This is the first article in a series examining various aspects of the TTC’s Capital Budget for 2013 and the 10-year plan running through 2022. The report linked here gives an overview, but I have now reviewed the roughly 1,300 pages of supporting information in the “Blue Books” which detail each capital project.
Those books are not available on line, but contain much valuable information. When the Commission considered its Capital Budget, this material had not yet been assembled.
To avoid creating a post as long as the Blue Books, I will break this into separate articles for major topics.
The Subway Fleet Plan
This plan provides for additional trains on the Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor-Danforth subways, but only on a limited basis. The fleet of Toronto Rocket (TR) trains will be used exclusively on YUS and the T1 trains (now split between both major lines) will operate on BD and, in four-car sets, on Sheppard.
The TR fleet is just large enough to accommodate the extension to Vaughan with a short-turn operation to Wilson Station, but only at the current level of service. The T1 fleet is larger than required for current schedules on the BD and Sheppard lines, and so the surplus is used up at the rate of about 2 trains every 3 years on BD with no additional service on Sheppard.
The projection presumes that the spare factor for TR trains can be held at 13%, and it is unclear today whether this can be achieved and maintained over the life of this fleet.
Those extra T1 trains have been counted as “free” on more than one occasion for subway expansions proposed for the near future, but obviously they can only be used once be it for extra BD service, or on extended Sheppard or Danforth subways, or on the first phase of a Downtown Relief Line (DRL). Continue reading