There’s A New Subway On The Way (7)

February 25, 1966, saw the ceremonial first train operate over the Bloor-Danforth line, but it was also the last day of service on many streetcar routes.

The fans, of which I was a very junior member in those days, were out in force trying to ride as many “last cars” as possible. This took some careful planning, and it was not physically possible to be everywhere.

The Bathurst service to Adelaide and the St. Clair service to Weston Road were rush-hours only, and so these were the first to be visited. It was a very dim late February afternoon as people photographed the last car to Avon Loop at Rogers Road. The destination signs said “Northland”, the name of a loop further south that had been replaced by Avon years earlier (before I was born), but the roll signs were never changed.

Next to go was the Parliament car, a route that operated until just after midnight. It was a short shuttle from Bloor at Viaduct Loop to King at Parliament Loop, but it was an important line it its day. The trackage was also used at times to route some King cars to Broadview & Danforth avoiding the congestion of streetcars at eastbound Queen & Broadview that could back up from the intersection to the Don Bridge on a bad day.

That Parliament car on its trip in to Danforth Carhouse conveniently crossed Pape & Danforth just before the last westbound Harbord car whose operator faced an unexpected surprise waiting at his first stop. Harbord wandered through the city in a vaguely U-shaped route from Pape & Danforth (see description below) to Davenport & Lansdowne. The running in trip down Lansdowne to the carhouse brought us to Bloor Street where it was time for a 3 am snack and a wait for what would be one of the two “last” Bloor cars.

The Bloor trip took us to both Jane and Luttrell Loops, and the car became so crowded as the night wore on that we started to leave passengers at stops. It was not quite dawn when the car pulled in to Lansdowne Carhouse, and everyone walked down the street to the brand new subway entrance where the Bloor night car transfer got us on to complete the night’s entertainment.

Many routes were affected by the subway’s opening.

The Bloor and Danforth routes vanished except for shuttles on the outer ends that would operate until the first of the BD extensions opened in 1968.

Jane Loop has been replaced by a new office building and parking lot, although the TTC history is still visible from the old traction pole sporting a Canadian flag on Google Street View. Bedford Loop, a terminus for peak-only services on Bloor-Danforth has vanished under the OISE building and a parkette. Hillingdon Loop (a peak-only short turn at Danforth Carhouse) now hosts a branch of the Toronto Public Library. Luttrell Loop is now occupied by housing that is newer than its surroundings, but the role as a TTC loop is clear from the road layout and the still-present traction pole.

The Parliament car was replaced by the 65 Parliament bus operating to Castle Frank Station at its north end. Viaduct Loop was abandoned and is now a parkette. Parliament Loop at King was for many years the terminus of the bus until it was extended south and west to serve the St. Lawrence district. The loop is now a parking lot for a Porsche dealership.

This was part of a complicated land swap some years ago between the TTC, the dealership and the Toronto Parking Authority. The TTC had plans to build a new streetcar loop on Broadview north of Queen where there is now a parking lot, the City wanted the land south of Front once occupied by the dealership as part of the “First Parliament” site, and the TPA wanted replacement parking if the TTC built on its lot. The dealership moved to the TTC lands, the City got the land south of Front, and the TTC bought a vacant lot on Broadview for a new TPA lot to replace the capacity that would be lost when the loop went in. The loop has never been built.

Much of the track used by the Coxwell car (daytime route, just like 22 Coxwell today) and Kingston Road-Coxwell (weekends and evenings, again just like the bus) remains in place from Coxwell & Gerrard south, east via Queen, and northeast via Kingston Road to Bingham Loop. Coxwell cars used a very small loop on the southeast corner at Danforth now occupied by a commercial building, and Coxwell-Queen Loop which still exists. The track north of Gerrard remained operational for some months after the subway opening and Carlton cars preferentially used it to loop at Danforth Carhouse rather than Coxwell-Queen when short-turning. Eventually, the power was cut and overhead removed. The carhouse remained active as a storage site for PCCs that were rotated into the pool used by Russell Carhouse, but the link was via Danforth, not Coxwell.

The Harbord car, whose route I described earlier, ran from Pape and Danforth at Lipton Loop (replaced during station construction by Gertrude Loop) to St. Clarens Loop at Lansdowne and Davenport. The route meandered a lot running south to Riverdale & Pape, a block west to Carlaw (jogging around the railway), then south to Gerrard (at the corner now home to the “Real Jerk” restaurant), west along Gerrard to Broadview, south to Dundas, west to Spadina, north to Harbord (finally on the street from which the route took its name), west on Harbord to Ossington, north to Bloor, west to Dovercourt, north to Davenport and west to Lansdowne. There had been track on Pape north of Lipton Loop for a proposed extension into the Leaside industrial district south of Eglinton, but this was never built due to the recession.

The Dundas car operated from Runnymede Loop to City Hall and service further east was handled by Harbord. With the subway opening, the routes were consolidated, and Dundas was extended east to Broadview Station. Various chunks of Harbord became other routes including the 72 Pape bus, 94 Wellesley, 77 Spadina (now 510 Spadina). Service on Dovercourt and Davenport was abandoned not to be replaced by bus routes until decades later.

The Carlton car, the only “zone 1” streetcar route in 1966 to retain the red ink from the days of multicoloured transfers, still operates over its old route much as the King car does although loops at Vincent and Erindale were replaced by Dundas West and Broadview Stations respectively.

The St. Clair and Earlscourt services were reorganized (this would happen a few times over the years until the “Earlscourt” route simply became a short-turn variant of St. Clair), and service to Weston Road was dropped. The 89 Weston trolley coach extension south from Annette to Keele Station provided a direct subway link for riders on Weston.

Bathurst and Fort were consolidated into a single route from Bathurst Station to Exhibition Loop which, in those days, was located where the Trade Centre (whose name changes with its sponsorship) is today. Service between St. Clair and Bloor was taken over by 7 Bathurst and 90 Vaughan which formerly shared Vaughan Loop at St. Clair with the streetcars. Service on Adelaide to Church (returning westbound via King to Bathurst) was abandoned. Active track remains on Adelaide today only from Spadina to Charlotte, and from Victoria to Church.

20 thoughts on “There’s A New Subway On The Way (7)

  1. I remember a few Peter Witt streetcars were still being used in service on Bathurst/Fort, before the Bloor-Danforth Subway forced their retirement.


  2. wklis | February 25, 2016 at 7:07 am

    “I remember a few Peter Witt streetcars were still being used in service on Bathurst/Fort, before the Bloor-Danforth Subway forced their retirement.”

    I thought that they ended regular service with the demise of the Dupont car with the opening of the University Subway in 1963. A few were used for the opening day of the Maple Leaf AAA ball team in April of that year and that was the end of regular service except for the Beltline Tour Tram that ran for a couple of years.

    A few years later on the Friday of the Labour Day weekend, in 1965 I think, with the Ex on as well as races at Greenwood every car at Russell that would run was in service when an operator looking for overtime showed up. The Inspector told him that there were no cars available but he said he was Witt qualified so it did two runs as a race track tripper, McCaul to Kingston Rd.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Luttrell Loop is now occupied by housing that is newer than its surroundings, but the role as a TTC loop is clear from the road layout and the still-present traction pole.”

    The tracks were left in place on Luttrell and paved over. In recent years the cracks in the pavement followed the tracks very clearly, but the tracks were finally removed last summer when the water mains were replaced.


  4. I had a fascinating conversation with a woman who remembers riding the streetcar on Yonge street, equipped with a stove in the back to warm up riders on cold days.


  5. With the problems at Broadview station, I’ve often wondered if the TTC ever admitted their regret over not having streetcar service to Pape station.

    Steve: I doubt it. A route to Pape would have been difficult to operate at significant capacity because of the twisty path north from Gerrard. Also a much larger loop would have been needed. As things stand, Pape is small even for the bus service there, but it gives an idea of how relatively unimportant the TTC expected this transfer point to be when it was designed. Bathurst by contrast is immense because it once hosted huge crowds going to the CNE. Dufferin has no loop at all because that was not seen as an important enough route to warrant one.


  6. I rode one of the last westbound Bloor cars from Luttrell loop, I think to Jane, and back to Lansdowne. walked down to Bloor and rode the subway home. A supervisor, Stan Sivila, took over from the operator and gave us a real fast ride along the Danforth going west.

    Steve: Yes I remember that speedy ride with Stan at the controls!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John M. | February 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    “I had a fascinating conversation with a woman who remembers riding the streetcar on Yonge street, equipped with a stove in the back to warm up riders on cold days.”

    I remember riding the Witt trains on Yonge Street. The stove was in the trailer I know but I don’t think it was in the motor. I used to make my mother ride in the front seat of the trailer so I could look at the red and green lights on the back of the motor and the trolley pole and retriever. On the first Saturday of the subway I walked one block to Davisville, paid my fare and rode the line from end to end a couple times for one fare. I was seven.


  8. How did you guys manage to stay up all night? Dexedrine Spansules? I wouldn’t have been able to do it. A lot of people did, to be the first riders at Keele Stn. That first day of subway service did not go so well. Trains started off late, and even on the following Monday, people who didn’t know were still waiting at streetcar stops. The first morning rush hour on Monday went well, but the afternoon was a trainwreck. Passengers were confused.

    Steve: We were a lot younger 50 years ago!

    My family was directly affected by the loss of the Harbord streetcar — the stop was literally a 60 second walk from our house on Euclid Av. It was replaced by the Wellesley bus, but the service was less frequent, and you had to transfer.

    Keele and Woodbine stations were a mess. Keele had a “Towers Rexdale 1970s” speed ramp only on Platform 1, but Downtown or Woodbine trains could, and did, depart from Platform 1 or 2, although the bias was towards 1. Since both platforms were used, why was no ramp put on Platform 2? I don’t understand how the TTC rationalizes these decisions. Speed ramps were for shopping carts in multi-level department stores and the carts locked in to the channels on the ramp. That’s how Towers used them.

    Anyway, once you got off the streetcar shuttle and went in at Keele, there was a NEXT TRAIN flashing indicator to indicate which train was leaving next, and there was a NEXT TRAIN destination sign for each stairway marked Platform 1, and Platform 2 (not like the 1st/2nd signs at Islington and Warden in 1968), but, at certain times, the sign wasn’t flashing at all, and the destinations showed a hyphen, so you had no information. The same thing happened at St. George and Bay — the flashing arrows could, and did change direction. You walk into St. George and want to go west — the arrow is flashing down, so you go down to the lower level, but the next westbound train would sometimes come in on the upper level, but there was no sign on the lower level. Those who stayed upstairs would see the sign change if it was flashing sideways and then changed to down (if they kept their eye on it, but who did?). If it changed, you sometimes had roughly 30 seconds to get downstairs. I didn’t use Keele all that much, but it looked like the sign had a delay to give you enough time to get upstairs.

    I can’t help but notice the prominent display of the BDU wye on those maps as a triangle. Had the TTC been honest about its intentions, the streetcar network would look very different today, because the subway line’s positioning on Bloor and University was based on the premise of interlacing. A different route would have been chosen had the politicians been told. Instead, the upper brass at the TTC told engineers to keep quiet. The truth is they were in kindergarten compared to New York. Instead of bringing in experts from NYC and London (who offered advice), the TTC stuck to its guns. But, they were good at handing out free tokens on that first day.

    I remember a big story in one of the newspapers at the time about how after the wye closed, some woman enters Museum Stn., wanting to go to Eglinton. She was told (by the reporter who wrote the story) that she could go south and take the long route, or that she could go north to St. George, transfer east to BY and transfer north to Eglinton, but she was also told that the week prior she would have taken a Woodbine train from the northbound platform to go EAST and would then transfer NORTH at BY. Museum said NORTHBOUND, but line was northbound for what, 50 feet? This woman was so confused she left the station and took a cab instead.

    Even though Bay had two eastbound platforms, very few people even used the lower one to go east, and as a result, missed half of the available service.

    I became friends with a subway driver in NYC recently and told him the story of the wye and he said “what was the problem? We used Identra. All of our services merge and diverge at some point, and are much more complex than what I see here. We used the same signaling technology as you did … NX/UR. What was the issue?”.

    I honestly could not answer him.

    Steve: Yes. TTC used the same signalling, but not with first come, first served routing through the wye because that would have screwed up the train sequence on which their excessively complicated schedule depended.

    It’s hard to believe the line is 50 years old. I feel old. Anyway, he said if the TTC had to run the NYC system, they’d probably die. It was surprising to see that bald guy in charge now, what’s his name again? (a London subway guy), do a spot with Brad Ross at Lower Bay, explaining why it didn’t work. What did he run in London’s system? — the escalators? London used similar transponders and what they called “programme machines” to do it. I could see a 15 PSI airhead like Stintz saying that, but really. One of the TTC guys was telling people it was manually controlled. I had to correct him and say, no, it was not, and the guy was older than me. I said the trains carried transponders — not Highway 407 transponders of course, and he was amazed.

    Steve: The man you refer to is Mike Palmer.

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  9. Back then , I was in grade 6. I would go around town discovering the city on children’s tickets on Saturdays. On several of the Saturdays before the subway opening, I hit all of the discontinued streetcars on the weekends. The FORT and DANFORTH were the only ones I didn’t ride!! The best was the HARBORD car…..long route that went everywhere downtown…..lived less than a block away from the St. Clarens loop for a year when I was younger. I remembered seeing them, but it’s hard to think of streetcars being on Davenport at one time!

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  10. I watched the Bloor-Danforth Subway being built. Growing up on Seymour Avenue, along the Greenwood Yard’s western edge, its excavation, construction and laying of track were major parts of my young existence. In fact, we played in the construction area before track was installed and could escape the site’s watchmen. Usually good for a few lost boots and very muddy clothing during the late winter and spring thanks to the heavy clay base (it had been a clay quarry until 1935, then was filled in as a dump). We saw the new H-Series cars delivered by rail from the CN Kingston Sub’s siding. Assembled bodies from Can-Car in (then) Fort William were delivered by flat car, then dropped at a special track (concrete still visible) at the end of Shudell Avenue, then were pulled on another flat deck by a motor to the nearby shops for assembly of trucks and other components. It became powered in the summer of 1965.

    It came with a cost – the entire south side of Oakvale Avenue was demolished, along with numerous properties along Chatham, Greenwood and Danforth Avenues and Strathmore Boulevard for construction of Greenwood Yard access tunnel. Lost, too, was the 1913 Toronto Fire Station No. 26 at Oakvale and Greenwood – replaced by the current one sporting a longer number on Chatham Avenue at Byron. A large lumber yard south of there was destroyed by fire just before excavation began in 1961. Not to mention demolition of properties north of Danforth for the subway’s excavation (now mainly parking lots and parkettes) between Broadview and Donlands.

    Recall the opening Friday – I was pretty sick that day and home from school, which did not allow me one final ride on the Bloor or Harbord streetcars, so I had to watch Prime Minister Lester Pearson, Premier John Robarts and Metro Chairman William Allen (a fairly strong subway advocate as I discovered – see my post on Toronto Transit’s Facebook page) along with other politicians, their wives in fur (hey, the REAL 60s hadn’t happened yet!) and many others. By the Saturday, I had recovered enough for my father to take me and two neighbourhood friends for our first ride that afternoon. My Dad drove us to Woodbine, where we caught the trains downstairs. Even by mid-afternoon, the trains were still packed with people heading downtown to shop or, in larger numbers, the curious.

    The biggest anticipation came as the westbound train left Broadview Station. As the Guard’s familiar tweets closed the doors, everyone rushed to the train’s right side for the coming panoramic view of the Don Valley from beneath the Bloor Viaduct (for once, someone had foresight). As the train left the tunnel, collective “WOWS, ..oohs and aahs” could be heard throughout the car. Heading farther west, we were quite surprised by the light as we passed over the Rosedale Valley Bridge, then headed into the core – Sherbourne, Yonge, Bay, St. George. My father had made sure that this train’s destination was Keele. Nothing too spectacular between there and Dundas West, but the train slowed considerably as it left the station, working its way through the Vincent Yards. Again, scenery! Hey, it was elevated thanks to the ravine of the area. Finally, the train crossed the track to enter Keele Station. Everyone wanted to see THAT escalator. The return trip to Woodbine was pretty uneventful except for the Viaduct again. Back into the car at Woodbine, thrilled to have ridden the new, very fast subway on its first day after seeing it being built for much of our young lives (I was 9).

    The streetcar infrastructure remained visible on Danforth (west of Cedarvale), Pape and Parliament (north of Carlton) for a few months. Trolley wires were removed first, along with the safety islands on Danforth at Pape. Danforth’s tracks were paved over (they were visible through the pavement every spring for years) while Pape’s were removed altogether.

    Danforth Avenue was never the same – it had already changed from an area of predominantly Scottish, Irish and working class English immigrants, to a mainly Italian area by the mid-late 1960s, with the Greeks moving in during the 1970s. I lived in Toronto until 1991 when I moved west. Over the next 25 years, I rode the Bloor-Danforth Subway countless times, crossing the Viaduct and thinking of that first day. It was my wheels – especially before receiving my driver’s licence, then especially during my years at an apartment across from Greenwood Station. My parents continued to live on Seymour Avenue until my father sold the house in 2010.

    A big part of my life.

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  11. Correct Steve, but they were sick. Nobody follows schedules like that. London’s and NYC’s interlaced services rarely run in their proper sequence and both London and NYC told the TTC how to do it. They mesh more than two routes on the same track.

    The trailing junctions here could be set in first-come-first-serve mode. I saw the control board at St. George — the original black one, and the white one that came later on when Transit Control moved out of St. George Stn. It had the following modes of operation on the trailing junctions: FCFS, manual, punched sequence only, rigid alternating sequence (flip flop) only, and punched sequence and punched departure time. Each trailing junction could operate in a DIFFERENT mode, providing maximum flexibility. The time punch dispatcher worked by advancing the “1st” rotary stepping switch (paired with a 2nd) one notch each time a hole in a 35mm film loop passed over an optical sensor (the film loop ran at a constant speed). A train arrival at the dispatching point advanced a 2nd rotary stepping switch one notch. When those two rotary switches were aligned, the train was held. So the train gets to the dispatching point say 15 seconds ahead of schedule. The film is advancing and the hole passes over the sensor 15 seconds later, and that causes the first rotary switch to advance a notch. This issues a route request, and if the route was not available, it was queued. If the line was late, the film kept advancing the first switch, but the other switch didn’t advance, so when the trains finally did arrive, they would trigger a route request immediately (until the switches sync’d up again). It was only when they were in sync that the route was blocked and the train was running a little ahead of schedule. There were two of these per exit, plus one route ordering punched film loop that simply advanced as each train departed … usually A B A B. All three had to be correctly synchronized with the “schedule”. I also saw some lights that said something like “out of sequence” alarm, which could be blocked or allowed with buttons.

    The facing junctions were marked MANUAL and GRS TRAIN IDENTITY (Identra), and all three could run in different modes as well. London had a sequence machine combined with an Identra-like device and they had to match, and if they didn’t, triggered an alarm. We didn’t have that. On the trailing side, you could even insert an ad-hoc train into the dispatching sequence in advance, or remove one to keep the equipment synchronized. Those knobs caused those stepping switches to advance accordingly. So, there were knobs for everything you could possibly think of, as well as radio links at the facing points if Identra failed to give the driver the right indication.

    The facing switches even knew the destinations of the next 4 trains to avoid route setup delay, but the signs did not convey this advance information on the station platforms. I never got an answer on that. Why that was not done I don’t know. The Solari signs though had a “memory” for the next train and the one after. Italy built them that way. Instead, they showed a hyphen in between trains. The routes originally had 4 colors that would light on the board at each stn platform heading towards the wye, each lighting a single colored dot in a 4-dot line on the platform designation on the board. Cyan was Bloor-University-Yonge I think, Green was Danforth-University-Yonge, Red was Bloor-Danforth, and Yellow was Yonge-University (Eglinton-St. George). It was a long time ago and my colors might be mixed up, but it was pretty sophisticated for an electromechanical system.

    The initial mode of operation was sequence and scheduled departure, which was subsequently changed to sequence only after one month. And out-of-sequence was allowed when delays occurred, because I remember seeing trains saying Woodbine, and then the next one would say Woodbine. They were doing something wrong, or messed it up on purpose and bamboozled the Commissioners who were not technical — I still don’t know what it was, after all these years. On those diversions a few years ago, they were doing everything by hand, and I walked up to a supervisor at the north end of Museum and said why are radioing in every single train? Do you mean to say you have no automatic route selection capability here anymore with the new system? The old equipment allowed any kind of operation 50 years ago, and they can’t do it anymore with the equipment that replaced it? Even in the 60s they did something weird where one leg ran on an irregular headway but the rest of the system had regular headways — the western branch of BD from Keele to St. George had the long-short-long-short later on, so they were trying to do something.

    This is probably the most interesting part of the subway’s history, yet nobody seems to know much about what really went on behind the scenes back then. Is anybody who was at the controls back then even alive today? They took the secret to their graves.

    Happy Birthday BD.

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  12. re: stoves in Witt cars: The stoves were only in the trailers. An operator I knew, who shall remain nameless, but was famous in North Toronto in later years operating trolley buses, told me he used to heat his lunch in the stove when he was a conductor on the trailers. One day he forgot it was there, and a canister of tomato soup exploded, and covered the trailer and passengers within with soup.


  13. In keeping with stories from the era of Bloor-Danforth’s construction and opening, I thought I would relay this family gem…

    My great grandmother had lived at 22 Chester, which was one of the properties expropriated for the subway construction. The house had been vacated for a period before demolition, and my parents, uncles, aunts, and their friends were in their late teens and early 20s at the time, and had fairly recently seen the Hitchcock movie Psycho.

    They had this idea that it would be a fun thing to go explore the attic of the house, and one of my uncles was all gung-ho about leading the way. Unbeknownst to him, the others had a plan in mind. Another uncle was really into theatrical/movie make-up and he went ahead, made up and dressed in a way reminicient of Norman Bates’ mother. The whole group proceeded to #22 carrying a ladder, with the first uncle mentioned leading the charge. As they got up to the top of the stairs to the second floor, out popped the Bates mother-dressed uncle, fake knife with fake blood and all.

    They claim he may have only taken about four steps to get down the stairs and out the front door before realizing the rest were in laughter.


  14. Witt motors lost their coal stoves over a rather lengthy period. Small Witts converted to 1-man in 1933 did not receive electric heaters until the 1938 modernization scheme. 2300-2322, converted to 1-man in 1936, did not get electric heaters until 2324-2452 were also done in 1939-1940, when they were retrofitted. 2452-2478 were done in 1941. Then they started on the 2-man cars as 2480-2498 were done in 1942. The remainder ran through the rest of the war with coal stoves until they too were done in 1947 (with Brills 2580-2678 and 2900-3018 being done first, followed by 2500-2578.

    No thought was ever given, as far as I can tell, to conversion of the trailers, as there was allegedly a plan to replace the trailers with PCC cars and retain the TRs for a more extended period. That was never to be as the TRs quickly began to fall apart after their heavy wartime use and the new PCCs replaced the wooden bodies cars as quickly as possible. Even then the last TR wasn’t retired until 1951.


  15. Steve said: “A route to Pape would have been difficult to operate at significant capacity because of the twisty path north from Gerrard.”

    Out of curiosity, has the city looked at eliminating the jog by linking Pape directly with the Gerrard-Carlaw intersection when the plaza on the North-East corner gets redeveloped; either as a road or as a dedicated transit link if it happens before the relief line gets built?

    Steve: That would be a challenge as the “new” Pape would have to be grade separated with the railway. Given that this is already on a downgrade, and the rail corridor is close to Gerrard, this would make for some challenging grades particularly if the intent was to run streetcars up Pape. I have not heard any mention of such a scheme.


  16. Steve said:

    “That would be a challenge as the “new” Pape would have to be grade separated with the railway. Given that this is already on a downgrade, and the rail corridor is close to Gerrard, this would make for some challenging grades particularly if the intent was to run streetcars up Pape. I have not heard any mention of such a scheme.”

    Well, I wasn’t specifically thinking streetcars but merely taking advantage of the fact that the property stretches from Carlaw to Pape at the north end and paralleling the railway corridor to the intersection is how you would get the lowest grade.


  17. Steve, do you have a cost comparison between cut and cover subway and LRT with road widening? Since both result in serious disruption to traffic along the street for a significant amount of time, it would be very interesting to see the cost comparison and pros and cons of each.

    Steve: The price for cut-and-cover depends a lot on how many stations you will have. As a round number, $100 million/km is not far off for cut-and-cover, although this goes up quickly depending on station count and complexity. For example, the stations on the TYSSE are well over $100 million each. The disruption caused is much more severe because the excavation must go down several metres, and stations require a large box structure. Underground operation will also require a more sophisticated signal and train control system than for a surface route, not to mention various subsystems such as ventillation, lighting and drainage. All of these contribute to operating cost as well as to long-term capital replacement needs.

    Surface LRT, depending on the complexity of the road work, should come in at around $30 million/km, and that is being generous. There will be variables such as the degree to which utility relocations are needed by a surface LRT (to get pipes, etc, out from under the right-of-way), but that is the deepest excavation a surface LRT will require.

    It would be misleading, to put it politely, to imply that the duration and severity of disruption for construction of the two modes would be comparable.

    For anyone who might kvetch about my ballpark costs, note that I have not included common factors such as substations, a carhouse and the fleet. Yes, the fleet will be slightly larger for surface operation, but this will be more than offset by lower construction cost, and by the relative convenience of more closely-spaced stations.


  18. Should the relief line be built with platform screen doors? Will the platforms on the relief line be able to handle 7 car trains? Should the relief line be automatically built with ATC?

    Steve: ATC is a given for any new line, but I am not convinced of the need for platform doors. If we ever get into a fleet with 7-car trains, these will be on the YUS, not the RL or BD, and would likely be the replacement fleet for the T1s now on BD. The 6-car TR fleet from YUS would become a hand-me-down to BD, and the new 7-car trains would take over on YUS.

    All that said, there is no mention of such a change in the current fleet plans. One big issue is that longer trains would affect facilities such as carhouses that are planned around the shorter consists, and some pocket tracks may be too tight to hold a 500-foot long train.


  19. Getting back to history, why did the TTC cut the King line back to the Subway at Dundas West? I still have a slide my dad took there with a PCC’s destination sign reading Runnymede.

    Steve: It was the Dundas car that ran to Runnymede, not King. This was just one step in the planned gradual shutdown of the streetcar system. It’s ironic that 40 Junction has never been extended beyond the old streetcar terminal.


  20. Looking back to the BD opening, I was curious to know the capacity of the Original Red subways. I’ve found the seated load, but was wondering if you might know what the standing/crush load on those cars were. (I think they were smaller per car, but that they had up to 8 cars vs. the more recent 6 car design).

    Steve: This gets a bit tricky. Looking at a 1983 equipment roster, I see that the TTC showed the capacity for G-series cars as:

    • 62 seated
    • 174 at loading factor W4
    • 233 at crush factor W5

    However, the same roster shows the W4 load for other types of equipment as:

    • PCC: 102
    • CLRV: 101
    • SRT: 80
    • Trolley Coach: 83

    For service planning purposes, lower values are used because it is not practical to schedule the service to be completely packed. That would drive up dwell times to unacceptable levels. Moreover, everyone knows that the standee space in the back of surface vehicles is never well used, especially at peak crowding conditions. The values used by Service Planning are about 75% of the W4 loads.

    Note that for an 8-car G train at 174 per car, this would make almost 1,400 per train, but the practical load is more like 1,000 on a sustained basis.


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