Updated June 24, 2014 at 11:35 pm with additional info from the TTC. Please scroll down to the end of the article.
Updated June 19, 2014 at 11:15 am: Waterfront Toronto has replied to my query about the status of the Queens Quay project. This has been added to the end of the article.
In what is becoming a distressingly common TTC tactic, the first sign of delays to the Harbourfront streetcar’s return has again appeared buried deep in the monthly CEO’s Report in the TTC Board’s meeting agenda.
The report now shows two separate dates for resumption of service to Queens Quay:
Queens Quay Union Stn to Yo Yo Ma Lane
Jul 29/12 – Oct 11/14
Queens Quay Reconstruction
Spadina Ave. and Queens Quay including Loop
May 13/13 – Aug 30/14
Platform Upgrades & Track Replacement
[See table on page 21]
I wrote to the TTC’s Brad Ross about this slippage, and also asked whether another factor was the planned opening date for the second platform at Union Station (which provides access to the Union Station Loop). He replied:
QQ may well be ready, but then again it may not. As you can appreciate, we had to schedule service as bus in case it wasn’t ready.
Union second platform is to open this summer. I don’t have a specific date to share yet.
What astounds me here is that the trackwork on Queens Quay is nearly complete, except for the section west of Spadina which is not required for restoration of streetcar service to Union Station.
When I pressed Ross further on the issue of opening east from Spadina, he replied:
Our track and overhead staff do not have a high level of confidence of readiness. We have made clear to WT in the strongest terms possible, our desire to have QQ back.
I will pursue this issue with Waterfront Toronto to get their side of the story.
Updated June 19, 2014:
Waterfront Toronto replies:
We are working collaboratively with TTC to substantially complete the construction of both the Spadina Loop and the streetcar corridor on Queens Quay by the end of June to give TTC crews the time they need to commission the line. To date, we have completed over 90% of the construction and have begun installing TTC poles along the corridor. Unfortunately, due to a collapsed telecommunications duct bank in the roadway west of Spadina (which is now repaired), reconstruction of the streetcar corridor in that block has been delayed by approximately two weeks. While we are working diligently to provide TTC crews the time they need to commission the line in that area, we fully respect their Service Planning process and the decision to have buses available to serve customers on the 509 Harbourfront line through September. We are pleased that the TTC will resume the 510 Spadina streetcar service to the newly rebuilt Spadina Loop as of August 31 and that we are on schedule to deliver the fully revitalized Queens Quay next June.
Updated June 24, 2014 at 11:35 pm:
Today I spoke with TTC CEO Andy Byford who advises that a major problem for the TTC is not the completion of the track, but the availability of poles on which to string the overhead. This is a particular problem at Queens Quay and Spadina where even getting the loop open for August 31 may be a challenge.
From various Waterfront Toronto construction reports, I know that work west of this intersection has been delayed first by the unexpected collapse of a Bell duct, and also while work was put on hold so the area could be used for staging of new track panels. That said, it is difficult to believe that WT cannot get the new poles installed promptly now that the intersection construction is largely complete. I will follow this up with WT for further info.