Russell Carhouse Track Construction Plans (Updated)

Updated February 16, 2012 at 6:05pm:  The Public Works & Infrastructure Committee deferred consideration of the report on Eastern Avenue’s reconfiguration until March 21, 2012, “to enable the Acting General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore further alternatives that will maintain the capacity of parking on the roadway”.

Original post from February 13 below:

TTC’s Russell Carhouse at Queen and Connaught will see major track reconstruction this year.

A project to rebuild track Queen Street and Connaught Avenue was deferred from 2011 at the Mayor’s request, but the work is now out for tender.  This will include the replacement of all of the special work on the north side of the carhouse including the yard accesses and the intersection at Connaught.  On Connaught itself, the track layout will be changed by the removal of the existing crossover between the northbound and southbound tracks.

At Eastern Avenue, the roadway will be rebuilt to isolate the streetcar ladder tracks from the rest of the pavement and raise their level.  This change will reduce the effect of the combined curve and grade between Eastern Avenue and the yard tracks which is especially pronounced at the carhouse itself.  A report on the recommended layout for the street is on the Public Works agenda for February 15, 2012.

This work is part of the overall preparation of the streetcar system for the arrival of the new LFLRVs.

7 thoughts on “Russell Carhouse Track Construction Plans (Updated)

  1. I know that stretch well and recall Can-Bike courses where we had students ride along those switch ladders to practice quick front-wheel flicks to safely cross such tracks. As I recall no one fell getting a front wheel caught. Don’t think any Can-Bike courses use them now given the liability factor.

    Interestingly I was not aware the difference in elevation was that great. The recommended configuration seems acceptable, and the lane width certainly sounds sufficient to allow safe lane sharing with bikes and cars, though I expect there will be push from cyclists for full bike lanes. I do see the construction is slated for this year – when is the TTC expecting delivery of the LFLVRS? And how does the Ashbridges maintenance facility figure in this?


    Steve: The prototypes will be here later this year, with production cars starting in late 2013. Ashbridges will be the main shops for the new cars, a function Hillcrest provides for the current fleet. The new cars won’t fit easily at Hillcrest, and their need for maintenance from above rather than underneath requires a different shop layout. It will be interesting to see what the TTC does with Harvey Shops at Hillcrest once the last of the CLRV/ALRV fleet has retired. Meanwhile, Ronces and Russell will remain in service as Ashbridges only has storage for about half of the new fleet.


  2. Do you know if they are still planning on altering any of the track/special-work layout other than removal of the crossover on Connaught? (I’m not counting the Ashbridges access proposal that won’t go ahead that had been documented prior.)

    Steve: I’m not sure, but last I heard, the proposal to extend the carhouse building had been dropped. I will see if I can find out more about this.


  3. How close is Roncy to the completion of its yardwork? I would assume this work is conditional on the tracks at Roncy coming back online.

    Are there any plans for Hillcrest as a whole? Besides transit control and training facilities, would there be much use for it in the post-UTDC era? Could it used as a small bus garage, or additional storage for the Flexitys?

    Steve: Yes, Roncy has to be finished to allow parts of Russell Yard to be taken out of service. The work on Eastern is planned for the fall according to the report. As for Hillcrest, don’t forget that it also houses Duncan Shops which together with part of Harvey Shops does all of the heavy work on the bus fleet. I think there could be an argument for recycling the site as a new yard of some type, preferably for expansion capacity in the Flexity fleet.


  4. Once the track work at Roncy is complete, I would assume that the 509 Harbourfront route will move back there from Russell, either at the start of March or May board period. Plus, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the 510 Spadina route move to Roncy sometime this year.


  5. Just curious, can one gain access to this & other recent track work, in regards to, detailed blueprints/CAD, surveyors reports, etc?

    Also, has the special work been put to tender yet?


    Steve: Re the plans, no they are not sitting in public view anywhere, and I suspect the TTC would not entertain a wander through their files except for someone with a professional interest. Special work is usually tendered a year or so in advance because of the lead time for fabrication. Staff can do this before individual projects are scheduled on the basis that there is a multi-year plan that is approved as part of the overall capital budget.


  6. Rather than be dismissive I actually did a quick Yahoo search and found some publicly accessible documents, although specific to the Subway and SRT. See the following link:

    Proposal No. P31CA11148

    These extensive and huge documents detail every last nut and bolt with complete measurements. They are an absolute treasure trove of information with some component drawings dating from as early as 1953! The fourth file will likely be of most interest to everyone because it contains a number of location-specific special work examples such as the Jane crossover (as far as I know, the shortest double-crossover in the subway system) and the revived King crossover.

    Get these files NOW before the tender expires. This is likely the last time you’ll ever be able to view technical information about the soon-to-be-retired SRT.

    Steve: I have not visited the TTC’s Materials and Procurement site for a few weeks, and see it has now been reformatted into the standard layout of the main site. Browsing through various tenders, it is clear that the provision of this level of detail online is not consistent from one contract to another. Indeed, it is more common for detailed drawings to be available only to bidders who purchase a drawing set.


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