Streetcars Return to 505 Dundas on April 20, 2020 (Updated)

With the switch to buses on the 511 Bathurst, the 505 Dundas route will resume streetcar operation on Monday, April 20, 2020.

Service on the 504B King and 505 Dundas to Broadview Station will be replaced by buses for one week from Sunday April 19 to Saturday April 25 for track work on Broadview at Wolfrey and neighbouring areas. This could also include modification of the overhead on Broadview between Gerrard and Danforth for pantograph operation. New poles have appeared at several locations where curves that are not pan-compliant are still in place.

504B King streetcars will loop via Parliament, Dundas and Broadview. The 504A service will continue to operate to Distillery Loop.

505 Dundas streetcars will loop via Parliament, Gerrard and Broadview.

A shuttle bus will operate between Broadview Station and King & Parliament.

Work at Broadview Station on the extended 504 King platform is nearly complete, and this should relieve some of the streetcar queuing on Broadview outside of the station, an important consideration once the 505 Dundas streetcars are added to the traffic there.

7 thoughts on “Streetcars Return to 505 Dundas on April 20, 2020 (Updated)

  1. As a transit user, the replacing of streetcars with buses is a downer for me. Tend to avoid using the buses, if possible.

    Wonder what the cities in Europe, Asia, and Australia do. Do they replace their trams with buses during construction, or do they continue to use trams but with modifications?

    Steve: It depends on the city, the network and the project. Toronto has suffered through a long period of streetcar replacements that had nothing to do with construction projects, but with a shortage of vehicles and a reluctance to run as much streetcar service as possible. But obviously when there is major construction work, routes have to be replaced or diverted.


  2. After completion of “track work” on Broadview Avenue, would there be pantograph operation along the entire length of 505 Dundas?

    Steve: That’s what was originally announced, but then deferred because the TTC woke up to the fact they hadn’t completed the job.


  3. Is the overhead at King, Queen and Roncesvalles pan compliant? When last I looked king and Queen were still using trolley poles.

    Steve: No. This will not be converted until 2021 when the whole intersection will be rebuilt (along with track west to the existing right-of-way). The new intersection layout is not the same as the existing one, and so the overhead will be installed to suit the new track arrangement. I will put up an article on these plans soon.


  4. re: Walter’s question. Berlin’s policy is to turn around trams when part of their route is blocked for construction. There may or may not be a bus bridge depending on other network connectivity.

    But one thing to note is that a substantial amount of Berlin trams are double-headed and most of Berlin network is in right-of-way, which makes turning around feasible anywhere there is a suitable switch.

    That practice would be somewhat like the 504/505 turning back at the Bridgepoint Health stop for the construction mentioned here, or the 511 turning back at the Niagara Street stop while the bridge is blocked.

    (Being in its own right of way also has other benefits, like the track footing not being continuously damaged by Toronto’s heavy road vehicles…)

    Steve: Another benefit of a right-of-way is that the road does not have to be built to carry the heaviest of trucks and this can make replacement projects both faster and simpler.

    An important thing to remember about much of the work we see in Toronto is that we are still, yes still, catching up from the legacy of badly built track during the period when keeping streetcars was policy, but track was still put together for a relatively short lifespan. All “modern” track construction now involves digging down to the foundation and rebuilding from there up, as opposed to stripping off the top layer and attaching new rails to the existing foundation and steel ties. Even that runs into problems where the original construction did not provide a good mechanical separation layer between the top slab containing the track, and the middle slab containing the ties.

    This situation makes the work more complex and time consuming that it would be on a system that had designed its track for speedy maintenance from the outset.


  5. I’ve not seen details on the platform extension for the King car elsewhere – perhaps I missed a previous post. Could you please elaborate?

    Steve: There was no previous post. The work is largely completed now.

    The existing stop has been moved west slightly so that the back end of a Flexity is right at the fence at the end of the platform. East of the crossing to the Dundas platform, the platform has been modified so that a second car can sit on the curve but still clear of the switch at the exit.


  6. Thank you for the elaboration. Sounds like a very simple modification that will benefit a lot of riders – I’m surprised it took this long though.

    Steve: The new layout would not have worked with the CLRVs because they have more swing-out at curves and doorways would not align with the platform edge.


  7. Apparently, the TTC was not able to convert the overhead along Broadview Avenue for pantograph operation by April 25. The following YouTube videos published April 28 show 2 TTC staff stationed at the corner of Parliament and Dundas streets assisting streetcar operators to switch between pantograph and trolley pole.

    At south-west corner
    At north-east corner

    Steve: The original idea had been to have the ground crews over at Broadview, but this would not have worked with the short turn operation via Parliament while track work was underway on Broadview at Wolfrey. Work on the overhead on Broadview was already underway last weekend. I have not been down as far as Gerrard to see how much is complete now (Wednesday, April 29), but don’t expect it will be long before we see pans at Broadview Station on the 505 Dundas cars.


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