Updated May 18, 2018: Photos added.
The first of three intersection renewals on the Carlton and Dundas routes began on May 14 at Gerrard and Parliament Streets. Intersections at Broadview/Dundas and Broadview/Gerrard will follow in June and July, as well as track renewal on Broadview between Dundas and Gerrard. Planned renewal of the track from north of Gerrard to Hogarth (the north end of Riverdale Park) has been deferred to a future year, as yet unknown.
Demolition of the intersection began on the morning of Monday, May 14, and by late afternoon Wednesday, May 16, the new foundation was in place and ready to receive track. I happened to drop by just as the first track panel was being unloaded and placed in the street.
Intersections are pre-assembled at Hillcrest before they are delivered to the site so that they can be installed in panels rather than individual parts, a much more labour intensive process once used by the TTC. Preassembly also allows pre-welding of all components in one panel, and the only on-site welding required is to join panels to each other and to odd pieces of track that individually complete the junction and approaches.
Day 4: May 17, 2018
At the time of my visit in the early afternoon, the south quadrant had been installed and assembly of the middle of the intersection was in progress.
Day 5: May 18, 2018
As of mid-day, most of the north-south trackage is in place including the run off tracks that will link to the existing track beyond the work site. Welding was in progress. The eastern quadrant appears ready to receive its track panels.
Day 6: May 19, 2018 (Rain day, no photos)
Day 7: May 20, 2018
The intersection is now almost completely assembled. Concrete work will follow in two separate stages: one to the height of the ties, and another to the railhead. This arrangement makes repairs easier because only the top layer needs to be demolished.
Will any improvements be made to the overhead at any of these intersections? I’m asking because I witnessed 2 dewirements at Broadview and Gerrard early last winter. They were about 10 minutes apart, both on eastbound Carlton Cars as they crossed Broadview. There is a small jog at that point which may have contributed to the problem. In each case the operator moved the trolley pole back into position with the slightly bemused look of a person who had done it many times before. The overhead LOOKED to be in good condition, so what could the problem be?
Steve: In theory, Broadview & Gerrard has new overhead, but even that is still subject to problems with frogs that are worn or misaligned sending poles the “wrong” way for a car’s travel.
My hope is for newer track switches. The last time I was on board a diverting streetcar that passed through this intersection the operator had to go out and manually flip the switch. In fact the operator had to manually flip the switch at 4 out of the 6 intersections through the diversion area along with one pole dewirement on Parliament.
Steve: The TTC has been installing boxes that would hold track switch machines at new intersections, but most of them are empty because they are (finally) beginning to replace the old electronics installed in the early ALRV days (!) that have never worked properly. Priority goes to these replacements, not to new installs. When we will see more extensive switch electrification to take into account common diversions and short turns, I don’t know. An even bigger step would be TSP so that diverting cars don’t have to fight their way through traffic.
Updated: The photos added on May 17 show the track switch boxes for the S to E and N to E curves. The facing switch westbound has not been installed yet, but one can assume that it too will at least have the capability of being electrified.
Steve should this be TPS as in Toronto Police Service?
Steve: No. TSP = Transit Signal Priority, although TPS wouldn’t hurt either.