Wrong Way at Russell (Updated)

In the thread about Ashbridge and Russell Carhouses, there has been the odd mention of cars using the crossovers at Russell Yard.

Until the late 1960s, there were two crossovers at this location.  One still exists on Connaught south of the east gate where the double track merges into single track.  The other was in the “trailer yard” west of the Traffic Office.  The track which now is a westbound bypass track off of Queen used to connect to the eastbound track beside it just behind the Traffic Office.  This was changed so that cars could enter the yard westbound from Queen to couple into MU trains.

One use for the crossovers was that occasionally a car would be spotted in the carhouse facing south.  This was usually done to put the front truck over the wheel truing equipment at the north end of the pits.  This activity stopped with the arrival of the CLRVs.

John F. Bromley sent along three photos of cars facing the wrong way at Russell.

Here is 4074 facing south on Track 2 inside the carhouse, nose-to-nose with another A-1 class car (identifiable by its distinctive trolley shroud) on September 21, 1965.

Ex-Cincinnati car 4597 sits outside of the carhouse facing south on Track 2 on December 17, 1966.

Toronto A-6 class car 4340 faces south to Eastern Avenue surrounded by ex-Cleveland 4600’s with ex-Cincinnati 4599 partly in view.  The date is July 26, 1967.

The crossover on Connaught Avenue will be removed later this year when the special work at Russell Yard is replaced.  The TTC has not yet worked out the details of completely replacing the yard while keeping it in service.

Updated at 5:10pm:  Robert Lubinski sent in this view of 4166 facing south on Track 7 on July 21, 1991.

8 thoughts on “Wrong Way at Russell (Updated)

  1. Interesting. Does the TTC still need to true its wheels? How is that done presently?

    Steve: There is a wheel lathe, but they do the work with cars facing north.


  2. On very rare occations cars still use the crossover for various maintenace purposes. In 2006 when I was a shedman at Russell I had the opportunity to reverse a CLRV north out of the barn on 7 track to Connaught, then forward through the crossover. The reason the car was facing south in the first place was because a bodyman prefered it that way for a particular job he was doing. In the 4 years I was there, that was the only time I’ve seen a car facing south.

    When the Hillcrest special work was being replaced, it made for some interesting moves from a rail fan perspective. Reversing cars from Bathurst Stn. to Hillcrest up the SB track is one example.


  3. Very much appreciated streetcar “pr0n” on the web. Thank you.

    At least I’m old enough to remember the glory days of the various PCC classes.


  4. As a summer shedman at Russell 20 years ago, I too recall instances where CLRVs were reversed on the crossover and then put into the carhouse on 7 track for the bodyman’s convenience . Because the tools and materials for body repair were located against the west wall of the carhouse it was easier for the body repairman to do the work with the car facing the wrong way depending on what part of the car he needed to work on. ((Photo of CLRV 4166 facing the wrong way in Russell will be submitted separately through email if you want to add it to John’s photos)).

    Steve: Send me the photo and I will add it to the article.


  5. It’s not the same as cars facing the “wrong” way in the yard, but I have seen a car pull out northbound on Connaught to go west along Queen. I’m not from the ‘real’ city, so I don’t know if Connaught is one of those streets that is part one-way and part two-way. But it seems as if the TTC sometimes runs the “wrong” way along Connaught.

    Can anyone vouch for how much of Connaught is one way?

    Steve: It is a two-way street down to the point where the road narrows and the streetcar track changes to single track. From there down to Eastern it is one way southbound. Most yard tracks do not have a westbound exit to Queen without going out via Connaught.


  6. On a similar track, when the T-1s first entered service, they had quite the breakdown rate. I was riding the last car of a T-1 when it malfunctioned south of Eglinton. The train right behind was also a T-1. So, in order to push our train onto the yard-platform at Davisville, so that passengers could get off the train, the two trains were hooked together, giving us the unique opportunity of being on a 12-car train-set.


  7. Steve:

    I think – but am not entirely sure – that there used to be a crossover on Dufferin North of King. If my memory is correct, what possible use could that have had?

    Steve: It was used for, believe it or not, a shuttle service to the CNE using double-ended cars a very long time ago. One of the TTC’s funnier bits of trackwork happened when the QEW interchange at Humber Loop was rebuilt. For a time, they ran single track operation through the underpass to Long Branch. The crossover on Dufferin north of King was mined for special work, along with the buried crossover on Spadina south of King. So far so good. But after the single track operation ended, the TTC put the crossover back into the street on Dufferin!

    The last “scheduled” operation to use this crossover was the double-ended snow cleaning equipment whose route included a trip across the Dufferin crossover.


  8. The track removal at Russell means the last location where cars can be turned wrong-way-round is Hillcrest. There are three different wye moves possible here and one ordinary single crossover. If you look at the current Google Maps satellite view you will see two CLRVs backwards on the main inbound track.

    (If you want to get really technical you can include the two temporary transportable crossovers used for construction bypass.)


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