Updated June 21, 2015 at 12:45 am: SmartTrack alignment option 1C which was included in the presentation deck, but not in the individual illustrations on the project website, has been added to the consolidated set.
Updated June 12, 2015 at 6:30 am: Details of SmartTrack and Relief Line alignment options added.
The City of Toronto, Metrolinx and the TTC will conduct a series of eight meetings at locations around Toronto over coming weeks to present current information on studies now in progress regarding GO’s Regional Express Rail (RER) plan, SmartTrack, the Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) and the Relief Line (aka “DRL”). Some of these meetings will focus on specific projects (noted below), while others are general overviews.
- Sat. June 13 9:30am: Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute, 500 The East Mall
- Mon. June 15 6:30 pm: Estonian House, 958 Broadview Avenue (Relief Line)
- Wed. June 17 6:30 pm: Spring Garden Church, 112 Spring Garden Avenue
- Thurs. June 18 6:30 pm: Archbishop Romero Catholic SS, 99 Humber Boulevard South (SmartTrack)
- Sat. June 20 9:30 am: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 370 King Street West
- Mon. June 22 6:30 pm: Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute, 2239 Lawrence Avenue East
- Wed. June 24 6:30 pm: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive (SSE)
- Thurs. June 25 6:30pm: Riverdale Collegiate Institute, 1094 Gerrard Street East (Relief Line)
Consultation in Mississauga, Peel, Markham and York Region will occur in September according to the City’s press release.
Recommendations will be presented by TTC and City staff to the TTC Board and Council in Fall 2015 on SmartTrack, the SSE and the Relief Line.
Update June 12:
Broadly the study is considering three alignment groups for the link between Mount Dennis and the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre:
- A direct connection via Eglinton from the Kitchener rail corridor
- A separate heavy rail corridor via Eglinton from Mount Dennis
- A direct connection south from the Kitchener rail corridor through the airport
The “base case” for the study is the already-approved second phase of the Crosstown LRT.
The options include:
- 1: Direct links with the SmartTrack alignment:
- 1A: Swinging east of the KW rail corridor south of Eglinton, and then turning west to make a direct connection with the Crosstown line.
- 1B: Turning west from the KW rail corridor south of Eglinton. This is the original SmartTrack proposal.
- 1C: Continuing north of Eglinton, and then veering back south through a vaguely defined area west of Weston Road [illustration added June 21]
- 3A: A separate line west from Mount Dennis.
- 2: Links north via the rail corridor and then south into the airport lands:
- 2A: To a point beyond the UPX airport spur, then south through the airport. The “Airport” station would be a connection to the UPX at Airport Road.
- 2B: The same alignment as 2A at the north end, but following Dixon Road and Carlingview south to 427/401.
- 2C: To a point east of the UPX spur with a station at the east side of the airport, then south via Carlingview as in 2B.
Some alignments require tight turns and tunneling will be needed for all of them contrary to the original claims that SmartTrack would be a “surface subway”. This will also force the issue of electrification without which a tunnel alignment is impossible, but Metrolinx plans now claim that the first electric operations will not begin until 2023.
The option 2 alignments will face technical challenges including curve radii depending on the exact details of the alignment and the equipment chosen for the route.
Headways for all option 1 and 2 alignments will be constrained by the need to share trackage with the UPX operation.
Four corridor options are under consideration. At its northern end, the corridor would start at either Broadview or Pape Station, and through the core area, the line would follow either Queen or King/Wellington. I have collected the four maps together in one file for convenience.
Detailed discussions of the pros and cons of these options are on the respective pages of the project site. The Pape alignment has clear advantages over Broadview, and a Wellington alignment through the core has advantages over King or Queen.