7 thoughts on “Union Station Dig In Progress

  1. No more Harvey’s? Is there any chance it’ll be back when the work is all done?

    Steve: I don’t think that the tenants of the new lower level commercial area have been sorted out yet. In any event, the space formerly occupied by Harvey’s will become a link directly from the Great Hall to the new western mezzanine of GO Transit.


  2. I remember doing tours with Derek Boles and going through a certain door into the baggage cart area. That area is now part of this whole mess and honestly compared to what it looked like before its truly going to be a wonderful transformation. I must say that was a highlight of the tours..

    I would like to add for the benefit of your readers Steve.. DEREK STILL DOES tours of Union Station on the last saturday of every month taking people on a walking tour of the station describing the history and uses of the station itself. They are 10 dollars and no reservations are neccessary, meet by the travellers aid desk in the great hall at 10:50 am on the day of the tour. The tour takes people into the Great Hall, Waiting Area, GO concourse, Via Concourse, Out Front, Train Shed and the Skywalk.

    Due to construction we are unable to go upstairs at this point I do believe though that changes from month to month.


  3. Fun to see these pics. So far, Urban Toronto has the best series of media photos, plus documentation of what the transformed space will look like.

    Steve: I have added the link to the main article. Thanks.


  4. I’m finding it difficult to understand how adding another concourse will allow a doubling of the capacity of Union during rush hour. Although I can see that this may speed up the pedestrian traffic to and from the platforms, it appears that the number and size of the platforms will remain essentially constant. Would not running through trains to a smaller number of larger platforms provide greater capacity? Also, why not raise the platforms to door height, again this should allow passenger to board trains at a faster rate.

    Steve: With the opening of the west concourse and the expansion of the east concourse, there will be more stairways between the track level and concourse areas. Because the new concourse will be closer to track level than the existing one, and there won’t be the twists and turns in access to tracks, the time spent on the stairwells will be lessened.

    The number of platforms is effectively increased because GO will double-berth trains on one track. Changing the number of platforms implies a physical rearrangement of tracks, and this is not structurally possible. You may have seen photos of the columns under the station, and these align with the tracks above.


  5. Seriously, they needed a guy to stand around underground with a “SLOW/STOP” sign?!?

    Steve: If you have trucks driving around in the very large basement of Union Station, and they are cycling into position to be loaded with debris, someone has to direct traffic.


  6. Was there not a Union Station utilization study or capacity study commenced about a year ago? Was it ever completed and published?? I do not recall seeing it.

    How will the station accommodate the long term anticipated train activity, how will platforms be allocated to routes, etc? Or will it? Is all this development work, principally it seems to create retail space and brighter platform areas, being done with firm knowledge that capacity exists for all day half hourly service on all GO lines, plus Peterboro and Bolton and perhaps more. The Peterson government years ago foresaw the need for a double deck Union Station!

    Steve: Still waiting for it to be published. I should chase this with Metrolinx as it was supposed to start producing results just about now, if I recall.


  7. I was in Washington for the 40th anniversary of Amtrak. Washington Union Station is huge; it has at least 28 tracks and covers and area close to that of the Eaton Centre. Their complaint was that with 30,000 passengers per day there was no room to put all the waiting passengers. If they hadn’t converted most of the concourse of the station into a mall they wouldn’t have had a problem. Even so they had a lot more room than Toronto does. It truly is amazing how many passengers pass through Toronto Union each day. I hate to say it but they must be doing something right.

    The Toronto PATH system is unlike anything that I have seen in my travels in the US, Chicago has a few blocks of a nascent system but it is nothing com[pared to Toronto. I have not seen anything else approaching PATH anywhere else. Of course if you are in the south then there is probably not any need for it but the southern US cities do not really have a vibrant downtown.


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