Updated March 15, 2015 at 8:40 pm: An example of a vintage tram adapted for pantograph operation in Munich has been added to the end of this article. Thanks to John F. Bromley for the photo.
The TTC’s Capital Budget includes ongoing programs to replace worn streetcar rail as well as to upgrade the overhead power distribution system for compatibility with the new Flexity LRVs.
Replacement of streetcar track with infrastructure built to new, robust standards is almost complete on the main lines used by all routes. What remains are sections used for diversions and short turns.
Tangent track on Spadina south from College that was installed for the resumption of streetcar service in 1997 is scheduled for replacement in 2018. The table and the map differ on whether this work will end at Queen or at King. In any event, this will be the first major track replacement over a section constructed to new standards, and only the surface layer (track down to the tie attachments) should have to be removed.
Replacement of overhead contact wire with thicker 4/0 gauge is also well underway, as is the replacement of feeder cables, some of which are very old and are shedding their insulating covering. Intersection and yard upgrades will, together with the new tangent wire, make the system 100% pantograph compatible. When the last of the cars using trolley poles has been retired, the overhead can be further adjusted to remove pole-specific hardware and simplify future maintenance.
This article contains lists and maps of the work planned for 2015-2019.