Progress continues, albeit slowly, on the Leslie Street connection. Much of the utility work is now completed, and a finished road, including streetcar track, is starting to appear in some blocks.
December 8, 2014
September 24, 2014
As segments of the utility work below Leslie Street are completed, the project has reached the stage where track, or at least foundations for track, are starting to appear south of Queen Street. The photos below were taken on September 21.
June 22, 2014
Streetcar service has resumed on Queen between Broadview and Coxwell with the completion of the intersection at Leslie. This will continue until Monday, June 30 when reconstruction of the intersection at Broadview will require that streetcars divert via Gerrard for about three weeks.
June 17, 2014
The last of the concrete work on the new tracks was being poured when I visited the site this morning. However, curb lanes at the intersection remain an excavation waiting to be restored.
Current TTC plans are for transit service, both bus and streetcar, to resume using Queen Street between Broadview and Coxwell on Sunday, June 22 so that full, normal service will be in place for Pride Week.
The Queen car will return to a diversion via Gerrard (between Coxwell and Parliament) on Monday, June 30 when reconstruction of the intersection at Broadview begins. Based on the time required at Victoria Street earlier this year, that should be roughly a three week project.
Queen and Kingston Road shuttle buses will divert around the Broadview project via Carlaw, Dundas and River Streets.
Work on track south from Queen to the Leslie Barns at Commissioners Street will occur later in 2014 after utility work is completed.
June 10, 2014
When I last visited the site, I thought “there won’t be any track here for a few days, I will come back next week”. On occasion, the TTC can move astoundingly swiftly as the photos below from Harold McMann show. What was a big empty excavation on June 5 became, by June 9, a fully assembled junction.
June 5, 2014
Utility work to replace nearly century-old infrastructure beneath Queen & Leslie is now complete, and construction of the new intersection can begin.
An update [pdf, 4mb] from the Community Office shows some of the recent work and details the staging of what is to come for the balance of 2014. Information is included about the Queen/Broadview reconstruction planned for late June through July.
Information about Leslie Barns in general can be found at the TTC’s Leslie Barns project page.
Why not double blade when in the road allowance? Our single blade switches, and all the engineering issues surrounding them, are the exception rather than the norm. Double blade switches are used throughout the systems in Melbourne and Oslo. I believe that Denver and Croydon (London) also use them as well – I don’t have access to my original photos to confirm this at the moment.
You misread my statements. ALL switches will be double blade; the ones in pavement are similar to our single blade switches but have the second blade while the ones on right of way would be similar to railway switches. Melbourne has double blade switches as does just about every line in Europe that I rode.
The Canal Line in New Orleans uses mainly double blade switches but has a couple of single blade ones thrown in for good measure. Perhaps they had some left over.
If the plans are any indication, it appears that Leslie will be able to handle Flexitys being shipped by truck but Leslie won’t handle production deliveries as Steve pointed out.
Was surprised yesterday, when having a shift at Leslie/Queen, D&B pointwork had been installed, not NORTRAK.
On a similar topic, any of the HADFIELD specialwork still in existence?
Returning to the subject of streetcar lines of the past, looks like they are almost finished removing the old tracks along Kingston Road between Victoria Park and Birchmount with only a small segment left to remove around Warden.
They can take their time with this project (and the Barns).
With a possible work stoppage looming at the Thunder Bay Bombardier plant, the already late re-re-revised delivery schedule is looking like it will have to be re-re-re-revised again.
Has anyone spotted 4404 at Hillcrest yet? The dates keep slipping with not a single peep from the TTC as to what is happening.
Steve: Last week, 4404 was supposed to be on its way according to Brad Ross.
Today marks 42 days since 4403 was delivered. That’s quite a difference from the plan of 3 per month, or 1 every 10 days.
If we’re going to be waiting 40 days in between deliveries, the TTC might be forced into refurbishing the ALRV’s!
Do you know if streetcars are stored in a yard in a particular order and leave in a particular order? How do yard operations work?
Steve: They are stored in a pretty much random order. When cars come back after a day on the road, they will be slotted into tracks depending on whether they need repairs or not. If the car is going to be washed, it will cycle through the carhouse sometime before it goes back into service, and will wind up again on a yard track simply in the order it was handled. For the start of morning service, the carhouse staff will assign cars to runs in the order they are scheduled to leave with cars assigned off of whatever is available in the order it is sitting on the tracks. The only caveats would be that certain runs are supposed to have ALRVs, although this isn’t as rigourously followed as one might hope with CLRVs operating ALRV runs on Queen, and ALRVs operating CLRV runs on King. This may be a question of what is available/working when it is needed.
“The only caveats would be that certain runs are supposed to have ALRVs, although this isn’t as rigourously followed as one might hope with CLRVs operating ALRV runs on Queen, and ALRVs operating CLRV runs on King. This may be a question of what is available/working when it is needed.”
Can’t they just try to keep ALRV’s and CLRV’s on separate tracks (which track not being important, just so long as the two aren’t mixed on the same track)? Or is there another strategy around this?
Steve: It’s an easy thing to do, but I don’t know whether the current situation is brought on by vehicle shortages or indifference. The fact that ALRVs are showing up on King at odd times suggests that either there are more working ALRVs than the TTC claims it has, or that a lot of ALRV runs on Queen are using CLRVs.
A minor note … the smokestack you mentioned that belongs to the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant is no longer used.
Steve: Thanks for that detail. I just wanted to make sure readers knew it was not part of the new carhouse.
Has Alstom started work on the permanent way within the Carhouse?
I read somewhere that double point blades were to be installed.
If someone could provide photos, much appreciated.
Steve, why do we still have unused streetcar tracks all over Toronto? I have no problems with streetcars as a mode of transportation and my problem is only with UNUSED streetcar tracks causing a safety hazard for cyclists. One poor cyclist fell last Friday due to unused streetcar tracks in my neighbourhood (her left hand was bleeding severely but thankfully she was wearing a helmet and I called the ambulance). Are we going to sacrifice people’s safety and lives in the name of history? Keep the tracks which are still used but get rid of the tracks which are never used – there is too much of this all over the city injuring innocent cyclists needlessly.
Steve: This issue comes up from time to time. In fact, there is very little truly unused streetcar track.
The tracks on Wychwood (which were a cause celebre for another cycling accident) have been partly paved (although they should just have been covered in asphalt, a move that the city seems unwilling to do even though there is dead streetcar track all over the city under pavement). The track on Adelaide is in very bad condition (along with the road). The TTC finally decided that it was never going to reactivate Adelaide, but meanwhile this street is a never-ending series of condo and office construction projects which prevent much-needed road reconstruction. The track from York to Simcoe will come out as part of a project that just started. Other parts, I don’t know, but again the real question is why the city let the street get in such bad shape to start with. The track on Richmond west of Victoria is currently not active because of water main construction, but will return to use next year. The only other unused track is on Wellington Street (eastbound rails) and this will come out when the street is rebuilt likely in 2016.
All other track is active for scheduled service, short turns and diversions.
Where did the accident on Friday happen?
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Wellington is supposed to get a new watermain in 2016 followed by new street in 2017 which should see the wrong-way track removed. There is a short stretch of unused track on Neville Park Blvd just south of Queen – I assume that the loop used to be there before it was moved slightly further east.
Steve: The track on Neville Park is the remnant of a wye which was converted to a tail track when the loop was built. Sorry I missed this in my inventory of dead track.
Steve, there is also the section of track on Strathmore, once part of Woodbine Station loop. Unless it came out very recently.
Steve: Ah yes, another one. Street view here.
For somewhat more elderly buried track, here is Sherbourne & Front.
There is also a tail track at Kipling Loop that has no overhead above it.
I saw 4400 and 4403 on Spadina today (no susprise there). A few hours later I saw 4401 and 4402 on Bathurst. Does that mean that these will enter service soon? How many of the new streetcars are needed to replace all of the old streetcars on Spadina? Will the complete switching to new streetcars on Spadina be accomplished in 2014 as the TTC has long promised? Also if King St is the busiest route, then why not use the new streetcars on King first? I took the King car in the morning rush hour today (I rarely take this route) and people were standing all the way to the windshield with so many not able to get on as the car was too full. Why not take the old streetcars from Spadina and add them to King or wherever there is most crowding? I personally benefit most from the Bathurst streetcars being switched to the new one but I like the old ones too, so don’t care too much and also Bathurst is thankfully not that crowded.
Steve: I don’t believe that 4401/02 have had all of the production retrofits they need yet, or if they have, they may still be in acceptance testing.
Spadina won’t finish conversion in 2014 because it needs about 14 cars including spares, and presuming we can get back to 3 cars/month starting in October, we won’t have the full set needed until sometime early in 2015. It will be followed by Harbourfront and Bathurst in that order. I agree that King should come sooner than it’s now scheduled, but failing that, the TTC needs to move away from the scheme of retiring old cars as quickly as possible and look at putting CLRVs displaced from the early routes like Spadina on other lines to beef up service. Something like this is hinted at in TTC reports, but we won’t see anything official until the 2015 budget presentation after the election.
With the Queen route being shortened, a lot more ALRVs are running on King in the morning, I wonder if this is making any impact on crowding. Despite tales of ALRVs “dying the in streets all over the place”, there are about 40 of them out every morning and afternoon rush. One day this past month, there were 44 out for the PM peak, with mostly the long-term basket cases being the only ones not out.
Steve: What I have to judge by is the relative rarity of TTC Alerts about streetcar breakdowns on King. I expect to receive the September vehicle tracking data soon and we will be able to see the combined effect of the new longer running times, Tiff, construction on Adelaide, as well as the prevalence of ALRVs displaced from Queen, among many other factors.
Will John Tory be hostile to any further streetcar orders in the name of saving tax dollars for the rich business elite that he and his family hail from? As chair of the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance and as a radio host, he repeatedly talked about the need to increase taxes to fund public transit (which was against everything he stood for as leader of the Provincial Conservatives); and so will he do any of this? I am an Olivia Chow / NDP supporter but given that she has fallen to third place and lags far behind the other two, do you think that voting for Doug Ford might be a better bet?
Steve: At the risk that you are a Ford troll in disguise, I will say this: the Ford brothers and everything they stand for should be banished from city council. Under no circumstances would I advocate a Ford vote. As for John Tory, if he persists in this spend as little as possible mantra, I think he will find himself overruled by council, not to mention shouted down by those who yearn for a Ford-free city.
Why is the Queen route being shortened? You mean the temporary construction on Lakeshore Blvd West? When will the full route be restored?
Steve: The cutback is due to repairs on the Gardiner bridges at Humber Loop, and this will last until late December 2014.
Cars 4401 & 4402 are being used for operator training and will have to be sent back to the factory for retrofits before entering regular service. On the King route, some off-peak improvements will be possible (due to shorter running time) once the diversion around the Don River bridge ends, which I believe will happen in November or December. Further improvements will require not only more cars (displaced from 510/509/511), but also more operators. The problem of insufficient workforce at streetcar divisions is a pretty important one at the moment.
Steve: Yes. The biggest problem with Council is that everybody wants more service, but increase the headcount? Then all we hear about is “waste” and “gravy”. Here’s hoping that the new crew have more sense.
Olivia Chow lost the election when she announced for Scarborough an increase in bus service by 10% only and that too during rush hours only; that is how she went from first place to third place. Scarborough being majority Chinese, Olivia Chow had huge support there until she said that she will make a nominal increase in bus service and cancel the subway. Did she not watch the provincial by-election and the provincial election in Scarborough? Both of those were swept by the Liberals due to their subway promise. As John Tory said that the Scarborough subway is a rarity in that all 3 levels of government have finally agreed on something in agreeing to fund it and Olivia Chow wants to go back and cancel it and instead of actually building something just waste more time and money with unproductive debates on Scarborough transit (not to mention the waste of money by all the subway studies that have already been completed and the ones that are in progress).
I am a Chinese Canadian and initially supported her candidacy but with her promise to go back and undo all the work on the Scarborough subway, I am going for Tory and Olivia will be hard pressed to get even 5% of the votes in Scarborough which is majority Chinese (2011 Census).
Steve: Olivia Chow made a huge mistake low-balling the amount of money (and hence service) that her bus scheme would have brought. In trying to avoid looking like a “tax-and-spend socialist”, she wound up losing credibility for her transit alternative.
Timur Urakov notes that the King Street diversion may end in November and that service may then improve a bit on the 504. The TTC website has now been changed to say “February 2015”. I guess the bridge supports were in a worse state than foreseen but it’s a pity that this has taken so long (I think it started in fall 2013). The loss of any transit on King from Parliament to the Don is ‘annoying’ and trip times have got longer. It’s a pity they could not (or would not) just run some cars to the Cherry loop – though it has no overhead yet and seems to lack poles at the loop itself (maybe because that will be a Pan-Am car-park entrance?)
Steve: I suspect that the TTC is hedging its bets. Even if the bridge work does complete by the end of the year, given how many times this has been deferred, basing the January schedules (which are already in preparation) on this date would not be wise.
Scarborough may or may not get a subway if Tory gets elected. It’s not certain.
What is certain is that if you put all your Scarborough transit hopes in either the subway extension or Tory’s FastTrack, you will be waiting a long, long, long time for any improvements that you can actually ride.
Yes, I agree that Olivia Chow lost her credibility. A nominal increase in rush hour bus service just won’t cut it for Toronto’s largest borough – Scarborough. I feel sorry for Olivia as she has had the most to lose in this election as Rob Ford wasn’t going to get re-elected as mayor anyways (and so he made the smart decision to instead run for council in his old riding where he is almost certain to win), Tory if he didn’t win can always go back to broadcasting but Olivia resigned her prestigious job as a Member of Parliament which she worked very hard to get (she lost several times before eventually winning a seat in the House of Commons).
After resigning in the middle of her MP term and thereby costing the taxpayers a costly federal by-election, can she go back and run for MP, MPP, or even council? Not only she lost her MP seat but also any future prospect of re-election. I hope she would change her transit platform to include a Scarborough subway as without it, there is no chance that she will win and at least with support for a Scarborough subway, she can save face by avoiding an embarrassing third place finish though I think that it is too late for her to win either way as if she changed her position on the Scarborough subway this close to the election, she would be accused by both rivals of flip-flopping.
That 504 bridge extension to February must have just gone up. Fortunately the 503 will still return to service in November, providing some service to Corktown 🙂
Steve: Er, the 503 has been running over the diversion route for some time now since Queen re-opened for through streetcar service in the summer. I’m not sure what you mean about it “returning to service” in November.
Infrastructure Ontario had previously announced back in August that the work would continue into January, so no big surprise here. More recently they’ve said early 2015.
I recall reading that there were some LFLRV’s at the Bombardier track that were essentially complete but could not be moved/delivered because the truck drivers would not cross the picket lines. Was there any truth to that? If so, would those cars be on their way already, given that the strike is well over now?
When I submitted that yesterday evening, the TTC service advisory said the 503 would still return in November 2013, and the notice said the same.
So who at TTC is editing the website on a Friday night to spoil the joke?
Steve: I have found that there are folks at the TTC who really don’t seem to know the details of some things they write about. Most amusing are announcements of diversions that are physically impossible, even for buses.
A good example of buried streetcars is Church Street from Carlton to Bloor. Slowly, sections of decades old streetcar tracks on Adelaide are being removed, but it’s hardly rocket science to just pave over them. I’m puzzled why vast stretches of roads in the suburbs can be paved but much shorter roads in the downtown (e.g., Charles Street East) are neglected for years.
From what I’ve heard,
4404 is just about ready to ship.
4405 & 4406 still need final assembly and testing.
4407 only has its modules completed.
Steve: Thanks for the update.
YouTube clip of Nottingham Citidis tram under construction. I suspect Bombardier construction is similar.
I had never bothered before to look at where the Leslie Barns actually were.
Should make it easy for streetcars to start for a Commissioners Street Line, if it’s ever rebuilt.
Steve: There are plans for such a line, but way off in the future after much reconfiguration of the Port Lands.
I do not think you have mentioned the minutes of the TTC’s Construction Liaison Committee here. I recently found them, and they have quite useful photos and plans that give additional information on what’s going on.
Steve: Thanks for the link.
Has the order in which lines will get the new streetcars changed? When will the fourth new streetcar go into service and on which route? Is Bathurst street ready (stop retrofits, etc)? Also, how many articulated buses are in service and how many more are expected? I think that the new streetcars and articulated buses are both needed ASAP. Any retiring buses in Toronto should be replaced with clean hybrid articulated buses.
Steve: There are hints that the TTC may change the rollout sequence, but until Spadina is completely switched over to new cars, that’s where any deliveries are going. I am waiting to see what the fleet plan looks like in the capital budget, due out in a few weeks, to see if anything has really changed. Also, of course, we need to get an update from TTC on the status of shipments from Bombardier.
What is John Tory’s position regarding Queens Quay East streetcar line? Is the new council favourable to it? How will such a line affect peak direction crowding on the Yonge Line in general and Yonge-Bloor in particular? I would imagine that both might be reduced a bit especially if Queens Quay East has it’s own streetcar right of way. Why don’t you start an article discussing such a line on Queens Quay East? Only if attention is brought to that prospective line can we ever hope to have it built. Streetcars are clean (not just because of electricity use but also because of lack of rubbing tires (which creates so much toxic dust harmful to us) and also saves countless wasted tires) and cities across Canada should embrace them.
Steve: Tory has been less than warm in his statements about Waterfront Toronto generally, and has not really commented on transit in the eastern waterfront. A Queens Quay line will have no effect at all on Yonge-Bloor because it is intended to serve planned new development. The EA for the first phase of the line is already approved, but there isn’t enough funding on the table yet.