So much has been going on with the gradual disintegration of the SmartTrack plan and its replacement, at least in part, with elements from the Transit City network that it has been hard to keep up. I will write about this in more detail as reports and other information become available.
Meanwhile, there has been an interest on Twitter in the original EA documents for Scarborough-Malvern which vanished from view years ago in the anti-Transit City years.
I have created a repository for these files on my site.
So, to ask the elephant in the room question regarding subway travel time between STC and Kennedy, is the TTC still planning to short turn a significant number of trains at Kennedy to reduce operating loses on the extension?
Steve: The short turn proposal had to do with the size of the T1 fleet, but with a shorter express route, this might not be a concern. Of course they could save trains by getting rid of the padding in the schedules, but I’m not holding out much hope for that.
When the Ford administration cancelled the Scarborough-Malvern LRT in 2010, what is left out is the 198 U of T SCARBOROUGH ROCKET express bus (replaced the 116E MORNINGSIDE EXPRESS in fall 2014). One of the TTC rocket routes (the proposed 185, 195, and 198), interestingly, were destined to become Transit City LRT routes.
I am a resident living in Danforth Road, there could also be a stop at Eglinton/Brimley or Eglinton/Danforth. The main reason why the Lawrence East stop is added is to serve the people in Scarborough Hospital, General Campus.
With that said, residents living in McCowan and Danforth along with the neighbouring areas could see noise and health concerns during construction.
Steve: Yes, a Danforth/Brimley stop would make sense if the subway were running “local” and I know that there was an examination of this option underway. Now, because of this oddball compromise plan, that has disappeared again. As for construction disruption, anyone who wants a taste should visit Eglinton Avenue between Laird and Keele. The only saving grace of the current scheme is that the only station excavation will be at STC.
Good for them. I know they’ve been working behind the scenes for years to improve transit connections to the campus, and are not above contributing their own resources to improve transit infrastructure to/at the campus. They have a very ambitious growth plan which involves the majority of the campus’ parking, so better transit will be essential to that plan.
So, in addition to this new LRT line, UTSC will likely be a connecting point for at least 4 different bus routes (95, 38, and something serving the remaining bits of the 116 and 86) as well as GO and Durham transit routes. Perhaps we’ll see something resembling a proper station to handle this?
Steve: I cannot help contrasting the low-key approach taken by UTSC in lobbying for a transit connection with the at times heavy-handed behaviour of York University and their constant presence at TTC meetings when the Spadina extension was under debate. Must be something in the air out by the Rouge River.
The distance is about 6 km. If it takes 15 minutes that means the average speed is only 24 mph. I think that they can go faster than that between stations where you do not have to count dwell time. Also there are not any intersecting roads with traffic lights. I think you had what we call a “duh” moment.
But the Mount Royal cars where built with a much simpler and robust technology. They would still be running, albeit less efficiently than modern equipment, if they hadn’t changed to 25 kV AC.
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I question the assertion that lack of the subway is why Scarborough Town Centre is not prospering. People who use transit will not be put off by having to use the SRT to get there. It is not like they got dumped onto a slow moving bus. Perhaps the real reason is people just don’t see anything worthwhile in Scarborough Town Centre or elsewhere in Scarborough and instead they take the subway the other direction and wind up at Eaton Centre or Yorkdale where there is far greater retail choice etc.
Will the lengthy delays between Warden and Kennedy simply be moved to Scarborough Town Centre? The reason these delays take place is the poor design of the end terminals here and elsewhere. What is needed is a proper way to reverse trains. This requires that track be extended beyond the end station and double crossovers connect TWO tracks. With this arrangement here is what will happen.
Train arrives at end terminal, unloads passengers and departs immediately just like at any other stop. Train stops at dead end. Switch is realigned to move train to opposite track. Second train arrives and repeats steps above except it goes over switch to farther track. First train proceeds over crossover and moves into place on second track to go in opposite direction. Third train arrives and repeats moves in first sentence. After first train departs station in opposite direction Second train follows into station. After second train leaves, Third one does like move. ZERO delay! Clear (as mud) ?
Key thing is to treat end station like any other station. Stop, unload and GET OUT OF THE WAY! Control can be handed over to man at other end while waiting for switch to change position and train ahead to move off. Backup of trains is caused by lack of track to make switching move. No other reason. Plain and simple.
Steve: It’s a bit trickier than this. The big problem is that trains have padded schedules and arrive early at the terminals. This has been a problem for years.
For a time, many years ago, the extra was taken out of the schedule and traded for shorter headways so that the number of trains stayed the same. Terminal queues vanished, but so did the recovery time that kept crews on time whenever the service was screwed up. In the name of saving on overtime costs, the times were stretched again. As long as this is the TTC’s approach to managing subway service, it will not matter one iota what the track configuration at terminals might be. The arrangement you describe is better, but it only makes the space in which the queue can form a bit longer with part of it beyond the unloading point at the terminal.
Actually, the real reason is referred to as dead mall syndrome. It’s the result of a combination of changing demographics and competition from ecommerce. Amusingly, one factor is pedestrian access of which the proposed location of STC subway station will dramatically worsen it compared to the current RT station.
Instead of building the Scarborough subway, there should be a new LRT line running from the Ellesmere smart track/go station to STC, centennial college, and ending at u of t Scarborough.
This would save a lot of money and connect all the major nodes in the area.
With the money saved, the new line could also extend north from the Ellesmere smart track station to Sheppard and turn west along Sheppard to Don Mills.
As you have said earlier Steve, the ridership would shift north from the Bloor Danforth line to the Eglinton LRT line once that line is in operation.
The Scarborough Town Centre / Malvern LRT would be a convienient link for the Eglinton LRT riders as well as linking to the Sheppard LRT.
I have probably remained silent on the transit talk on the internet given the despair I have felt.
It is good to see the restoration of the Eglinton LRT plan to Pearson Airport as well.
I would also be a fan of seeing streetcar service restored on Yonge St. and Bloor – Danforth. Also restoring streetcar service on Bay St. and Church St would make for good diversion routes for the Yonge St streetcar for any potential provision.
Perhaps some day Kristyn Wong Tam will run for mayor. John Tory of course was not my choice. I don’t understand how he won given his defeat in 2003, although the 2014 municipal election was something I tried to look away from.
I hope some online debate is made to support more downtown mixed traffic streetcar routes, having streetcars running on any street always makes the street environment more pleasant for me at least.
And while it may be too late in a way to say this, perhaps there should be some discussion of bringing back some double ended streetcar service to the legacy network. Having the presence of crossover tracks where putting a loop isn’t possible would probably help in the event of some service delay or traffic tie up. Definitely a crossover track at Spadina and King would make it easier for the streetcars to turn around given all the congestion that can happen at that intersection.
All in all good news to hear, I hope the Scarborough LRT chatter leads to something more. : )
~ Jordan Kerim
So they build the SMLRT out to UTSC and stop. And the SSE to STC and stop. Now would they think to refurbish the old SRT line from Ellesmere station area along the current ROW thru the McCowan yard, drop back down onto Ellesmere and run East to join up to the SMLRT at UTSC?
How about this: put the TBM in the ground just east of Kennedy station. Tunnel around to STC using gentle curves. Tunnel through two station headwalls placed while the tunnelling was starting. Continue curving out the other side of the station and gradually curve back to run parallel to the already-built tunnel. Continue parallel until reaching back to a point immediately parallel to the launch site at Kennedy.
No special work, no turn-backs, just one TBM and one continuous tunnel except for the station. Just run the trains around the loop.
And never, ever, ever, have to deal with an extension proposal again.
Steve: A loop for subway trains would be quite large. There are buildings in the way at Kennedy.
So, perhaps the answer is obvious — If SmartTrack’s western spur is an LRT that is basically an extension to the Crosstown, and, at the eastern end the Malvern line connects to the Crosstown, the vehicles will be Metrolinx vehicles, not TTC vehicles.
Does John Tory get less political legacy when the services he wanted to provide are Province branded, not city branded?
While maps of the SSE show just one station, they show it following the McCowan alignment. If there are no plans to add further stations on the SSE, and the route is going to be entirely tunneled, a tunnel that more or less follows a straight line, more of less directly from Kennedy to STC, should be some hundreds of meters shorter than a indirect route with a big curve. Less time to tunnel, shorter trip when complete.
Steve: The curve east to north at Kennedy Station would be difficult, and you would wind up tunnelling through basements of various buildings.
Someone suggested that the TTC dig a single tunnel, that was wide enough for two tracks, and the station in between, for its entire length. They argued that, using the single wide tunnel would allow the TTC to save money if they ever did add stations. If I recall correctly, the admittedly smaller underground stations on the Crosstown were $150 million each. So, if the triple wide tunnel is chosen because it might, eventually, save money, if a station was added, the triple wide tunnel couldn’t add very much to the construction cost, before it no longer saved money.
Several of the maps show an LRT spur, connecting the STC to the Sheppard LRT. I wonder, does someone think a one mile long LRT that merely connect the subway to the Sheppard line was a good idea? One of the arguments for the SSE was that it would prevent riders having to transfer. So, a spur that requires two transfers to get to the Sheppard LRT?
Alternately, does someone think every Sheppard LRT rider should take a one mile detour to the STC station?
Steve: There are two options for Sheppard. One is an LRT originating at Don Mills and heading east to Meadowvale with a spur south to STC. This was talked of back in the Transit City days. The other option is the eastern extension of the subway from Don Mills to STC with the subway swinging south to Progress east of Agincourt GO station.
How much of a gamble is trusting Tory’s promise that the portion of SmartTrack that runs within the traditional rail rights of way, will be like a “surface subway”, delivering subway like frequency?
If Smarttrack has intermittent gaps, because the track is not exclusively devoted to Smarttrack, and it has to be used for some other kind of train, then service to the STC becomes much less convenient. Without regard to whether a rider arrives at Kennedy by Bloor-Danforth subway, or Crosstown or Malvern LRT, getting to the Scarboro Town Centre would now requires two transfers. A rider who realizes they might arrive at Kennedy right when Smarttrack’s rails are being used for some other kind of train, forcing one of those intermittent gaps in their schedule, will have to budget at least half an hour for this final 6 km leg of trip.
Heck, would some riders choose to use Uber for this final leg?
Steve: In order for ST to operate at five minute headways, the level of service needed to attract and carry the high ridership Tory claims for it, there will have to be a pair of dedicated tracks in the corridor, not tracks shared with other services. Any “junction” will have to be grade separated to avoid interference between the frequent bidirectional ST service and other trains. This is one of the big challenges for ST — getting a sufficiently clear right-of-way to operate short headways.
And to those who reply that this can be achieved with signalling, I would reply, yes, maybe, but that’s a tall order to retrofit a completely different signal system on top of the standard railway configuration now in place. This would pose a major issue for Metrolinx as their trains would have to be compatible with anything put in place to handle ST.
The problem is that Ellesmere is basically dead between Morningside and McCowan. That’s why the original plan was to have it head to Centennial and then ultimately on to Malvern Town Centre before possibly heading to UTSC.
That’s an interesting possibility, but SmartTrack will not have enough capacity for all riders travelling between STC and Kennedy today, let alone accommodate future growth.
It might work with two routes connecting STC to Kennedy and SmartTrack: an LRT on McCowan to Kennedy Stn, and either another LRT or a spur of SmartTrack between STC and Ellesmere station.
Perhaps, but this is a very expensive way to make a street pleasant if there is no ridership to fill those streetcars.
IMO, there is a third option: LRT originating at Don Mills and running on Sheppard to Brimley, then turning south to cross 401 and using a section of today’s SRT corridor to get to STC and connect to the subway terminus. Then the LRT can continue along Progress to serve the Centennial campus, reach Neilson Ave, head south down Neilson and east along Ellesmere to reach UofT Scarborough.
With LRT tracks in place, SRT can later become a terminus for two more LRT lines running to Malvern Centre and to downtown Markham.
Steve: To be clear, when I said “two options”, I was citing what was shown in the City’s report, not my own evaluation of what would work or should be built.
Is there a chance that the SMLRT and the western extension of the Crosstown could be started soon? It would surely be to Tory’s benefit to show progress on something he “originated” (or “revived”), especially something branded Smart Track such as the western extension could be.
That way, perhaps these projects would be so far along to make them difficult to cancel when the next provincial and mayoral elections come around, in case the incumbents don’t win.
Steve: The more likely impetus for a quick start will be the “stimulus” money burning a hole in Ottawa’s pocket. They want to spend, and spend soon, while local governments scramble for projects that won’t take years to get through the design and EA stages. It is conceivable that the entire Eglinton line end-to-end could open in one “big bang”, although that is probably a lot to hope for.
Yes, it would be a large loop, and I haven’t really plotted out where exactly it would actually go. So that part of the idea is really just a vague notion.
I don’t however really understand what you’re getting at with respect to buildings in the way at Kennedy. At that end, my idea is no different from any more usual extension proposal — the two tracks extend more or less straight along their current direction, and then start curving at some point. The same buildings will be in the way at Kennedy regardless of how the STC end of the project is designed.
Steve: The loop will not fit within the existing right-of-way. The minimum curve radius a T1 train can operate is 116m (380ft) and so the diameter of a loop would be at least 232m. The TTC prefers not to build to this minimum (the spec exists to deal with existing curves on the system (such as west to north from Union to St. Andrew), and they shoot for wider curves especially for a location that would see constant service such as a terminal. Your loop would have to be at least 300m in diameter, and that would spread a considerable distance beyond the limits of a roadway that is 1/10th the size. The buildings to which I referred are on the north side of Eglinton east of the overpass at Kennedy Station.
Just want to add something about construction disruption. Something I’ve noticed with storm sewer upgrades on Avenue Rd. When Avenue Rd was reduced to one lane, so many drivers avoid this route that traffic moved better than when it reopened newly paved. I’ve taken buses from Eglinton Stn to one stop east of Bayview and they do move, except for that one time when a bus was turning right from a sidestreet to go east on Eglinton. It got sandwiched between the fence and a light pole, (well it didn’t actually get sandwiched, but the driver was in a tight spot).
Steve: The same thing has happened on Broadview north of Danforth where the volume of traffic is still not back to pre-construction levels even though the road is completely open.
As an intellectual exercize, I tried applying the Metrolinx naming scheme to the SMLRT stops. Their bullheadedness on this is going to run headlong into a snare when they try to settle on a name for the stop at Markham & Eglinton:
-“Markham” would clearly be verboten.
-“Scarborough Village” would create potential confusion with “Scarborough” and “Scarborough Center”.
-Looking to minor neighbourhood streets produces “Centre”–far too grandiose for this location
Relying on Google Maps-based planning suggests the landmark criterion will hold the trump card. Personally, I can’t wait to disembark at “Beer Store”.
Steve: Considering what some LCBOs may be selling in years to come, we could seem a whole range of new products as potential station names, and “This Bud’s For You” would have a totally new meaning.
Can *any* of the SRT station infrastructure at Lawrence East or Ellesmere be repurposed for ST?
Steve: The platform layout is too tight laterally for ST trains, the roof is too low and the platform isn’t at the correct elevation. You could, however, save the bus loop.
I have favored the LRT replacement for the SRT. But after reading Royson James defense of this technology, I’m not so sure anymore.
Steve: The problem with the RT is that it’s a “one of” line, and it makes far more sense if we build an LRT network that the “SRT” use a common technology. Of course, LRT was the original plan for this route back in the 60s when we might have seen lines to Malvern and the Airport from the ends of the BD subway. But Queen’s Park knew better.
Steve, I understand that the SRT can’t accept the size of the newer versions of the ICTS vehicles. How easily could the line get switched to LRT tech? It seems wasteful to toss the whole line away, when it could, even if only from Ellesmere to McCowan, for a link from ST to STC.
Steve: Whatever happens, some of the existing structures cannot be recycled. When the SRT was built, it was deliberately downsized at the insistence of Queen’s Park to prevent the TTC from having second thoughts and switching plans back to the LRT that would have been there originally. We are now paying for their stupidity on that count (among many others).
For Mark II ICTS, the biggest problem is the tunnel at Ellesmere which is too small.
For any other technology, the platforms are at the wrong height, the tracks are too close together and the platforms are too close to the track centreline for the wider cars. This also affects existing stairs, escalators and elevators. There are structural issues with the station roofs which are too low, although the effect varies by station depending on how easily the existing roof could just be plucked off.
The power supply for the RT is unique to that technology with a lower voltage and two power rails. The design was chosen so that the voltage-to-ground was lower than rapid transit standard thereby saving on insulation costs and reducing car weight. That was a major concern in the early days of the RT when the linear induction motors were less efficient that more recent designs.
No matter what technology, the connection at Kennedy will be completely revised so that it’s not a roof-to-basement transfer connection. The curve into the station is too tight for most technologies anyhow.
If the line were to be extended east to Malvern as originally planned almost 50 years ago, the extra cost of the ICTS technology, including its continued “orphan” status, makes LRT a better choice. Trying to “recycle” as much of the existing line as possible misses the point that it was built “wrong” in the first place.
I’d bet Scarborough Village wins out. We have how many variations on “York” and we manage just fine. But is it even clear at this point whether the SMLRT would be built by Metrolinx?
Long-term, would Don Mills make more sense? If we assume that’s where the DRL will end up, and we’d rather funnel people there then the BD or YUS lines, then forcing a transfer there, if you have to force one anywhere, makes sense. It also allows for a divide closer to the middle, and also closer to the point where operations split from underground to street level. The optics of having two “classes” of LRT, roughly split at Victoria Park, might not be great, but I think it makes objective sense.
Steve: What is not yet clear is the provision, if any, that Metrolinx has made at Don Mills both for a short-turn operation ending there or a future DRL station. They appear to have tried to keep Crosstown costs down by omitting things like this, especially given the implication that pre-building for a DRL implies that it will get done someday. This will almost certainly morph into a change order on the station, the very thing that Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario crow will not happen and thereby avoid cost overruns.
With respect Steve, I don’t think you’re getting what Isaac is suggesting. The Kennedy end of the extension would be the same as under a “normal” extension to STC. No loop at Kennedy at all. Just a continuation of the tail tracks on up to STC. At STC, there would be a giant loop say having the two (northbound and southbound) tunnels diverge around Lawrence and have the northbound tunnel go up, swing through STC and have one station with one platform (and one direction) and then keep going west then curving south and eventually back east to line up to be parallel with the NB tunnel and follow it down to Kennedy again. The two tunnel extensions from Kennedy would actually be one long continuous TBM drive with a large loop at the NORTH end. No crossovers, turn-back issues or terminal delays at the (STC) terminus station. You’d be extending the Bloor-Danforth line by one (long) stop and trains would never have to reverse direction at the east end of the line.
Apologies to you and especially Isaac if I misunderstood his idea.
Steve: Sorry, yes this is a very different “loop” than what I was describing. However, “diverging” at Lawrence is not as easy as it sounds because one tunnel will have to run cross-country to get to the alternate north-south route to STC. The only comparatively clear path from, say, McCowan to Brimley would be via the Highland Creek and this poses issues both for construction and for environmental concerns.
It also limits the east-west scope to Brimley-McCowan when there is an argument to be made for a longer east-west service with multiple stops such as the Scarborough LRT as extended east and north would have provided.
There will be no short-turn operation at Don Mills because a third centre track won’t fit there. When they reinstated Ferrand (sorry, Aga Khan Park & Museum) stop, that took up any room between Don Mills (er, Science Centre) station and the Ferrand portal. The storage track is being built east of Laird station and the latest I’ve heard from Metrolinx is that every second train will short-turn at Laird and the other half will go east to Kennedy. Thank the reinstatement of Leslie (Sunnybrook Park) stop for breaking the grade separation to Don Mills Road. The service will be twice as frequent between Mount Dennis and Laird as it is between Laird and Kennedy which makes sense except for Don Mills.
The Crosstown is under construction, the Feds want/need to fund “shovel ready” projects and the EA approval is sitting there for SMLRT – so they rush to build that…and the Sheppard East is ready – so they fund/build that. And Tory has to save face and build a version of ST…do they need to build SSE or does it become redundant? I am thinking that the SSE is now a recognized boondoggle and the powers that be are implementing slow damage control to move away from SSE to LRT over the long term.
Steve: An intriguing hypothesis. The real test will come when we learn more about the constraints on SmartTrack implementation where it shares corridors with GO. The problem with the current plan is that without SSE, STC has no service at all.
Steve, if SRT line was only to run from Ellesmere to McCowan (or eventually Centennial College or beyond) could the line be upgraded to handle the Current Sky train style vehicles? Or is removing all of SRT tech and reusing the ROW with LRT tech cheaper?
This assumes of course that a connection from ST to STC (or beyond) is desirable.
Steve: Cheaper with LRT because the route beyond McCowan can be built as LRT, and it can share fleet and maintenance facilities with the other LRT lines. That’s one reason the idea of using new ICTS cars was dropped in the first place. We are not like Vancouver with an existing network, and even Vancouver chose another vendor for their Canada Line to the airport.
When such an intractable quandary is encountered, the only logical course is to give up and name it “Eglinton”.
In fact, when Metrolinx requests feedback on naming Crosstown West stations, I’m going to just suggest “Eglinton” for all of them.
Now that would make for a zen transit map. I dig.
The public is now hearing about plans for the “railway Gardiner”, in the west, near Bloor. That elevated section would be about a kilometer, yet could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
So, adding two dedicated tracks, for SmartTrack — and making sure those tracks were grade separated — could require additional elevated segments? That could be an additional problem that elevates the cost beyond Tory’s $8 billion ceiling…
Steve, any guesses as to areas that might require elevated track?
Steve: There are two types of constraints: places where lines must cross, and places where the right-of-way does not have room for extra tracks and platforms. The biggest crossing will be at Scarborough Junction where Metrolinx has already flagged the need for a railway grade separation. However, if the corridor(s) wind up with more tracks for SmartTrack, the design of this junction could become more complex. There is some question of whether the underpasses at West Toronto and at Strachan have enough room for the additional tracks, and there are other places where there may be conflicts with buildings or other plans such as the West Toronto Railpath. The really big problem lies at Union where UPX cannot continue to occupy the northernmost track unless a way is found to get it across the corridor and past the ST trackage without conflicts. As for stations, the right-of-way is constrained in places and fitting in the stations as well as additional tracks will be a challenge.
Does anyone know about the mode of Sheppard “rapid transit” in this new plan? It seems that they don’t want to talk about it. Is it going to be an LRT or Subway?. Very politically sensitive corridor. In my opinion it is better to go with LRT from Don Mills to STC and UTSC. This way it is possible to save some money for extension of Sheppard west subway (estimated to be around one billion ) and there will be a continuous path from UTSC all the way to York U. and Vaughan.
Steve: Both the subway and LRT variants are shown on one of the maps. I think Jennifer Keesmaat didn’t want to fight that battle on top of everything else. Officially Metrolinx is still building the LRT, but we know that Metrolinx plans are not worth anything until there is a shovel in the ground thanks to political interference.
Perhaps they should do what the railways did when extending lines out west. The first station started with an A, the next one a B etc. When they got to Z they started over again. As long as you have less than 26 stations you are OK. It is the Xs that cause the most problems. What do you use after X-Ray, Xavier and Xylophone? As long as you knew the alphabet you would know when you are getting near your station.
Is that absolutely necessary? The SRT operates with a single platform terminal at Kennedy, and given that it will have two platforms, could they not do something similar at Science Centre with a crossover on either side? Perhaps not ideal, but it seems technically feasible.
Steve: Technically possible but not ideal. The turnback should be east of the station so that short turn trains unload eastbound and load westbound, but the ramp to the portal for Ferrand Drive station (aka Aga Khan) prevents this. The question then is whether a three-track section could be fitted in somewhere further east. There is a crossover east of Pharmacy, but no tail track.
Maybe there is no plan to use Don Mills as a transfer point. Getting over the Don Valley will be expensive. The Leaside Bridge is wide enough to carry LRT with minimal disruption, but the bridge from Thorncliffe to Flemingdon Park is too busy now, adding LRT would be difficult and expensive. Running south on Don Mills thru the valley, I beleive the grades are too steep. So just take the DMLRT and interline on the Crosstown to Laird, south on Laird to Millwood. Or interline to O’Connor, south on O’Connor to Woodbine and the BD.
Steve: The Leaside bridge cannot carry an LRT line because its additional structural support (built into the original bridge for a streetcar line to the industrial area east of Laird) was used up to support the widened bridge. Also, your geography is really screwed up. The south end of the Leaside bridge is between Pape and Donlands. Getting to Woodbine would require backtracking east a few kilometres. I think you are confusing the bridge on O’Connor at the top of Woodbine with the Leaside bridge.
Also, the projected demand on the DRL is at the very high end of what LRT can handle, certainly not with street running.
Could that issue be allayed by redesigning the Science Centre platforms with a Spanish Solution setup? I mean, if we’re going to redesign the station anyway to accommodate the DRL. Set up the crossovers so trains always enter the platforms for the right departure direction and you still have plenty of space for passenger flow as entire trains clear out and then refill, and trains can still move out quickly.
It would require the service to operate extremely efficiently, since there’s no tail track to temporarily hide a train, which I suppose may be asking more than is realistic.
Steve: Some months ago I asked Metrolinx if provision had been made for a DRL connection at Don Mills and was told, no, it wasn’t. So much for thinking in advance — all they seem to care about is keeping costs down, and this will bite them hard if they don’t wake up and revise the Crosstown design while they have a chance.
But there is a centre storage track directly east of Sloane (formerly Bermondsey) stop. Or they could do what was briefly the plan for Don Mills station when they proposed going underground all the way through Don Mills and building the launch shaft at Don Mills instead of Brentcliffe. That proposal (which was quickly abandoned) had a third track WITHIN Don Mills station. It had 3 tracks and two platforms with the middle track only being used for turn backs or storage. Incidentally this layout would be equally useful for turnbacks from either direction.
Steve: Ah yes. I had not looked at Sloane, but only at the major arterials to check for places a turnback existed or could be inserted. The ideal arrangement would be a three-track Don Mills Station so that short turns could pull into the pocket and be on a common platform with trains for either direction. I don’t see why the tunnel has to start further east than the planned location on the upgrade approach west of Don Mills. A tunnel under the river at Leslie is not in the cards, and would be an excessive response to the simple need for more flexibility at Don Mills.
Ever so slowly, Transit City is being resurrected. First there was the Eglinton Crosstown, then Finch West and Sheppard East. Then a version of the Scarborough-Malvern LRT.
The Scarborough RT is to be replaced by not one but two rapid transit lines, of sorts. The 2 Bloor-Danforth subway extension to the Scarborough Town Centre, and the SmartTrack stations north of Kennedy Station, going even further north.
That leaves us with Don Mills, which could be considered as part of the DRL. Only the Jane and Lakeshore West LRTs need something, but we can’t have everything right away.
Yes exactly as I described in the previous plan. The middle track train (short-turn or otherwise) could open whatever side doors are necessary to serve whichever platform serves its departure direction.
I couldn’t agree more. I wasn’t advocating anything different; only explaining the plan from which the above described station configuration originated.
Joe M replies:
We can do a lot of things as has been discussed to no end. Please let’s move forward.
This plan will also go along way to integrating Scarborough Center into Toronto’s main transit artery as well as rejuvenating a few low income neighborhoods. The cost of providing our low income & disabled citizens with a properly integrated transit system is worth every penny. If there is a case for them to require financial assistance to ride public transit. that’s a separate issue all together that can be addressed.
This plan in conjunction with Smarttrack is far superior for low income, disabled & working class commuters than the hacked in Sheppard LRT & RT replacement. It also has opened the door for Sheppard to be reviewed & properly integrated in the future.