King & Sumach: Connecting to Cherry Street (Update 10: September 21, 2014)

Last year, the TTC built new track on Cherry from Eastern Avenue south to the rail corridor that, eventually, will host a new streetcar service in spring 2016. Why so long you ask? The south end of the line sits in the Pan Am Games’ Athletes’ Village and won’t be ready for service for two years even though most of the track will already be in place. The opening will co-incide with the period when purchasers of condos (originally used as athletes’ quarters) will start moving into the neighbourhood.

New photos will be added to the end of this article as the project progresses.

April 25, 2014:

A reader asked whether someone would be brave enough to take a photo from one of the overpasses.  Here is one provided by John F. Bromley from September 19, 1964, taken when the then Duke Street (now Richmond) ramp was under construction.

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April 17, 2014

Looking west on King across Sumach.  The base that will lie under the foundation slab is being prepared in this view with work only about half-way across the intersection.

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Looking north from Eastern toward King showing what will become the streetcar right-of-way. As on Cherry further south, the streetcars are on the east side of the street echoing the design on Queens Quay (to which this line may eventually connect) where the tracks are south of the road lanes.

April 23, 2014

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Looking west on King at Sumach. The first two pieces of the northeast quadrant are in place on the concrete foundation. A third track panel sits on a trailer ready to be lifted off by the walking cranes that are used to position pre-assembled segments of the intersection. This will be an unusual junction because the streets do not cross at right angles, and the curves for the western quadrant will be more than 90 degrees

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Two panels that will form the western quadrant sit on trailers further west on King.

Looking south on Sumach toward Eastern, the reverse angle to the second view of April 17 above. Some preliminary grading has been done in the interval between the two photos.

April 24, 2014

Both quadrants of the intersection have now been installed on King Street.

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Looking east across Sumach on King.

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Looking west across Sumach on King.

May 1, 2014

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Most of the south quadrant is now in place. However, a chunk of the east to south curve is missing because of utilities (including TTC feeders) that have not yet been relocated.

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Looking southeast across the King & Sumach intersection.  The TTC pole carrying feeders is located on a small island that was to be removed as part of this project (see plan below). The same feeders are also visible on this island in the 1964 photo above.

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Another view looking south on Sumach across King.  The small red brick building in the background is a TTC substation from which the feeders running up that pole likely originate.

Here is the design for the intersection as originally published in the Cherry Street project’s plans. It clearly shows that the east-to-south curve would pass through the island that has not yet been removed from the street.

King Sumach Intersection

May 9, 2014

Recently, I asked Waterfront Toronto when the section of Cherry south of Eastern would re-open for traffic. Here is their reply:

Dundee Kilmer (DK) is in the process of finalizing items related to Cherry Street and hope to have it reopened by the end of the month. This may need to take place in stages.

The section from Mill to Lake Shore is expected to open imminently. As you mention, Metrolinx is undertaking bridge repair work. Until there is a continuous pedestrian route on the west side of Cherry St, the street needs to remain closed. We expect that this should be resolved very soon and the section from Lake Shore to Mill opened.

The remainder – from Mill Street north to Old Eastern Avenue – is contingent on DK finalizing the remaining items with the City. We expect that this portion will also open shortly, but we don’t have a firm date yet.

With luck, once Cherry re-opens south from Mill, the 172 Cherry bus will be routed through the Distillery District again rather than around it.

May 11, 2014

Excavation continues for the new track on Sumach linking south from King to Cherry, and the feeder cable which rose on a pole that conflicts with the new east-to-south curve has been moved to a new location.

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Looking south to Eastern Avenue on Sumach.

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Connecting in the new feeder on the northwest corner of King & Sumach Streets.

May 16, 2014

The remaining piece of the east to south curve has now been installed, and work continues elsewhere in the intersection to finish off the sidewalks.

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May 29, 2014

Final paving of the curb lanes at King & Sumach was underway today when I visited the site. This will allow King Street to reopen for normal traffic quite soon. (Streetcars continue to divert because of work on the Don Bridge a few blocks to the east.)

On Sumach Street, preparations for the foundation slab are underway.

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Looking north on Sumach toward King Street.

June 2, 2014

June 02, 2014/Toronto, ON:  TTC. Sumach & King Sts. L/S on Sumach towards Eastern. Last of the concrete for the trackbed.

Looking south on Sumach from King Street as the foundation for the track linking King south to Cherry is poured. [Photo by Harold McMann]

June 25, 2014

The last section of tangent rail is now being installed between King and Front Streets.

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Looking north from Front toward King.

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Looking south from King toward Front.

Also, despite contrary plans announced earlier in the project that the loop at the rail corridor would not be completed until after the Pan Am Games, the TTC seems to be preparing to install the rest of the loop track now.

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Looking south on Cherry across the future loop with the Cherry Street Tower (originally the site of signal and switch controls for the eastern part of the Union Station rail corridor) in the background.

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Looking across the bottom of Cherry Street Loop showing the excavation for the foundation under the loop track.

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Looking north on Cherry from the loop.


September 21, 2014

Although the original word on Cherry Street Loop was that it would be left incomplete until after the Pan Am Games, that plan is obviously changed. The remaining half of the loop was installed last week and (thanks for the info to David Crawford) the final concrete pour was done on September 20.

The photos below were taken on September 17, 2014.

The land east of the loop will be used for bus storage during the Games. It is intended, eventually, to be the site of a new school.

For those unfamiliar with the area, the embankment in the background is the GO corridor and Don Yard east of Union Station. Cherry Street Tower is immediately south of the loop.

The water tower in the distance in the middle photo is at the Unilever site east of the Don River.

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73 thoughts on “King & Sumach: Connecting to Cherry Street (Update 10: September 21, 2014)

  1. Seeing the passenger traffic (and related streetcar bunching) in Liberty Village during morning rush hour trying to get downtown it occurred to me in conjunction with the Cherry St. track and loop why not split the 504? Take the leg from Dundas West along the regular route and terminate it at Cherry St. The leg from Broadview would run only as far as the Dufferin Gates. This way both Liberty Village and the Canary/Distillery District both get a crack at a seat on a streetcar.

    It would in effect make the 521 (with a modification of running to Dufferin and not Princes Gate) a permanent route. Plus since the 504 would no longer be serving the same pair of destinations as the 505 the “via King” and “via Dundas” could be removed from the signs making them easier to read (all moot once the new streetcars with electronic destination signs go into wide circulation). There should be enough overlap in the core between Dufferin and Sumach to maintain the current level of service. Hopefully the two lines can be managed properly so that we don’t get a repeat of the 501 at Long Branch and Neville Park with cars being short turned at say Shaw and Church!

    Steve: But in best TTC tradition this would result in cars bound for Cherry actually turning at Church, and cars bound for Dufferin would be lucky to make Fleet Loop at Bathurst.

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  2. Apart from adding curves to existing intersections, when was the last time the TTC cut into its existing network to install virgin specialwork?

    Steve: I believe the last time was the addition of the Harbourfront extension west from Spadina to Bathurst.

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  3. Steve: ….a new streetcar service in spring 2016….The opening will co-incide with the period when purchasers of condos (originally used as athletes’ quarters) will start moving into the neighbourhood.

    Moaz: The one positive thing here that I can see is that this is probably the second time in 100 years that we are building transit first, then the neighbourhood around it.

    Cheers, Moaz

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  4. I imagine Google’s street view pic from the bridge will capture the completed intersection from an aerial view when they next make their rounds in that area.

    Are they planning to construct the specialwork on Sumach at the same time as King, or will they just construct the switches and curves on King for the sake of restoring traffic on King, to be connected to the remainder of Sumach at a later date?

    Steve: My understanding is that the intersection and the track south to Eastern connecting into the Cherry Street track done last year will all be done in the current job.

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  5. Steve, do you have any idea if the new LFLRVs will be compatible with the kind of rubber flangeway fillers that are installed on mainline railway crossings? I seem to recall that the A/CLRVs wouldn’t work with them, but I don’t remember why.

    As a supporter of transit, it’s nice to see this, but as a cyclist it’s a bit of a mixed blessing to have another intersection full of oblique rail crossings.

    Steve: I don’t know about specific problems with our streetcars and flange fillers, but this type of thing is only applicable to straight (tangent) track, not to special work. Streetcar curves depend on the wheel flange being able to bear on the rail which has a groove, not a simple slot like “T” rail at a grade crossing. There’s also the non-trivial problem of maintenance and stray objects lodging under the flange filler because unlike railway crossings, the track is sitting in a concrete slab with a shallow flangeway.

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  6. “I seem to recall that the A/CLRVs wouldn’t work with them, but I don’t remember why.”

    I’ve read that flange fillers work only if the rail line sees very infrequent service. If service is too frequent, the rubber loses its resilience really quickly and begins to crumble.

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  7. Steve, what are some of the advantages of buses over streetcars?

    Steve: Simplicity of implementation on routes where the demand is low enough that the higher capacity of rail vehicles is not required. Greater “flexibility” in theory to handle route changes, but by analogy I don’t hear people asking for the subway or RT to be moved from week to week. That’s a tradeoff when one gets to a higher capacity service — it tends to be nailed down to one location.

    Each vehicle has its role in a transit system.

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  8. Steve:

    My understanding is that the intersection and the track south to Eastern connecting into the Cherry Street track done last year will all be done in the current job.

    They were busily excavating the north end of the Sumach track-bed today – the south end is already just about ready for the base layer of concrete – and the rails to go from Eastern to King are all waiting on the already-laid track south of Eastern.

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  9. Buses vs Streetcars:

    Steve, what are some of the advantages of buses over streetcars?

    Steve:

    Simplicity of implementation on routes where the demand is low enough that the higher capacity of rail vehicles is not required. Greater “flexibility” in theory to handle route changes, but by analogy I don’t hear people asking for the subway or RT to be moved from week to week. That’s a tradeoff when one gets to a higher capacity service — it tends to be nailed down to one location.

    Each vehicle has its role in a transit system.

    And buses can be diverted for use as emergency vehicles at football games. (low blow)

    Traction Heritage magazine used to have old ads giving the capacity ranges of various types of transit. Is there a modern table?

    Steve: This is one of those “it depends” answers. You can get vehicle capacity numbers from places like the TTC website (service design values) as well as somewhat more optimistic (i.e. packed) loads from manufacturers. The question then becomes what headway can reasonably be operated depending on route conditions and how much you want to spend on bigger stations for longer trains, etc.

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  10. Steve: “… where the demand is low enough that the higher capacity of rail vehicles is not required. ”

    And which of the current streetcar routes has the lowest demand and which one the highest? My suggestion would be to use buses on the lowest demand streetcar route/s so that the streetcar shortage can be addressed by moving streetcars from the lowest demand route/s to the highest demand route/s. I am tired of waiting for streetcar after streetcar passing by without stopping (at my Spadina stop) simply because it’s full. In contrast, streetcars run empty on Broadview as well as on Queen east of Broadview. Removing streetcars from Broadview and moving them to Spadina, Bathurst, and Queen will also allow for the implementation of bike lanes on Broadview which will help improve the environment and help tackle gridlock in addition to providing relief to the heavily crowded Spadina, Bathurst, and Queen streetcar lines.

    Steve: I hate to tell you, but streetcars on Broadview do NOT run empty. I am always amused when people have an ulterior motive (in your case bike lanes) for taking streetcars away from a route they don’t deem personally important. The biggest problem on Broadview is the amount of the service that never actually gets here, particularly in the evening and weekends.

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  11. Hamlet said:

    “My suggestion would be to use buses on the lowest demand streetcar route/s so that the streetcar shortage can be addressed by moving streetcars from the lowest demand route/s to the highest demand route/s. I am tired of waiting for streetcar after streetcar passing by without stopping (at my Spadina stop) simply because it’s full.”

    Of course this begs a couple of questions:

    1. As to whether this is an actual shortage of cars in this instance or a route management issue (are there 3 cars running together elsewhere on the route).
    2. Will the new larger cars be enough to address the issue where they are rolled out, or will they be quickly loaded due to frustrated riders.

    If it is shortage of cars this will represent a serious problem going forward as I suspect that a more reasonable loading standard will attract enough riders that the new cars will quickly be loaded beyond it.

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  12. I always find it interesting that people who would not accept a capacity reduction on there own trip want one for somebody else’s.

    I took a subway train down the YUS Sunday afternoon at around 3:30. The amount of people on that train from Finch to Eglinton could have fit in 3 buses. Anybody care to suggest we don’t run subways until the cars get more full?

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  13. Slightly OT, but, still permanent-way related.

    When is Alstom/Cantech slated to start trackwork at Leslie CH?

    With Altstom winning this contract, I wonder if they will be applying their Appitrack method of track construction?

    I am assuming Alstom/Cantech will be sourcing all the track materials.

    Steve: I’m not sure this is what we will see because their contract is for yard track that may well not be built the same way as continuous street trackage. What is interesting about their system is that it involves one fewer layer of concrete, compared to TTC track, because the track mounting system is embedded directly in the foundation layer with no ties. I will have to check with the folks at the Leslie Barns project to see how this construction will be handled.

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  14. Neat little historical note:
    With the most recent position (more or less at the old Gilbert loop) of the TBMs for the Eglinton Crosstown, the Metrolinx/TTC is, for the first time in a very long time, tunneling below what was once streetcar trackage, albeit with a bit of a lag between streetcar operation and underground tunneling. I suspect that apart from any further Yonge line extensions (which would pass below the old radial railway alignment) this may be the last time in the foreseeable future that this takes place.

    Steve: Gilbert Loop was, of course, in what is now a parkette on the south side of Eglinton, but once the TBMs get back under Eglinton itself, they will be into streetcar territory.

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  15. There are several problems with streetcars.

    Firstly, if one breaks down then all the other ones either go out of service too or take long slow short turns or long slow detours (bi-directional streetcars would be a bit better but TTC did not have the foresight to get bi-directional ones when unilaterally spending billions of OUR dollars in doing so).

    Secondly, the stops are too close which makes it annoying for drivers who have to stop every time a streetcar stops (which slows hardworking drivers who have better things to do than to wait for a streetcar that s/he does not even need to take – is it not fair that only transit riders should have to wait for transit vehicles?). Close stops also slows down transit riders considerably in addition to slowing down drivers. A few safe stops (separated from traffic) but farther apart will be better for drivers and transit riders alike and also much safer for transit riders.

    Last time, I gently hit an elderly driver with my pickup truck when how is it my fault that all of a sudden he walks in front of my vehicle? The streetcar doors had opened all of a sudden. Anyway, I gave him a $20 and he agreed to not call the cops in exchange. I don’t care about the money or a speeding ticket or whatever but my time is worth much more than to wait for a streetcar every 10 seconds.

    Thirdly, the overhead wires don’t allow for double decker streetcars (fewer high capacity streetcars means fewer stops for drivers than many low capacity streetcars). Double decker articulated buses are much cheaper and have much more space than single decker streetcars. If a streetcar breaks down, then shuttle buses need to be used anyway to replace all streetcars on the route even though all the other streetcars are working just fine. Articulated buses were only recently announced and are already running on multiple routes and the new streetcar contracts were signed many years ago and I have yet to see one with passengers.

    If in future winters (ice storms, cold temperatures, etc), the new ones break down too; then will you (Steve) agree to write the obituary on streetcars (which are much more suitable to warmer European, Asian, and Australian climates)? Or you will defend the streetcars no matter how unreliable they are? The keyword in my first question is “IF”. Double decker articulated buses are much cheaper than streetcars and faster to implement and are robust (if one breaks down too, then others are just fine and no need to run shuttle buses taking away precious buses from other routes – why should bus riders have to wait longer just because streetcar riders’ beloved streetcar broke down? It is streetcar riders’ fault that they did not pressure the TTC to abandon this ancient technology (they used to run these in 19th century New York City, Chicago, etc and all these Great cities have since given them up due to the problems that they create for both drivers and transit users alike)). Buses are also much faster for both transit users and drivers. If the new ones start creating problems next winter, then I think that it would be time to sell these (including the new ones) to a country with a warmer climate.

    Steve: Some of the more closely spaced stops are being eliminated as part of the implementation of new streetcars, although likely not enough for your taste. Streetcar doors popped open? They do that at stops, and you as a motorists must be prepared to stop for this. Sorry, but it’s your fault. And you poor hardworking drivers? Well, there are a lot more hardworking folks riding on those streetcars, so you can just wait.

    Bidirectional cars? Well, we would have to start with massive rebuiling of all of the terminals and the addition of crossovers along the routes. Better to leave the existing streetcar system as it is. Meanwhile, the cars ordered for the Transit City lines are bidirectional.

    Double decker streetcars? Have you looked at some of the underpasses around Toronto (not to mention places like St. Clair West Station)? Even the single deckers are a tight fit. By the way, if you want the overhead much higher off of the ground, you would have to replace many of the existing support poles.

    As for weather and cities that abandoned their systems: First off, you may have noticed that last winter was especially difficult, and this combined with the fact that the existing fleet is beyond its target replacement date, led to many problems. Second, streetcars run in many northern cities with worse winters than we have. That said, if Bombardier cannot build a winter-ready car for Toronto, then they don’t belong in the business. At least unlike the CLRV, the new cars are based on a standard design rather than being a one-of, made-in-Ontario model with a lot of brand new, less than reliable technology.

    New York gave up its streetcars as a political move by Mayor La Guardia, and in Chicago, the end came at least in part because the private transit companies let their plant fall apart leading to the creation of the Chicago Transit Authority. Meanwhile, out of the way places like Berlin, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Melbourne and many others still have streetcars. (I deliberately omitted former eastern blok cities such as Moscow lest you accuse me of citing places with “command economies”.)

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  16. “Double decker articulated buses are much cheaper and have much more space than single decker streetcars.”

    I get the feeling you are actually winding people up as your story is a calculated collection of known myths with a personal story designed to get people ticked. But just in case anybody really thinks this is a good idea beyond Steve’s already said height issues, just imagine the complaints of drivers trying to look around such a monstrosity, and also trying to get it in and out of lanes around beasts like this.

    It would be like driving double hitched 18 wheelers up and down Gerrard (that would go over well along the leafy boulevards east of Broadview) Queen, King, Spadina, College and St. Clair and hoping nobody notices a change in smog and street atmosphere.

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  17. It’d be interesting if Toronto started implementing some of the same strategies American and European cities have with their street railway systems, namely closing off car lanes and entire streets for the exclusive use of rail vehicles and wider sidewalks.

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  18. “I took a subway train down the YUS Sunday afternoon at around 3:30. The amount of people on that train from Finch to Eglinton could have fit in 3 buses. Anybody care to suggest we don’t run subways until the cars get more full?”

    OK, I’ll suggest it. Bustitute the subway from Eglinton north, and the Sheppard stubway. 😉 Put pantographs on the remaining subway cars to provide improved service on the King St. Line. Close King St. to cars and build big wooden platforms. Could be done in a month or two. 😉 Why not make use of the choice of the same gauge for streetcar and subway? 😉

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  19. I recommend that, post-haste, Toronto convert ALL its Subway, Streetcar, Bus and GoTransit routes, PLUS the solitary Scarborough RT, to SwanBoat technology!

    This transformative and all-inclusive act would, in one fell swoop (and rush of feathers): 1) put an end to all debate over which of the above-listed modes of public transport is THE best technology for any given route and, 2) result in a simply “ducky” and “swanderful” transit experience for everyone!

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  20. I took a subway train down the YUS Sunday afternoon at around 3:30. The amount of people on that train from Finch to Eglinton could have fit in 3 buses. Anybody care to suggest we don’t run subways until the cars get more full?

    I’m going to have to call this comment out.

    I have taken the subway southbound from North York on Sunday afternoons before and the trains can get quite cozy. Northbound trains seemed to be more spacious.

    The pragmatic solution (saving the most money) would be to keep running those trains southbound and replacing the northbound trains with buses. Win-win for everybody.

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  21. Huh? In order to *have* a southbound train, it needs to *get* to the northernmost turnback to return south. If it has to get there anyway, why not service the stations? You would have to pay the train operators to move empty trains regardless, and you want to pay bus drivers on top of that too? Pragmatic? I think not.

    Steve: You have missed the irony in the comment.

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  22. Regarding Chicago’s elimination of streetcars: part of the reason they did it there was supposedly because traffic congestion hampered the lines there so as to make continued operation hopelessly uneconomical. Another cause I’ve read about was that the CTA refused to take a hard line with the unions in wage negotiations so when the union’s demands were met, fares went up to cover the rise in wages, thus driving down ridership and to top all that off, there was a very urgent need to replace very old El cars so they sold the PCC streetcars back to St. Louis Car Company which scrapped the cars and salvaged what they could from them to be put in brand new El cars.

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  23. @ David Aldinger

    Another reason for getting rid of the streetcars was the fact that they had 2 man crews. The PCCs had to come with hand controllers, a union demand, so the operator could not collect fares. The Illinois Railway Museum has one and the hand controls are connected by levers to operate the pedal positions.

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  24. The TTC advises that their conventional track construction technique will be used.

    Thanks for the info.

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  25. Steve wrote “You have missed the irony in the comment.”

    Ironically you seem to have missed the satire in the post from Angry Downtown Driver!

    Steve: I am not entirely sure that was irony as I have received a stream of quite similar comments under various pseudonyms. Some I let through, some I delete.

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  26. On another street car issue.
    Today is May 1 which is one day beyond Late April.
    Shouldn’t we be seeing photos of the first three LRV’s being truckled into Toronto.
    With pantographs on top of course.

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  27. Robert, I’ve seen that car. I understand that some cars actually got converted to one man operation for operation on a line or two which had that. When that was done they received foot pedals for power and brakes but no deadman pedal.

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  28. The access cover on the island, which probably leads to the feeders, was an old one – it had “Toronto Transportation Commission” stamped on it. I think there are a couple of others of similar vintage still around.

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  29. Still hoping someone will contribute a modern-day update photo for the site to compare to the ‘historic’ one. Must be possible at least from a car window.

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  30. Steve said:

    “Last year, the TTC built new track on Cherry from Eastern Avenue south to the rail corridor that, eventually, will host a new streetcar service in spring 2016. Why so long you ask? The south end of the line sits in the Pan Am Games’ Athletes’ Village and won’t be ready for service for two years even though most of the track will already be in place. The opening will co-incide with the period when purchasers of condos (originally used as athletes’ quarters) will start moving into the neighbourhood.”

    Peter: It would have been very nice to have the new Cherry Street-Harbourfront East LRT route open, a showcase, for 2015.

    Steve, I am wondering how it happens that the Pan Am Games’ Athletes’ Village is blocking the connection from Cherry St. to Eastern Ave. Was not building a temporary detour track feasible?

    If you have a pdf of the plans, like the pdf that you posted of the route from King to Eastern, that would help explain.

    Steve: This info has been covered before, but I know some readers are new to the situation.

    There are NO public events for the Games in the Athletes’ Village area and hence no need for any special public transit or use for a “showcase”. Cherry will be within the secure area of the Games and will not be open to the general public. The new loop is partly complete down at the rail corridor (just north of the old Cherry Street tower), but the land east of Cherry will be a parking lot for buses that will be used to ferry athletes from the village to event venues. The loop won’t be completed until the temporary paving has been removed.

    There is no point in having a detour track (even presuming there was an alternate route) because there won’t be anything for the “Cherry Streetcar” to serve until the Games are over and the new residents move into their condos in 2016.

    I will update the plan linked in the main article with the layout of the line down to the loop when I get a chance.

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  31. Steve, I see that my post on this thread from April 29 is still awaiting moderation (regarding new Metro cars for Montreal). Was there a problem? Thx!

    Steve: I accidently promoted a few comments that I was holding onto more as FYI’s and possible ideas for separate articles. Yours was one that was briefly visible, then pulled back to pending status. It really didn’t belong in the thread where you left it, and I’m not sure that it was really germane to the stuff covered here. In any event, I will promote it.

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  32. I think that the Streetcar provides a service in terms of development that other modes of transit simply cannot. It provides a level of certainty and security of service that a bus does not simply because transit providers can move a bus route almost on a whim. It provides local access to residents and visibility to business that subways simply cannot. This encourages investment in both commercial and residential intensification.

    Toronto, needs to work harder at making streetcar service both better and much broader. Use and enforce reserved lanes, and things like their enforcement should be a major political issue. Eliminating short turns, headway management, light priority and transit focused traffic management and appropriate bylaw enforcement should more important in this municipal elections than building a new subway.

    Frankly focus on building subway in Scarborough is an excuse to not deal with poor management, and a failure to break down agency and departmental barriers, to get improved service at lower cost. Queen’s Park has gone along, because they want no waves or trouble. I would be surprised to not see a radically different take if a provincial majority government in a position to govern not pander takes office.

    Building subway is a sop to those who believe that it is the only thing that will work, and a way of avoiding real responsibility for service management.

    I think Cherry street land values and redevelopment will be aided by the streetcar as has much of the shoulder area. The extension of this development will increase the need for streetcars. Improved streetcar service would accelerate intensification, and make these areas even more attractive, drawing more growth nearer the core and help to reduce the scope the GTA’s overall traffic issue by increasing reverse commuting and reducing longer auto trips.

    Toronto needs government more willing to work harder to get its various agencies to cooperate and make better use of resources. It needs to continue to improve and extend service like this out through the city.

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  33. Watched the new streetcar on a test run take a full 30 sec stoplight to short turn from King WB to Spadina NB. More brutal gridlock is coming folks. Will post video if you like Steve. How do I do it?

    Steve: I don’t host videos, but you could always put it on YouTube and post a link here.

    The real question is: what factors made the turn take so long? Even CLRVs have problems at that corner thanks to the amount of auto and pedestrian traffic and the lack of a transit priority phase for this turn. Compound this with construction mayhem, spillover from the Gardiner and the fact that every Spadina car turns at King, and it’s a real mess.

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  34. It appears that WT and IO are working themselves up to reopening Cherry Street to traffic. They have started to build as fence to the west of the streetcar track south of Eastern, This will keep the track and the Pan-Am Village protected, presumably until late 2015 or 2016. GO/Metrolinx are still working on the rail bridge maintenance/painting so I suspect Cherry will not reopen until they are finished (late June is rumoured) but we may see the 72/172 bus returning to Mill and Cherry in the next couple of months.

    Steve: I expect to hear an update on Cherry Street at the WFT board meeting Monday. The problem with reopening had something to do with the formal handover of the completed street back to the City.

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