For much of 2016, Exhibition Loop was out of service, and streetcar service cut back or replaced by bus shuttles. This started with reconstruction of the north side of the loop and retaining wall adjacent to GO’s Exhibition Station, but later extended to the south side of the loop where streetcars unload and board passengers.
The track reconstruction did not finish before the winter freeze-up, and has to have set a new record for a long-running project of relative simplicity. Construction began in the fall, and then completed in mid-winter thanks to unusually benevolent weather.
Streetcars returned to the loop on February 18, 2017, although only 509 Harbourfront is a rail operation. The 511 Bathurst route will operate with buses until the matter of streetcar availability is resolved. (I suspect that once part of 505 Dundas shuts down for track construction later in 2017, this will free up streetcars for 511 Bathurst during the busier summer period, but this has not been confirmed.)
A photo gallery follows the break.
I only wished that they built the shelters closer and at each of the actual stops at the Exhibition loop.
The NextBus prediction will not include vehicles in Exhibition loop until they update the 509 route to include the new stops. They had the same problem for 511 and 29 when they extended the routes back in the Exhibition last month.
Are they going to switch 509 to Flexity based schedules? It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden an CLRV on that route.
Steve: There was a CLRV out yesterday (Feb 18), but they are rare. I don’t know whether we will see a schedule change because normally this route gets added service for the tourist season. With Flexitys, this won’t be needed.
I wish they were closer to the train platforms. One of the longest walking transfers I can think of.
Steve: Exhibition Loop is primarily designed for large volume events at the CNE grounds. The connection with GO Transit is almost an afterthought in terms of volume. A similar complaint applies for people walking from Liberty Village through the tunnel to board at the loop.
Steve, have you noticed the fixed trailing switch at the leaving end of the loop eastbound? An oddity that I have no idea why they did this; in order to reverse a car there needs to be an insert put into the switch. I haven’t been on the cars yet to feel the difference but it looks like a good drop that would create significant side to side movement. The LFLRVs don’t have side to side play so an onboard injury is very conceivable.
Steve: I will have to go and look at this. I didn’t notice anything riding out of the loop when I was there.