On a day that hinted vaguely of, dare I say it, Spring, I visited King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles to see the current state of affairs.
- All track is assembled and concrete placement is underway for the north gate (Roncesvalles Avenue) entrance of the carhouse.
- Eastbound road traffic on The Queensway is now using the new curb lane.
- Construction of the track foundation between Glendale and Parkside is underway.
- Overhead contact wire is up at Sunnyside Loop, although the work to attach it to hangers is not yet finished.
One might think it possible we will see streetcar service at least to Sunnyside on Queen and on Roncesvalles to Dundas West Station this Winter-Spring. Schedule details for the mid-February and late-March changes have not yet been announced.
At the very least, long-suffering residents of Roncesvalles should get their buses back between The Queensway and Howard Park in a few weeks unless the project is delayed in some mysterious way even longer.
Any guess as to how long before they rip up the whole darn thing again for a massive overhaul? Maybe, oh I don’t know… six months?
Steve: Oh ye of little faith!
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They still have to change the Roncesvalles platforms… at the rate this project has been going, that’ll be done by end of summer.
Steve: And the work on those was supposed to be done last year. It’s not a big job, and they should be able to finish this, but it will take determination to make it happen, something which has not been in great evidence on this project.
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Between this and track replacements, I think there has been replacement bus service more often than streetcar service on Lakeshore W in the near decade I have lived here in Mimico.
If the Queensway 80B comes in this spring, at least I might have the consolation prize of zero-transfer access to my local cinema or Sherway.
Curious to see where things are when Cirque opens it’s show on the site of the old Christie plant at Lake Shore/Park Lawn. If the 501L is still running then, it will be heavily impacted (more so than the 501 running via Humber loop).
According to John Bromley’s book, in 1923 they managed to replace the intersection in 9 hours.
Steve: With some important differences. First of all, they were not rebuilding any hydro or watermains or Bell conduits, nor were they reconfiguring the street. Second, they were not pouring a new concrete foundation and waiting for it to cure. Third, in those days, service as restored over open track quite normally. These days, they wait a few weeks for the entire concrete to cure without vibration from passing streetcars. There’s more, but I will stop.
There are some tiny differences in the style of project then vs now. Yes, there are many cases where this project just sat with nothing happening and I cannot believe that was just due to poor co-ordination, but also to a lack of strong project management and a desire to see it done.
But please don’t cite 1923 as an example of what could be done today.
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We are talking about the TTC, nothing surprises me anymore. There always seems to be a mysterious way to delay work.
I am also in South Etobicoke but I haven’t found that. There have been times when I have waited up to 40 minutes for a bus heading in the direction I am headed but always a large number going in the opposite direction. And you should see them sitting at Long Branch Loop on top of it. When I see three, four, five buses it boggles the mind of the waste. Plus, while some drivers will pull into the loop itself to wait (using the area where the tracks are), most wait on the street east of the southbound lanes of Brown’s Line. I have missed my connection more than once when this has occurred, as have others.
I, for one, can’t wait for the streetcars to return.
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In other jurisdictions, in Europe or Australia, we see videos where they use crossover tracks to bypass the construction work on their tram tracks. The trams/streetcars/light rail then share that track for a block or two or three before returning to the regularly scheduled tracks. They have “flag persons” controlling the passage.
Sometimes the crossover is on the top the pavement and existing tracks. However, that means the autos cannot use that section where the crossover is occurring, especially with the trams/streetcar going in both directions.
Will not happen in Toronto because the single-occupant autos gets #1 priority over public transit (and pedestrians). So that will not happen here in Toronto until public transit gets priority of ALL automobiles.
Steve: TTC experimented with this years ago, but the segment they tried was quite small on Coxwell between Lower and Upper Gerrard. Now that almost all tangent track in the city has been rebuilt with a permanent base, steel ties and Pandrol clips, replacing the top layer is fairly quick and just as easily done all in one go. One big scheduling problem is that the TTC often reserves more time for bus replacements than will actually be needed if the project goes quickly because (a) they have been caught short before and (b) there’s a long lead time for schedule changes. That said, an intersection, especially a straightforward one, should be possible within a six-week board period if only the City would schedule projects to start at board period dates rather than half way through.
The North Gate tracks were fully encased in concrete when I passed by today. They were working on the sidewalks north of the gate on both sides of Roncesvalles. It also looked like some new poles may have appeared on the east side.
Steve: Thanks for the update!
Anecdotally, I’m seeing a lot more Queen streetcars between Dufferin and Roncesvalles last couple of days, in both directions. They seem to run into and from the yard. Has something changed, or did I just happen to catch a lot of yard runs? Specific times: Sunday 22 January around 5pm to 6pm, Monday 23 January around 5pm. There’s also three of them westbound past Dufferin right now. I’m often out around 4:30-5:00pm and I haven’t seen so many streetcars on Queen in the past few weeks. Operational problems at Dufferin Loop?
Steve: Dufferin is closed north of Springhurst because of a sewer collapse. All Queen cars are running west to Roncesvalles.
Watching the trackers this morning it looks like Sunnyside Loop is back in service as I’ve seen 3 different cars reporting locations along Queensway, past the yard and in the loop.
Seems that sewer collapse lit a fire under someone’s ass and got them to finish the wiring. I live in hope this also motivates the completion of overhead work on King west of Dufferin, though I’m managing my expectations.
Happy to report that yesterday overhead crews were out on King Street between KQQR and Triller. Also all overhead contact wire has been removed between the crosswalk west of Wilson Park Road & Dowling Avenue.