Updated August 28 at 11:45 am:
I inquired of the TTC whether the restriction at Distillery Loop was due to noise, and whether the CLRVs, when needed, could be operated on the 504B Dufferin service which does not go to the Distillery.
They have replied that:
- “We have a commitment from Rick and community relations that we do not operate legacy cars into Distillery Loop. We will short turn any CLRVs on that branch at Parliament.”
- “We were trying to avoid having any CLRVs operating through the peak point to maximize scheduled capacity. All the CLRVs are also scheduled as swing cars, so that had to be considered as well. As a result, we had to split the CLRVs between the two branches. We will prioritize LF deployment on the remaining CLRV runs on 504A first to minimize missed trips from Distillery.”
Thanks to Brad Ross for the update.
Effective with the October 7, 2018 schedules, the 514 Cherry car will disappear from the streets of Toronto.
Since June 24 it has been on a temporary hiatus during the reconstruction of Broadview Avenue and a revised service on the 504 King car. On September 2, the “standard” service will resume on 504 King, 514 Cherry and 503 Kingston Road, but it will only last a month.
In October, the TTC will make the summer route split permanent and will operate two separate routes, both under the name 504 King:
- 504A will operate from Dundas West Station to Distillery Loop
- 504B will operate from Broadview Station to Dufferin Loop
The two services will operate at the same frequency and will be scheduled, to the degree anything like this actually happens on the TTC, so that they blend in the central part of the line rather than running in pairs. That will probably be greatest challenge given the TTC’s chronic inability to manage branching routes and the less than professional manner in which some operators run right behind their leaders rather than spacing out the service.
Most of the recovery time (layovers) will be scheduled at Dufferin and Distillery Loops so that streetcars are not sitting in subway station loops with queues extending out onto the street.
All service will be scheduled to operate with new Flexity low floor streetcars, although until the end of 2018, the TTC expects to be short a few cars and will substitute CLRVs (standard sized old streetcars).
Some CLRVs will operate in the peak periods through the end of the year and will be designated on runs that operate outside the busiest hour in the morning and afternoon peak periods. These will be replaced by low-floor streetcars, as available, at the divisional level.
Where a 504A streetcar is designated for CLRV, these cars will turn back via Parliament, Dundas, Broadview, and Queen, at the divisional level, as CLRVs are restricted from entering Distillery Loop. [From the Service Change Memo for the October 2018 Board Period]
This arrangement means that there could be random gaps in service to the Distillery depending on vehicle allocations of the day, and operators of these cars will lose their east end rest break.
The effect of the new service design varies depending on the day of the week and the location on the route.
On weekdays, the total number of cars in service goes down, although this is offset by the scheduling of larger Flexitys replacing the CLRVs. All will be well if the TTC actually fields a full service of Flexitys unlike the situation on 501 Queen where for many years CLRVs were sent out on schedules intended for the larger articulated ALRVs. [That was nominally “fixed” with the February 2018 schedules, but this was a very long-overdue correction to reflect the TTC’s inability to actually muster a full service of ALRVs.]
- AM peak service between Dundas West and Dufferin, and between Broadview Station and Sumach (the point where the Cherry line branches off) will change from a mixture of CLRVs and Flexitys every 3’40” to a Flexity every 5’15”. This is, just barely, a one for one replacement of capacity, but not on the peak part of the route.
- PM peak service on the outer ends will change from a CLRV/Flexity mixture every 4’15” to a Flexity every 6’00”.
- Midday and evening service on the outer ends of the line will also be less frequent, and it will be essential that all service actually reaches the terminals.
- Service in the middle part of the route from Dufferin to Sumach will generally be more frequent and will operate with all Flexitys once they are available.
On weekends, the total number of cars in service goes up during all periods. The effect is that even though only half of the service is scheduled to run through to Dundas West and to Broadview Stations, the change in frequency is small. The central part of the line will see better service both in frequency and capacity.
Service to the Distillery District will be improved compared to the 514 Cherry schedule during all periods. (This change was quite evident with the summer 2018 schedules, and will no doubt be missed for the period from September 2 to October 6 where the “old” Cherry service will operate.)
Overnight service on 304 King will continue to operate between Dundas West and Broadview Stations, but all runs will be scheduled with Flexitys.
The PDF linked here shows the details of the changes. I will publish the full list of October service changes in a separate article.
As a parting thought, it will be intriguing to see how many years it will take for the last of the signage, advertising and other TTC materials (notably the onboard route maps) to lose the 514 Cherry car. At least, only two months after the change, the cars are not all calling “Short Turn” at every stop.