The Toronto Transit Commission Board will meet on March 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. The Agenda contains a number of items of interest.
- An update on the Union Station project (Revised to add info from Metrolinx)
- The March 2014 CEO’s report
- Purchase of 10 additional “TR” subway trains for future demand growth
- A report on Community Bus services
- A proposed design for Kennedy Station’s interface to the Eglinton LRT line
- A report on a temporary bus terminal at Islington Station
Union Station Project [NB: large pdf]
This presentation ties together the various aspects of work now in progress around Union Station. I believe that it arose from a request at a previous Board meeting for a briefing on the subject because the relationship between and status of various sub-projects were poorly understood.
- Union Station Revitalization. Much of the work on this project is behind the scenes as new concourses for GO and a retail area below are under construction with a “dig down” and replacement of the existing columns under the railway tracks.
- GO Transit train shed roof. The roof over the station platforms is being completely rebuilt to include a glass atrium.
- North West Path link. A new link in the PATH system is under construction from the northwest corner of the railway station. It will run north up York Street to connect with the existing passages north of Wellington.
- Front Street Reconstruction. After work on the subway station and the North West Path link are completed, Front Street will be restored with a narrower roadway than it previously had, and with improved space and crossing provisions for pedestrians.
- TTC Union Station Second Platform. A separate platform for Yonge-bound trains will provide added capacity and will split the flows for the two lines at this very busy station. The existing platform will be used only by University-bound trains, and vertical accesses (stairs, escalators, elevator) will be widened and/or relocated to the south wall of the platform (see slide 35). A glass wall will line the south edge of the University-bound platform to protect passengers from Yonge-bound trains.
In the first phase of the subway station reconstruction, the grade difference between the subway mezzanine and the moat leading to the existing GO concourse will remain. However, the new retail concourse (which provides access to the new GO concourse) will be at the same level as the subway mezzanine. Part of the moat will be lowered to provide a direct path between the two stations (see slide 43).
Access to the streetcar loop for Harbourfront/Spadina service will be directly off of the new Yonge-bound platform of the subway.
The new platform is expected to open in summer 2014.
Update March 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm: Mark Osler at Metrolinx sent the following info about GO’s move into the west concourse:
GO Transit is working closely with the City of Toronto to complete the construction of the York Concourse. It is anticipated that the City will be able to turn the concourse over to GO Transit in the fall of 2014. Following that, GO Transit will need some time to outfit the concourse with GO service counters, departure PINs boards, PRESTO machines, waiting area furniture, directional signage and the like. We anticipate being able to open the York Concourse to customers before the end of the year. Once open and operational, we will start to close the Bay Concourse for its revitalization treatment.
All of the usual charts showing performance on many aspects of TTC operations are here.
Although ridership for period 1 (January) 2014 was up 2.4% over the same period in 2013, it was down 3.5% relative to budget. This implies a very aggressive budget projection for ridership growth (6%) that was not achieved only because of the very poor weather in 2014.
Reliability on the two major rapid transit lines continues to be below the target level. The causes cited did not include bad weather (see page 8) but rather internal issues and the physical constraints posed by heavy demands on the system.
The report includes only financial information for 2013. There was a “surplus” of $7.3-million (actually a lower draw from the approved subsidy), but it is important to understand what went into this. Fare revenue was below expectations because of December’s ice storm, but this was offset by lower than budgeted costs in labour (“gapping” or leaving approve positions vacant); health and dental care; reduced maintenance costs for buses, CLRV streetcars and SRT cars; and diesel fuel. Costs for accident claims and electricity were higher than budgeted.
Going into 2014, the TTC received a higher subsidy allocation. Although they do not get to keep the “surplus” from 2013, it appears as part of 2014 funding because the starting point is actual, not budgeted, spending in 2013.
The Spadina subway extension’s opening date is still officially in fall 2016, but this is unlikely to be achieved because of construction delays, especially at Pioneer Village (Steeles West) Station.
Purchase of 10 TR Subway Trainsets
The TTC will order 10 more “TR” trainset from Bombardier at a total project cost, including provision for inflation, of $217-million. These are in addition to the 60 sets now being delivered to replace the H4, H5 and H6 fleets, and the 10 sets on order for the Spadina extension. Their purpose is to allow more frequent service beginning in 2018 when the conversion to Automatic Train Control (ATC) will be complete.
The report sets out details of each stage of the order including the need to add ATC to the first 70 trains because it had not been part of the base contract. The total cost of the 80 trains will be $1.454-billion, or about $18m/trainset on average.
The report contains interesting reading about the cost of manufacturing subway cars, and the unexpectedly large increase in unit costs for this additional order. Under the terms of the contract, Bombardier is allowed to adjust its pricing based on actual manufacturing costs, although it is working to bring these down.
The next order of subway cars will not be until 2025 with the retirement of the T1 fleet, but this does not take into account the planned Scarborough Subway. The T1 fleet is large enough to handle that extension, but the signal system there will have to be built with the non-ATC T1 fleet in mind. The TTC’s plan to convert the BD line to ATC has dropped in priority due to funding constraints and the fact that BD capacity is less of an issue than on the Yonge line.
Councillor Paul Ainslie brought a deputation to the Commission asking for a new Community Bus service in eastern Scarborough. The request was opposed by TTC staff because they argue that use of these routes (the 400-series) has fallen off as the regular bus fleet’s accessibility has improved, and because there are many outstanding requests for this type of service that should be evaluated together.
The community representatives were not happy about this state of affairs as they had been involved with TTC staff in discussions about a possible route two years ago. Unfortunately, they brought no documentation of this nor a map of the proposed route to the meeting possibly on the assumption that staff and the Board would have some familiarity. Sadly, with the many changes in TTC management and the Board itself, the institutional memory is a bit thin and this hampered the discussion.
The question of an east Scarborough community bus has been on the table since at least 2009 as shown by a letter from Ainslie to the TTC which is posted on his website. Major problems for the affected part of Scarborough include long walking distances to bus stops, infrequent bus services, and the lack of direct routes between concentrations of potential riders and the services to which they require access.
Community Buses in general suffer at the TTC because they fall between Wheel Trans and the regular services. They operate with WT vehicles and are poorly publicized leading to arguments that low ridership arises from lack of awareness that these routes exist and can be taken by riders who are not WT eligible.
It is particularly galling that Toronto has billions to spend on a new subway for Scarborough, but running community services is beyond our financial capability.
In the end, the Board decided to refer the whole matter of Community routes off to staff for a report that will come back in 2015.
The report presents a revised design for Kennedy Station that had been shown at the Metrolinx Board meeting in February. This iteration of the design does not include the Scarborough LRT which has been replaced by the extension of the subway line.
The Eglinton-Crosstown LRT station will be located under the access roadway north of the existing bus terminal, and it will be connected by a passageway to the concourse level of the station.
During the discussion of this report, I was greatly amused by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker’s query about the elimination of stairs between the subway and future LRT. He had seen an earlier presentation that suggested that the connection would be quite simple. Responses from TTC staff didn’t help one bit because they all suffered a collective amnesia of the Scarborough LRT project. De Baeremaeker talks about subway-poor Scarborough on the slightest provocation (almost as frequently as Rob Ford comes out with “tax saving” talking points), but forgets that the convenient transfer at Kennedy was designed around the now-abandoned LRT.
The Scarborough LRT platform would have been above the Eglinton LRT, and would have been part of a large underground loop (think Spadina Station, but bigger) where the Scarborough trains would use a single platform for loading and unloading. This would allow a stair-free walk to the existing ticket concourse under the bus terminal where riders would walk/ride down one level to the subway.
The Eglinton line has a centre platform and this means that a direct connection to the concourse is impossible. However, connections between all routes at Kennedy will be simpler than today’s multi-level exchange from the subway to the SRT.
Islington Station Temporary Bus Terminal
The evolution of Islington and Kipling Stations has not been anywhere as speedy as many hoped years ago. The TTC had a scheme to improve and expand Kipling bus terminal including provision for regional services, and there was an office development proposal for some of the lands at Islington where a new bus terminal would replace the crumbling, inaccessible structure now in place.
Things didn’t quite work out as planned. Metrolinx took over the Kipling project, but it immediately stalled because Hydro has plans for some of the land where a new terminal would be built. Meanwhile at Islington, the office block fell off the plans when the proposed occupant, SNC Lavalin, ran into business difficulties. Hopes at the TTC that developments would help pay for the revised station grew dim. The TTC bus roadways became less and less safe for continued operation and these cannot be used much longer.
The situation now is that:
- A new condo will be built on the former Cordova parking lot at Islington. This land has been sold to Tridel.
- Space on the Bloor Street frontage will be leased to Tridel for a temporary condo sales building.
- The southwestern part of the parking area will become a temporary terminal for MiWay bus operations. (An alternative, shorter-lived scheme involves shoring the existing bus bays.)
- TTC bus operations would relocate to a temporary terminal between the existing bus bays and Bloor Street.
The layout is shown in Figure 2, the last page of the linked report.
The TTC seeks funding from Metrolinx for this work because it arises directly from the delay in provision of the new terminal at Kipling. Based on comments at the meeting, Metrolinx has suddenly awakened to the effect of the ongoing delay in their project on operations elsewhere.
As for a smaller, permanent TTC-only bus terminal at Islington once MiWay relocates to Kipling, there is no word.
Streetcar Track Switches
The matter of streetcar track-switches and the large number that are out of service came up among many issues in a deputation by Alan Yule that also flagged outdated signage on the Queens Quay project. In a rather testy exchange, CEO Andy Byford took umbrage at criticism of the many things the TTC doesn’t get right, try though they might, and opined that if money were available he would spend it on fixing the track switches.
Well, actually, there is a project in the 2014 capital budget already to do just that, and TTC’s Chris Upfold confirmed to me that “a big overhaul” is planned to start this summer.
This is an important project not just to improve safety and speed operations, but because transit priority signals are activated by the switch electronics.
Commissioner Josh Colle brought a motion asking for a report on various aspects of bus operations including the possibility of more express services. I will address this in a separate post as part of “improving service now” series.
After you and I spoke at the meeting’s conclusion about the Kennedy station confusion, it occurred to me that “may” be another workaround to have parallel lines at the same level which helps for Xfers happening in the same direction, though not sure if it works for the same level and if the X-Town loop/turnaround could be angled in a way to make this work.
You mentioned that this was all complicated by the fact that the Scarb line is now a subway and not the LRT end-point, which therefore means the B-D subway extension needs rails for EB & WB trains. As Kennedy is still the terminus of the Eglinton line, could we not align the platforms instead of being paid by line, paired by direction?
I’m not familiar enough with the X-town vehicles to know if boarding both sides will be possible or how by alignment would work, but think about this:
EB TRACK (1)
EB TRACK (2)
PLATFORM or wall
WB TRACK (2)
WB TRACK (1)
Really the idea is that travelling from Scarb to the city (WB) via B-D FIRST and allowing for Xfer onto the Eg, is a X-platform, and similarly, if you were going EB on the Eg line, and needed to jump onto B-D (EB) for the last stretch, it’s an at level-X-platform change over?
Alternatively, could simply bias 1 direction only:
EB TRACK (1)
WB TRACK (1)
PLATFORM (opens both sides of doors)
WB TRACK (2)
EB TRACK (2)
I am sure there are some angles/geometry which makes this idea kooky, but I wanted to share.
Steve: There are many fundamental problems here. First off, I have to complain about the fact that you don’t mark “north” on your diagrams, and the fact that the Eglinton line does not have an “eastbound” platform, only two “westbound” platforms. The subway station isn’t going to change, and so in any layout, its eastbound and westbound platforms will be together around a common platform.
For option 1 this gives us:
To build this, the EB LRT track must cross over or under the existing subway structure and then immediately rise or fall to match subway platform height. This is physically impossible. Also, it would create very confusing operations for passengers with LRT service originating on two widely separated platforms. (This would also be a pain in the butt for the LRT crews.)
For option 2 we would have:
This would make an “across the platform” transfer only from the westbound subway to one of the two LRT platforms, again a very confusing arrangement. The arrangement in option 2 is what is actually being built except that there is no common platform between the LRT and subway stations. If you look at the drawings, you will see that they are not side-by-side in any event.
Kooky, yes. Possible, absolutely not.
It’s hard for us mere riders to tell for sure, but every streetcar I’ve been on in the past week or two has crept over any and all special work, including trailing switches. I wonder if there’s a new, generic slow order out for operators.
Re: the community bus routes: did I miss something, or did the community bus operating from Sunnybrook Hospital get dropped?
Steve: It still exists: Route 407.
Steve with regard to Kennedy station; has TTC or Metrolinx explore building the LRT station directly under the existing BD-subway line? The station would have a similar configuration to what currently exists at St George Station. The new LRT platform would be stacked directly below the existing subway platform. Any thoughts on that?
Steve: That would be a very deep station and difficult to build. Just look at the issues they are having on Eglinton with going under the existing Spadina and Yonge lines. If you want to make “LRT” horrendously expensive just to save people walking up one flight of stairs, that’s how to do it.
Question about the Kennedy station design: do you know why the LRT line has been moved? As I understand it, the Eglinton line was planned to come in parallel and immediately next to the subway. As it is now, there are long connecting passages to get from the subway over to the LRT. Still nothing like Spadina, of course, but significantly further than in the previous plan. I would have thought that all that would be needed would be to delete the SRT platform from the design.
Steve: I don’t know the details, but this arrangement is probably a bit easier to build being further north away from the subway structure.
It’s interesting that we never ended up buying “T-2” subway cars as we had H-1 to H-6 series (and M series before them). I suppose the TR trains represent a new generation so we cannot call them “T-2” trains. I wonder if the 10 new TR trains be called “TR-2’s” by the TTC. Not that it is super important but it is a part of the history.
Steve: The H cars were all, at least in theory, interchangeable although they did not run in mixed consists. The 10 added trains will just be more “TRs” as they are part of one continuous production cycle.
Moaz: Toronto has a vast and overreaching legacy of older service combined with newer services that is confusing to many. The 3 different express bus services plus the largely forgotten “Frequent Service” network (bus only, don’t include the streetcars) and the Community bus black hole are examples.
I think the time has come for TTC to address the confusion by identifying, promoting, (and obviously, building up through service) the different networks they offer.
In that I’d like to see
1. A local network*
2. A ‘Rocket’ network of limited stop buses on major corridors
3. A “Frequent Service” network* highlighting 10 minutes or better service
4. A “Rapid Transit” network°
and finally, “Community Service networks” (Blue Night and Community Buses).
*bus and streetcar
Did Mr. Upfold touch on any of the things that you reported on in a previous chapter of the TTC capital budget?
Not being familiar with such things, can I presume any system to indicate position would be shown on the cab display for the operator.
Steve: I did not get into the technical details, but will pursue them now that I know the project is actually underway.
Regarding the community buses, I am reminded about the example given by Jarrett walker about mrs. Smith and mrs. Jones in his presentation in January. In summary, community buses are tremendously expensive to run because the route is forced to run in zigzag patterns in low density side streets. With wheel trans running into money problems, I think we should prioritize wheel trans over community buses and let community organizations run community buses.
Steve: That’s a nice idea in theory, but it ignores the fact that Mrs. Smith and Jones still need to get to where they are going, and it’s not their fault that some communities and the services they depend on were designed around cars half a century ago. The idea that community organizations should run local transit services presumes that there is such an organization and that it has the resources to fund such an operation. Typically these will be found in the more affluent parts of the city. Such organizations are usually quite dependent on grants from public agencies, typically City Council, an agency not noted for its largesse in recent times. Wheel Trans itself has problems that are a direct result of budget cuts at City Hall.
Before we start pushing services out into “the community”, we need to better understand who they serve, whether they could be improved, and whether their existence is even well known to potential riders.
Looking at these Eglinton drawings, I’m wondering if they’ve built themselves into a corner with extending the LRT further east. It and the subway are at the same level and the subway will (rather, may) be making a sharp turn either to go up the SRT corridor or McCowan. If they go up McCowan, then there’s probably room to get the LRT back onto the surface before the subway turns, but I’m not sure if the road is wide enough for 2 sets of tunnels. This definitely kills off the “demo and rebuild kennedy” option that was proposed for extending the BD.
They did in married pairs … I remember 4-car H4 + 2-car H6 trains. Late 80s.
Most of the lines I rode in Europe last fall had this, the most common was a yellow or blue LED light that had for left, straight or right hand turn. It either was hung on the overhead or mounted on a pole at the far side of the intersection or at the switch if the switch was located some distance before the intersection and gauntlet track used to the intersection. This was fairly common, especially in complex intersections.
Back when the Bloor-Danforth ran four-car trains on weekends and evenings, it was quite usual to get a mix of M-1 and H-class in a single six-car train, usually a 2+4 combination. I don’t think the H-5 cars ever participated in this mixup, so it would be something that was phased out by the mid-’70s.
I remember M and H mixes, often 2 Hs 2 Ms and 2 more Hs. This gave the guards and motormen bigger cabs to ride in. I rode a 6 car M train in the late 60s from Warden. The supervisor told the motorman that he needed to drive the train to keep up his qualifications. The motorman told him to watch the timing signal and power off and brake sooner because the train was faster the trains with all H equipment. The supervisor ignored him and tripped the train going into Victoria Park. He had to call control and tell them what happened while the motorman sat there and laughed.
During the summer of 63 the TTC experimented with running 2 car M trains on Sundays. This ticked everybody off because they had to run where the short train was. After that I never saw 2 car trains again.
I am curious when we may see the newer subway trains on the Bloor line.
Steve: Not for ten years until the TRs are displaced from the Yonge line by a newer batch of cars.
The Kennedy station design bugs me. This transfer made sense with SLRT but without it, all this infrastructure is overkill. What traffic pattern is it for?
BDLRT: Well if the BD line is going eastward towards Brimley, surely it’s less cost to add a BD station there and keep the Crosstown at surface in the middle of Eglinton and have a St George type connection at Brimley. No change to the Kennedy station whatsoever.
BusLRT: Well this is better done at each intersection. e.g. Kennedy, Midland, Brimley. This is one of the benefits of surface LRT, not having to funnel everything to a single point.
GOLRT: Yeah right. But even so they could take the subway 1 stop east.
Optimistically I would think the TTC was keeping the option open to go back to plan A. More likely the architects are asked to design a station with no context, no view into the big picture and beyond the margins of their blueprint it says “There may be dragons!”
Steve: It’s Metrolinx that is now responsible for the design, and they are certainly keeping their options open with this one by leaving the Eglinton line at the “lower” level in the station with room above for an SLRT station.
Are we still going to be hearing the “mistreated Scarborough” refrain a decades from now?
“Why are we treated as second-class citizens? Why do we always get Line 1 hand-me-downs? We deserve new trains!”
Not quite sure if this fits here as the new (improved) signage and subway line nomenclature was discussed by the Board in February BUT I noticed that the announcements about the subway closure in this weekend’s newspapers still refer to the Yonge Subway and the Spadina Subway. Their new fondness for numbers seems to have been rather short-lived :->
The announcement on the TTC website is also numberless.
Since we’ve been talking about mixed consists, I also remember a period one year where H4s were inserted between H6s because of unusable cab controls on one H4 car. It was really strange to hear camshaft and chopper propulsion mixed as they would pass.
I also had heard that the H5s were unique in their family in that the controller could drop from parallel to series without going all the way back to off first (the T1s can do this now too). This didn’t prevent mixing car types in a train but the operator would have to be aware that the controller would always have to cycle back to off before moving down from parallel to series. If this wasn’t done there was a good chance the H5s in the consist would successfully drop back to series and continue to apply traction power while the other type cars would cut out completely and stall until the controller was cycled off. I don’t know if this controller ‘shortcut’ was routinely used on full H5 trains or not.
Moaz: I suppose the challenge of extending the line east really depends on where the portal for the LRT is going to be … and that depends the redesign of the road east of the bridge over the railroad tracks to allow the LRT to return to Eglinton Ave.
I suppose that if the subway extension goes ahead the GO Parking lot would need to be used for staging the tunnel boring machines … which suggests that there may not be an LRT extension until the subway extension is built … unless the LRT stays as a separate line as originally proposed.
Steve: I suspect that any tunnel boring work will be done toward, not away from Kennedy. Wait until we get into the EA and they start talking about how the thing might be built. It’s a bit premature to speculate on launch sites now.
Moaz: The same Metrolinx whose chair gushed gushingly over the proposal to tear down and reorient Kennedy Station?
Moaz: Just wait what will happen when “the public” learns that most of those eastbound Bloor-Danforth-Scarborough / Line 2 trains will turn back at Kennedy.
Steve: Not “most”, only half.
With regard to new trains, there is a plan I think to add a short car to existing 6 car trains, to take advantage of full station length. Would this not be a relatively simple and quick capacity increase in the order of 8-10%? Would the existing signaling accommodate this? Or is the matter of stopping a train more accurately something that needs ATC? Or is it on hold waiting some improvement in Yonge/Bloor crowding.
Steve: The seventh car cannot be added until ATC allow for precise stopping of trains. There may also be issues at various yards, pocket tracks and carhouses with 500 foot (as against 450 foot) trains. The last time I saw anything definitive, the idea was to hold off on the 7-car train concept until the next generation of TRs is ordered in the early 2020s. These would displace the current six-car TR trains to the BD line.
Has there been any update on fixing the outdoor tracks between Eglinton and St. Clair? Last I heard was the CEO saying a 2-month shutdown wasn’t acceptable and that they were looking at other options.
Steve: That’s pretty much where it stands. There will be temporary repairs to tide them over for the next few years, and when the rebuild happens, it will not be on the scale originally contemplated. The problem is that this section of track is part of the original Yonge line and it was not constructed on a concrete slab foundation. Adding one would require complete removal of the existing track structure, whereas rebuilding in place to the same design would not take as long and might be possible with many weekend-long shutdowns. Also, I would not be the least bit surprised that the two-year delay is to get clear of the Pan Am Games.
Hey Steve, regarding rebuilding the Davisville tracks, I’ve been speculating that they’re waiting for the Eglinton Crosstown to be built first, so that those going south on Yonge can use it to go across to Eglinton West station and use the Spadina line to go south in addition to shuttle buses to mitigate the long closure.
Does that sound plausible?
Steve: No, it does not. The Eglinton line won’t open until 2020 at best and the work needs to be done long before then.
Logistically speaking, if they hired enough workers and equipment, could they get the outdoor track repairs done in a week? Rip out the old tracks/equipment on day 1, prepare the ground for base slab day 2, pour the slab day 3, set up other infrastructure like third rail while the slab cures day 4, install rails days 5/6, finalize and test day 7, re-start service day 8.
I guess my question boils down to this: what’s the controlling factor that makes this a two-month shutdown, and what is within human control to speed up (and by how much)?
Thanks for staying up on everything Toronto transit, Steve.
Steve: That’s a huge stretch of track to demolish and re-lay in a week’s time. Just look at any on-street construction projects for the length of time they take even executed at around-the-clock speed. By the way, the foundation slabs for intersections don’t have any substantial loads on them for at least a week after they are poured beyond initial sections of track and, eventually, the second layer of concrete. Similarly, the slab for tangent track does not carry a substantial load, only preliminary bits and pieces of the track assembly, for many days after it is in the ground. It is vital that the concrete have lots of time to cure before there is heavy load and especially vibration if it is going to last for the so-called “100 years” of subway infrastructure.
It is conceivable that a short section of rebuilding that did not include a track slab could be done over a three-day weekend, but even that is a challenge. It would have to be done in sections that would make logical breaks where service could easily be restored such as Muir Portal to Belt Line Crossover, then the special work at this crossover and the yard exit, then from the crossover to Davisville Station. Similarly, the section north to Eglinton could be broken into at least three stages. But getting it all done even in three days would be quite a challenge.
Regarding the Yonge track rebuild, I would hope the TTC is considering pre-cast track slabs that are laid upon aggregate and asphalt layers. LIRR and others have used this for weekend rebuilds.
Steve: I don’t think it would be possible to do a weekend rebuild without some type of precast track assembly being used.
As I understand it, part of the problem is that the ballast has become fouled with ‘fines’ (small grained organics, sand, dust, clay etc). During cycles of freezing and thawing, these fines hold onto moisture and render ordinary ballast vulnerable to heaves/movement. A few things can help with this problem:
The obvious one is to replace the ballast down to below the frost depth, either with clean ballast or with precast slabs as is currently proposed. This is expensive, but may be feasible to stage in painfully small areas around the most chronic problems.
The less obvious one is to prevent freezing from happening altogether, and leave the ballast alone. From the portal at the south end of the Davisville yard to the southernmost crossover, the track could be decked over to reduce the extent of frost penetration and water ingress. Further, insulation could then be applied between the rails to retain ground heat and provide some protection against further fouling of the ballast. Where open sections cannot be avoided, local removal and reconstruction of the track bed may be unavoidable. Similarly, north of the northernmost crossover, it would likely be technically feasible to deck over and insulate the trackage. In this way, the service could likely be maintained, and the critical areas treated directly. In time, the remainder of the ballast could be replaced, but perhaps to an extent less deep than is currently being proposed.
I have no doubt that this concept would be more costly to implement, but it may reduce the potential for a long term closure.
Improving drainage has limited benefit if the source of water doesn’t go away du
Steve: The text ends at this point. Decking over the track will not prevent it from freezing. Just look at any subway station near a portal where there is water accumulation from tunnel leaks. Frozen solid. Also, this type of construction will not fix the basic problem that there is at least a one-time requirement to rebuild the entire roadbed.
This is somewhat off-topic, but do you know how many of the H6 trains are still in service and when the final run is expected to be? These days I only see about 2 – 3 sets in total on the line, although I heard there are 5 left. Originally they were supposed to be gone this April, but speaking with a driver yesterday he said end of 2014.
Steve: According to April’s CEO Report, 12 of 21 TR trainsets that will replace the H6 fleet have been delivered (although they may not yet all be in service). At a delivery rate of 2/month, that takes us to late summer, although one can argue that given there is a surplus of T1 trains, we should be able to retire the H6’s sooner.
I asked the TTC about this, and Brad Ross replied that the date will be in June or July. He will Tweet about it when they know.
When the new TR-2’s (or whatever they will be) come out to replace the T1’s it would make sense to put them out on the BD and Sheppard lines since the TR’s are confined to YUS, especially when they are ATO-ized. I wonder if the TTC would once again return to single-car trains since the Sheppard line currently uses 4-car trains instead of 6 (unless the line hopefully is extended and sees an increase in ridership that would require longer platforms) and it would be easier to have compatible fleets for BD and Sheppard rather than having to purchase separate 4- and 6-car sets for each line.
Steve: The current plan is for the next generation of trains to go to the Yonge line, possibly with longer trains, displacing the TRs to Bloor. This is a decade away unless once again the TTC pulls the trick of saying “we need new trains now” when at least part of the incentive is to send more work to Thunder Bay.
Oh, I see, so they never want to give fresh trains to the Bloor line. BD always gets YUS hand-me-downs. Not that I don’t like older trains, I personally am not a fan of the TR’s (no longer), H5’s and H6’s are my favorite. Still, hard to believe that the T1 retirement is already being discussed and planned, the latest cars of the series are not even 13 years old. When the T1’s retire our subway will lose that distinctive familiar look of trains (H and T1 series) that represents it and that everyone is so used to 😦 When the new TR-2 come out my favorite subways in order would be T1, TR-2, TR.
I’m pretty sure that’s not true. I distinctly remember the red trains only running on the Yonge line when I was a kid.
@Isaac Morland I suppose that’s true, but I wasn’t around town then. I did hear that the H’s went on BD first when they came out, probably the most exciting new trains to get, but from now on it seems like BD will always get hand-me-downs. Even when the T1’s first came out, would it not have made more sense to put the latest T1’s directly on BD and leave the early T1’s on YUS, instead of shifting them to BD so YUS would have the newer ones. Probably come 2025, the Sheppard line would be the last to still have T1’s, since it uses 4-car trains and putting TR’s onto it would be difficult.
Steve: You could always look up the history of the fleet rather than just kvetching about something that is even less important than how many subway stations are in each of the former boroughs.