, and the summary presented at the TTC meeting says $494-million.  Either way, that’s a lot of money for doors that might be spent elsewhere.
  • Platform doors only work if the trains can be stopped precisely in line with the doors.  This requires that all trains have ATO equipment and run in ATO mode.

The combination of added TR cars, ATO and platform doors is a marvellous example of scope creep, and we haven’t even talked about the cost of additional trains to carry the extra demand for which the platform doors are proposed in the first place.

Back in April 2008, TTC staff presented the Subway Service Improvement Plan in which they claimed that the TR cars would have 3-10 times the reliability of the T1 and H fleets, and that a 50% reduction in spares would be possible (from a 19% spare allowance to 10%).  However, the fleet plan in the 2010 budget uses a spare factor of 13% for the TR fleet.

For some time, the TTC has used a low projection of spares as part of the economic justification for retiring existing subway cars before their time is up.  This was done for the T1 fleet purchase, and yet we are told that a substantial reduction in spares will be possible now with the TR fleet.  This is, no doubt, part of the rationale for retiring the H6 fleet.

Is the T1 fleet actually much less reliable than originally hoped?  The TTC plans to move its entire T1 fleet to the BD line where they have the same 13% spare factor as on Yonge, even though the supposedly more reliable TR trains will not run on BD.  The claims about spare factors are badly out of whack here.

Between now and 2016, TTC plans to add six trains the BD operation.  Today, the AM peak headway is 144 seconds with 42 trains.  Adding six trains brings this down to 126 seconds.  However, as I have already discussed on this site, this is below the level at which the Kipling and Kennedy terminals can reasonably operate with anything other than split-second, regimented arrivals, departures and crew changes.  Even with this additional service, the TTC will still have more T1 trainsets than it needs, including spares.  This is a direct result of pushing the entire T1 fleet off of the Yonge line.

In 2016 the original part of the BD subway will be 50 years old.  By analogy to the YUS, it should be due for a replacement of its signal system.  Will this trigger a requirement to prematurely retire the T1 equipment which will be barely 20 years old?  The entire question of the T1 fleet and ATO capability requires a thorough review.  Indeed it is unclear whether the real requirement is for anything more than cab signalling to replace the existing wayside equipment.

The status of related projects in this discussion is:

  • Spadina Subway Extension.  Budgeted and funded including 9 trainsets and yard facilities.
  • Richmond Hill Subway.  Current estimated cost $3.8-billion including 12 trainsets and yard facilities.  Unfunded.  Earliest possible opening 2019.
  • Downtown Relief Line.  There is a $5m study proposed in the budget, but its description implies that it will be confined simply to reviewing the well-known Pape to Dundas West proposal, and that it will not examine related issues such as a northerly extension to Eglinton nor alternate routings.  There is a risk that the study will not provide a full range of options for future decisions.
  • GO Richmond Hill Express Rail.  Part of the Metrolinx RTP, but not funded.  Implementation date uncertain.
  • H6 fleet replacement — 21 trainsets for $311-million.  The assumptions behind this plan, including competing requirements for capital financing at the City, may no longer be valid.
  • Additional subway trains to permit shorter headways.  Unbudgeted and unfunded.
  • 7-car TR sets to provide more capacity per train.  Unbudgeted and unfunded.  This is an alternative way to avoid reducing headways beyond a level that the YUS can sustain at choke points.
  • Bloor-Yonge Station capacity expansion.  A report is expected late in 2009.  This project is unbudgeted and unfunded.
  • Platform doors.  Somewhere from $500m to $1b depending on which part of the budget you believe.  Unfunded.  It is unclear whether doors configured for 6-car trains would be compatible with the layout of 7-car TR trains, or if retrofits would be required.
  • BD subway signalling replacement.  Unbudgeted and unfunded.

Although TTC subway plans are headed, generally, in the right direction, they lack the co-ordination and integrated view needed to balance competing financial requirements.  This is not entirely the TTC’s fault given the unreliable funding situation and shifting priorities for regional transit projects.

Budgeting at the City and Queen’s Park is moving to longer timeframes in an attempt to control unexpected and unaffordable growth in capital demands.  Past TTC practices included large year-to-year changes in projections, and shifting claims about the costs and benefits of various projects.  For all its importance, the transit budget cannot simply expand without review and co-ordination, if only because money misdirected to project “A” is not available for projects “B” and “C”.

Both the TTC and Metrolinx, as the regional agent for Queen’s Park, need an integrated rapid transit plan recognizing the interaction between many parts of the network and the alternatives available to serve transit demand in the GTA.

27 thoughts on “TTC Capital Budget 2010-2019 (2): Subway Fleet and Service Plans

  1. This is the first I heard of short-turning trains at Glencairn. I sometimes board at Eglinton West, and the crowd during rush hour is getting big. 2010 is next year. Do you have a target date?

    Steve: Nope. Until we see the operating budget later this year, we won’t know whether it has actually been included or not, and if so, when.

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  2. A very well detailed post you’ve made here Steve pointing out some key points. I’ve heard that the TTC has someone that is interested in buying some of the H5 and H6 fleet if they are to be retired between now and 5 years is that true? And also on a some what unrelated matter if the DRL is ever built where would we store the trains used on that line. Greenwood Yard would surely not be able to handle the cars used for that line, Davisville is almost at capacity (maybe it is already) and Wilson is out of the question. And just imagine if the TTC took the option for the other 200+ T1’s it had in the earlier, they would be in an even worse situation with the new signaling and all.

    Steve: I have no word on possible sale of the H5 and H6 fleets although I’ve heard the same rumours. How much we would get for them is another matter. The electronics for the H5s especially are rather long in the tooth and a buyer may have to replace them. This may raise a bit of cash toward new car orders, but we’ve got to avoid buying new trains just for the sake of it.

    The TTC is supposed to be producing a yard study. The real problem started long ago when the planned yard at Six Points was dropped from the TTC’s long-range plan so that Etobicoke could have its precious city centre. You may have noticed that the land is still vacant, although with the coming reconfiguration of the road network there, we might finally see something more than a few condos. DRL would probably go to Greenwood, but this would require some BD trains to move elsewhere.

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  3. Even with ATO, how does the TTC expect to manage two interlaced services on YUS (Hwy7-to-Finch, and RichmondHillCentre-to-Wilson) so that the headways on the common portion are evenly spaced?

    Won’t they run into the same problems of uneven headways and cascading delays that were seen when the Bloor subway opened in 1966?

    Steve: It will be done with the use of a black cane, a top hat, and a large supply of white rabbits.

    My feeling about trying to run very frequent services on the YUS is that they shouldn’t try, but rather should maintain wider headways by (a) diverting demand elsewhere and (b) moving to seven-car trains. Trying to run the line at minimum headway is a recipe for cocked-up service every day.

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  4. It would be interesting to present those tables as daily seat/km to show the capacity trends rather than a dense table of “train equivalents” which is almost designed to obfuscate.

    Given the streetcar fleet’s management, TTC are not entitled to claim any “trust us” leeway on that spare ratio issue.

    Is using some of the 126 remaining H6 cars as a dedicated subfleet for Sheppard practical, with a spares stock sourced in part from scrapping the rest of the fleet? This would save the capital cost of three T1 sets which surely buys a lot of spares and would keep the Hillcrest folks amused once the ability to source from the worldwide Flexity operation reduces the need to forge custom parts for the C/ALRV fleet. There is the lifespan issue, but this would then produce justification for conversion to LRT once those cars life-expire (and given that 126 cars converts to 31 4-car sets, the H6s could simply be part scrapped with the rest stored and brought into service as each set hit either life-expiry or prohibitive-cost overhaul).

    Steve: I have already worked the numbers on a capacity basis to work backward to train requirements, but have to put this material in an easy-to-follow format. Something for a follow-up post.

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  5. Interestingly, it seems the yard to be used for Sheppard trains will be Greenwood. Poor little orphan line! Maybe it would feel better if it was converted to LRT. By then, Lastman and his cronies should be well out of the picture.

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  6. With Toronto hosting the 2014 World Pride, what TTC improvements need to be undertaken in time for that event?

    Steve: Unlike the Pan Am Games and other infrastructure intensive events, I suspect that World Pride won’t require many TTC improvements beyond actually running more service. This the TTC does manage to do, especially if the major events will be where there’s a good network. After all, they’ve managed to host a very large Catholic Youth conference including a Papal visit, they should be able to handle a larger than usual rainbow family for a week or so.

    Whether they will be able to withstand the combined onslaught of the design sensitivites of that many queers (and I say that in the nicest possible way) who will all vie with Joe Clark to point out faux pas of decoration, signage, typography and other horrors remains to be seen. I’m looking forward to the biggest Leather Pride contingent ever in Toronto.

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  7. “Interestingly, it seems the yard to be used for Sheppard trains will be Greenwood. ”

    That’s demented considering we’re only talking about a fleet of 16 service cars + spares. The number of deadhead km per year will be staggering, considering every such train will pass Davisville – or is the assumption they will have sold off D/ville for a bargain price by then?

    Isn’t one of the justifications for ATO 24hr service using single track operation? And – just thought of this – won’t the Sheppard fleet need an ATO refit to be deadheaded to Greenwood via YUS?

    This is starting to make a Sheppard westward extension with connecting trackage to Wilson look affordable! 🙂

    Steve: There is no plan to run Sheppard out of Greenwood Yard. However, the TTC has not yet addressed the question of how the T1s would dead-head over the Yonge line to Davisville (or anywhere else) once the line goes to full ATO.

    Don’t hold your breath for 24-hour service. The TTC used this as a teaser to build support for the ATO proposal, but has since backed away from it for various reasons. In general, I feel that far too many expectations were loaded onto the ATO scheme in order to secure funding.

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  8. I guess upping the number of trains on the B-D line from 40 to 50 rules out pushing off surplus T1’s to service any potential DRL, assuming of course that it’s actually possible to run that many trains under Bloor.

    As far as storage goes, couldn’t they just store trains in tail tracks at both ends of the line (and scattered pocket tracks) and move them to the yard when they need maintenance?

    Also Steve have you been able to confirm whether the new fleet is equipped to handle high rate operation? I know this has been asked before and I can’t recall it being answered concretely.

    Steve: The TTC already uses some of the tail tracks to supplement their yard storage. The pocket tracks are more of a challenge because they need to be free for use as short-turn points and could only store trains overnight. However, this would require crews to have off-hours access to a number of stations and to move trains to and from the pockets. These areas are not set up for pedestrian traffic, and there would be safety issues for doing this on a routine basis.

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  9. Questions. Steve, you mentioned diverting demand elsewhere. South of Bloor, this can be done with the DRL, but what about north of Bloor?

    And what about north of Eglinton?

    Steve: The Big Move includes “express rail” service on the Richmond Hill GO line. This means that trains would run at headways of 10 minutes or less at peak periods, possibly as low as 5. This will require major upgrades to the CN line through the Don Valley, but this may still be preferable both for cost and service quality on long-haul trips than attempting to concentrate all demand on the subway. The idea is to peel long trips bound for the core off of the subway leaving room for locals. Below Eglinton, the DRL East (if it runs north to Eglinton) will intercept some demand that now flows west to the Yonge line.

    Also another wacky idea of mine. Why not add, for lack of a better term, a streetcar loop to the end of the subway? A train arriving northbound at Richmond Hill Centre could then continue northbound, at which point it would enter the giant loop, and by the end of it, find itself at the southbound platform at the same station. Would this not solve the problem of crossovers? Finch station is too crowded to create such a loop, but moves to the north might see this as possible, you could even create such a loop (which goes physically under/over the main track) as a short-turn location. The question is weather this would be cost-prohibitive or not.

    Steve: The problem with a loop is that the minimum radius required for subway turns means that the loop would extend deeply into lands on either side of the terminal. To visualize this, think of the space on the surface occupied by curves east and west of Union Station which are the tightest on the system. A better solution will be to turn back half of the service at Finch or Steeles.

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  10. The possibility of using a loop at the end of a subway line is something I mentioned on my “York Region Options” page.

    I basically said what was in Steve’s comments, but I do have a map to show just what this would entail. Using the specs for the Spadina extension (absolute minimum radius 300 metres, desired minimum radius 750 metres) I figured a 500 metre radius could be used since trains would not have passengers on them. The resulting map shows just what this would involve. Anyone want to talk to the home owners who will have this tunnelled beneath their neighbourhoods?

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  11. Steve, I think it should be noted that the $3.8B you suggest is attributed to the Richmond Hill extension includes some of the other things in your list (most obviously capacity improvements on Yonge through things like the Yonge-Bloor upgrade and/or the DRL).

    Steve: This is not explicitly stated in the budget detail sheets. Indeed, if Yonge-Bloor is hidden in there, it needs to be broken out so that we can evaluate and fund such a project independently.

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  12. Steve Wrote:
    There is no plan to run Sheppard out of Greenwood Yard. However, the TTC has not yet addressed the question of how the T1s would dead-head over the Yonge line to Davisville (or anywhere else) once the line goes to full ATO.

    TTC Passenger writes:

    Actually, the TTC has addressed this question – check the tender on their website for the replacement of the original Yonge line’s signaling equipment with a new fixed block wayside system as the first phase of implementing ATO, to allow non-ATO equipped trains to run on the line and provide a fallback option if the ATO system bails out. This includes moving T1s around.

    The details are in the Background section spanning pages 1 and 2 of this report.

    As for the T1 cars, retrofitting an ATO box on those shouldn’t be a problem (yes, the equipment and its installation would cost money but then everything does).

    Steve: The wayside signals are, at this point, only described as being part of the “South Yonge” project. Remarks elsewhere in the capital budget could be read to imply that at some point, the TTC assumes all service on the YUS will be ATO (or at least cab-signal) capable. Moreover, some somments even suggest that the TR trains could not run without the ATO signal system in place.

    I believe that there is a lot of garbled or inaccurate information about the precise effects and requirements of the new signal system. The fact that there is no sign of a similar plan to deal with the BD line (which will be 50 years old in 2016) suggests that some of the claims made for YUS were as much to puff up the importance of the project and secure funding as absolute technical requirements.

    The idea that non-ATO cars would continue to use a wayside system does not address the question of how they are detected and how safe spacing is maintained. The heart of the new system is the idea that “blocks” no longer correspond to cut sections on the signal rail, and that train spacing would be maintained dynamically based on speed, grade, traffic conditions, etc. The moment you have incompatible equipment on the line, and you build a system to work “the old way”, you defeat the purpose of the new system.

    As for the T1 retrofits, I agree, this should be a no-brainer. However, it has been presented as a high cost option (even though it will be needed eventually on BD), possibly because the TTC is pushing to get the TR contract extended to replace the H6 cars. Whether this is a technical and economic necessity, or more make-work for Bombardier, I don’t know.

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  13. Steve said “There is no plan to run Sheppard out of Greenwood Yard.”

    Am I reading the two charts wrong then? Because three train sets are being accounted for as being three sets less for the B-D line. Does that mean they are not even going to make it down to the B-D line, and be kept at Davisville?

    As for “all that dead-heading time”: ehh, not so much. How often do they move a trainset off the Sheppard line as it is? Not every night, that’s for sure.

    Steve: The charts are really for the two fleets — one for the TRs for YUS, and one for the T1s which are primarily on BD. They could shuttle down to Davisville for minor work, but they would have to go to Greenwood for anything serious.

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  14. Steve writes:
    The wayside signals are, at this point, only described as being part of the “South Yonge” project. Remarks elsewhere in the capital budget could be read to imply that at some point, the TTC assumes all service on the YUS will be ATO (or at least cab-signal) capable. Moreover, some comments even suggest that the TR trains could not run without the ATO signal system in place.

    TTC Passenger writes:
    I suppose that’s true, but the document I linked to does establish in principle how to accommodate non-ATO equipment on the Yonge line; whether the TTC only provides that between Eglinton and Union or the whole line is another issue. Certainly, the block signaling system integrated with the ATO system should be extended up to Sheppard for the specific purpose of dealing with the Sheppard line’s trains, if not the whole line if it’s to be a backup system as the TTC document suggests.

    I hadn’t heard that the TTC was implying that the Toronto Rocket trains would be able to run without ATO signaling in place, but that thought concerns me. If this turns out to be the case, the fault would entirely be with the TTC because all that would be required to provide backward compatibility with the traditional signaling system would be a way to cut out the cab signaling/ATO equipment by cutting in a traditional trip valve and lever as found on current subway trains that are activated by automatic train stops.

    London Underground does this with 67 stock when they move trains around off the Victoria line and with the 92 stock before the whole Central line was automated. That 92 stock’s also a good example of retrofitting ATO equipment where none had been included. This way, the TTC would retain the ability to run the Toronto Rocket cars on the Bloor Danforth line and Sheppard, if they expand the platforms to the full six car length.

    Steve writes:
    I believe that there is a lot of garbled or inaccurate information about … technical requirements.

    TTC Passenger writes:
    Unfortunately, garbled and/or inaccurate information seems to be one of the TTC’s specialties. Since the Bloor Danforth line was built later than the original Yonge line, is the signaling equipment there subject to the same 50 year life span, or is it shorter or longer? 2016 may not be the year it becomes an issue. When it does become an issue, will the signaling system be replaced with ATO or simply be replaced with a new block system on a one for one basis. Basically, there are lots of unanswered questions about technical matters at the TTC – extending to other topics beyond subway signaling too – and a discouraging lack of clear, accurate answers.

    Steve writes:
    The idea that non-ATO cars would continue to use a wayside system does not address the question of how they are detected and how safe spacing is maintained. The heart of the new system is the idea that “blocks” no longer correspond to cut sections on the signal rail, and that train spacing would be maintained dynamically based on speed, grade, traffic conditions, etc. The moment you have incompatible equipment on the line, and you build a system to work “the old way”, you defeat the purpose of the new system.

    TTC Passenger writes:
    Integrating the two systems won’t be an easy task that someone can do on a Friday afternoon before leaving work an hour early to go to the cottage, but certainly won’t be impossible either. I sat down with a pencil and paper and figured out one way how to do it by wrapping ATO trains around a non-ATO train, by having the automatic system use the known location of the start of the track circuit blocks occupied by the non-ATO train as the location factor in the safe separation speed calculation for any ATO equipped train following it. I wrote a detailed explanation up but it’s long and I’m not sure anybody’s interested in reading detailed engineering specifications on how such a system would be made to work.

    Steve: The issue here is work trains or any “foreign” equipment that wanders into ATO territory. For example, that special operation when the BD line was “extended” down to Union to bypass work in the tunnel east of St. George would be impossible if the T1 fleet on BD could not navigate an ATO-only University Subway. Also, your proposal about “shepherd” trains runs into problems whenever train paths diverge — e.g. the non-ATO train moves into a pocket track or arrives at a terminal where there is no room for its ATO-based partners.

    Steve writes:
    As for the T1 retrofits, I agree, this should be a no-brainer. However, it has been presented as a high cost option (even though it will be needed eventually on BD), possibly because the TTC is pushing to get the TR contract extended to replace the H6 cars. Whether this is a technical and economic necessity, or more make-work for Bombardier, I don’t know.

    TTC Passenger writes:
    I suspect the cost of retrofitting the T1s looks costly in part because the T1 cars have already been bought and paid for and that each car would have to be retrofitted. The ATO system on a Toronto Rocket train would be less expensive because it only has to be paid for on the two outward facing cars instead of all six and the cost disappears into the overall cost of the train purchased new.

    Steve: You may be amused (if that is the word) to learn that the TTC forgot to include the on-board ATO equipment in the spec for the TR trains, and it had to be added and priced as a change order.

    As for the T1 cars, if the TTC is really pushed, they could start operating them as unit trains. This would require that some subset of the fleet be designated as “control” cars and have ATO gear. They would always run as outward facing pairs on the ends of trains. For flexibility, we would probably equip between 1/3 and 1/2 of the T1s intended for YUS operation, and never both cars in a pair.

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  15. Some comments on different post:

    1 Every line that I have ridden on with cab signalling or ATO has at least had wayside signals at the interlocks. I think that this is to provide the operator/attendant with another indication if the train is to make an unusual movement that it is supposed to do it. I would hope that they allow the operator to stop the train if he/she doesn’t like what is happening. If you are about to be smashed into a wall or another train you usually try to prevent it. Sometimes the operator needs to have at least a fail safe option.

    2 I find it interesting that street cars/LRV’s should be double ended to give them “flexibility” while people are now suggesting HRT have loops to provide for more efficient reversing. I realize that the geometry involved with 500 foot long trains means that the crossovers are time consuming. I have ridden on lines in Chicago and Philadelphia that do this but they have much shorter equipment on them than Toronto Does. Chicago’s cars have streetcar turning radius because their El operates above streets. A 500 m radius turn gives a turning circle of over 3.14 km length. (c = 2pi*r) A 750 m radius gets more than 4.6 km; that is a lot of track just to reverse a train.

    3 I know the chances of this happening rank up there with you or me being named pope but the Sheppard stubway should be converted back to LRT. There is a 200 foot long unused portion of the platform for future extension to 6 car trains. Drop the platform there to the height for LRT and when it is done start running LFLRV’s. Next drop the rest of the platform. Five hundred foot long platforms are a bit of overkill but better too long than too short. Overhead could be strung at 750 volts while the third rail stayed at 600 V. When the line is suitable for LRV’s stop operating the subway trains and depower and remove the third rail. The line would be overbuilt but it would be usable. Cleveland even operates low floor loading and high platform vehicles on the same tracks and through the same stations. At a five minute headway on each you could still run both if you were a masochists. I know that it would be expensive to rebuld the platforms stair wells, escalators and elevators but it migh still be worth it.

    Converting would get rid of an extra transfer and would remove the orphan stubway, You could even say it was an improvement because it would allow through routing service and would eliminate a transfer. Don’t say it was a mistake; rather say that this is actually an improvement. If they build Sheppard like they want to do Eglinton then they could run 3 car trains with the option of five in the tunnel!

    4 I find it interesting that the TTC can keep rebuilding 30 (?) year old GM “New Look” buses but want to get rid of subway cars before they are life expired. Is there something wrong with these vehicles?

    Steve: Would it be unkind for me to point out that Bombardier does not manufacture buses?

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  16. Robert Wrightman writes:

    “I know the chances of this happening rank up there with you or me being named pope but the Sheppard stubway should be converted back to LRT. … [remainder of quote deleted]”

    For that price, how much more above ground streetcars could we get? I think most people would take a Finch line running farther east then Don Mills over LRT on the stubway.

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  17. Steve: This is not explicitly stated in the budget detail sheets. Indeed, if Yonge-Bloor is hidden in there, it needs to be broken out so that we can evaluate and fund such a project independently.

    Steve, it’s in the Jan 5 2009 council executive committee decision linked on your own site. To wit:

    1. The range of possible ancillary costs to the Yonge Street extension, including the following:
    i. Yonge-Bloor Station alterations;
    ii. Subway fleet expansion;
    iii. Possible need for 2nd entrances at Yonge Stations south of Bloor Street;
    iv. Possible need for an eastern downtown relief line from Pape Station to
    downtown;
    v. Subway yard costs;
    vi. Possible need for the Sheppard subway to be extended westbound to
    Downsview and the Downsview Yard.

    The original estimate in January was $2.4b. It’s now $3.8b. That’s quite a jump – my guess is that it’s the Yonge-Bloor redevelopment, ATO and a new train yard that have bumped the price.

    Steve: The TTC has not yet addressed the Council resolution, let alone included money in the budget. If they have buried Bloor-Yonge in the RH project budget, they don’t mention it. However, they have rolled the additional fleet and storage yard into the project.

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  18. OgtheDim says:
    October 20, 2009 at 11:06 am

    <<Robert Wrightman writes:

    Both Finch and Sheppard are relatively narrow between Bayview and Bathurst. It will be difficult to put on Surface LRT without expropriating land to widen these streets. I was also being a bit fanciful in my suggestion but there is going to have to be some subway or land expropriation or a very narrow section of roadway. If they have to build some underground running then why not seriously look at converting the subway to LRT. Like I said there is very very little chance of this happening.

    By the way my last name does not have an “r” in it.

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  19. On converting the Sheppard subway line to LRT, Robert Wightman wrote, “Like I said there is very very little chance of this happening.”

    That is true, at this point in time. Aside from no funding for this, it has been mentioned here in a few discussions that doing so would be a political embarrassment.

    Right now, that is. Let us wait until the SELRT has been in operation for a few years. I am willing to predict that if the SELRT comes into Don Mills station at the same level as the subway, it will be just a matter of a few years before public pressure will make it politically impossible to NOT convert the subway.

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  20. Steve, do you think the projected early retirement of the H6 trains could be a matter of the TTC budgeting some additional buffer years in case its budget is reduced due to provincial cutbacks? We already know how unstable the TTC’s budget is – all it takes is a surprise $22B provincial deficit or a change in government in the 2011 election for the TTC to be hit with significant cutbacks, possibly delaying equipment upgrades for years.

    Steve: No, the TTC fleet plans (as you will see when I review the buses) seem to be moving toward earlier replacement of vehicles than past practice would dictate. This has the effect of shifting costs from the operating budget (with low subsidies) to the capital budget (almost entirely off of the TTC’s books). However, it misses the fact that all of the funding agencies/governments only have so much money to go around. Capital spent for project “A” is not available for project “B”.

    The lack of a global view, of priorities among various alternatives, is a shortcoming of the TTC budget. In the past they got most of what they asked for, but now there has to be a better separation of priorities than simply saying it’s “state of good repair” or “expansion”. Some things that are billed as “SOGR” may be more than is strictly needed, and some repairs are more vital than others.

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  21. Electric Landlady said “Cool map! So, it wouldn’t be quite as bad as CERN then.”

    Shhh! Don’t give the TTC any more crazy ideas!

    Steve: Completely new branches of sub-atomic physics would have to be created to explain the behaviour of short-turning particles!

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  22. In response to Electric Landlady’s comment, “Cool map! So, it wouldn’t be quite as bad as CERN then,” David Cavlovic said, “Shhh! Don’t give the TTC any more crazy ideas!”

    Hmmm – maybe we could get funding for a giant ‘circle’ subway line in the GTA by piggy-backing the project on a giant particle accelerator research project. Hey, if you’re going to the trouble of boring a large tunnel, let’s put a track in a utilities compartment and then all we’ll have to build is stations for it!.

    Councillors would bicker over who’s constituency would be served by this line and we would end up with the world’s only non-circular particle accelerator, or more commonly known as a particle non-accelerator!

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  23. “Councillors would bicker over who’s constituency would be served by this line and we would end up with the world’s only non-circular particle accelerator, or more commonly known as a particle non-accelerator!”
    Considering how close it would be to transporting à la Star-Trek (“Beam me up, Scotty!”), I bet councilors would think that would be The Better Way to actually move people around. They’d give it a fancy name, too, with memories of MagLev and CNG: it would be called Shatnerizing.

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  24. Is the TTC still on schedule to start running/testing the Toronto Rocket trains? I thought that was supposed to start in October 2009, which is almost over.

    Steve: The first train won’t be here until 2010.

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  25. Would it be possible for the TTC to run express trains on BD by building tracks around stations similar as to what is in Chicago instead of a new line?

    Steve: There are two problems with this idea of which the biggest is that there simply isn’t room at major locations. For example, through the Bloor-Yonge interchange, the underground area is already packed with subway tunnels, utilities, and the foundations of various buildings. Even a scheme to add platforms on the outside of the existing Yonge Station runs into problems with the structure of The Bay which literally is wrapped around the subway structure. The other major problem is that the central part of the line has losely spaced stations. Once you allow for the room on either side of a station for the turnouts, the amount of shared track would not be very long.

    The easiest capacity increase is the one you don’t have to make, and the question is how we can avoid overloading the route in the first place.

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  26. I know this is old, but, if they are adding to the ends of the YUS, would it not make sense to switch directions NORTH of the stations. Effectively the train pulls in and unloads on one side, pulls out of the station empty, into one of three tracks past the station, the crew reverses the train, comes in to the other side of the platform, loads and goes. This might allow for a faster turn around of trains, in that the terminal station could handle up to 5 trains at once two at the platforms and 3 past the platform.

    Steve: Yes, this has been proposed. However, both extensions will involve short turn operations further south.

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