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Toronto transit projects
#1
A thread to discuss subways, LRT, streetcars, and other aspects of Toronto transit systems and projects, in particular how they affect thinking and decision-making across the province.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#2
Lots of talk today, particularly on budget matters. The University line extension is needing an extra $400 million to come in on time; I'm sure it's no coincidence that we're hearing John Tory's pet SmartTrack project is being streamlined. Specifically, the Eglinton West section is being implemented as surface light rail - an extension of the under-construction Crosstown line - and the heavy-rail Mount Dennis-Union-Kennedy section will likely get higher frequency. The impact there is that with no heavy rail west of Mount Dennis or north of Kennedy (which will be deferred), the budget will come down and presumably free up funds for the subway.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#3
It's stupid to me that Toronto wants to rip out the Scarborough rt and replace it with a two-stop stubway, instead of spending a fraction of the cost and buying new ICTS MK 3 trains. Such a stupid and wasteful decision. They've been using the excuse "oh we can't get parts and bombardier doesn't make them anymore" which is hilarious considering Vancouver just finished refurbishing their entire MK I fleet (same as Toronto's) to get another 15-20 years out of them.

Toronto is a transit planing disaster. Always has been, always will be.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#4
Cancelling Transit city was such a shame, a lot of it would have been done by now.
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#5
(01-17-2016, 12:32 PM)clasher Wrote: Cancelling Transit city was such a shame, a lot of it would have been done by now.

Part of the problem is that they keep on proposing grand plans: "transit city", "smarttrack". Instead they should just shut up and build LRT lines all over the place. Toronto is so under-serviced that you can just draw a random line and there is a need for an LRT there.
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#6
(01-17-2016, 12:58 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(01-17-2016, 12:32 PM)clasher Wrote: Cancelling Transit city was such a shame, a lot of it would have been done by now.

Part of the problem is that they keep on proposing grand plans: "transit city", "smarttrack". Instead they should just shut up and build LRT lines all over the place. Toronto is so under-serviced that you can just draw a random line and there is a need for an LRT there.

The issue Toronto city council seems to have is that they fully believe there is only one viable rapid transit option for their city: Subways. Anything less would be an insult.

They refuse to see that there are different solutions for different corridors that would be much more cost effective and efficient than spending excess billions on a subway where it's not needed.
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#7
(01-16-2016, 08:38 PM)Canard Wrote: It's stupid to me that Toronto wants to rip out the Scarborough rt and replace it with a two-stop stubway, instead of spending a fraction of the cost and buying new ICTS MK 3 trains. Such a stupid and wasteful decision. They've been using the excuse "oh we can't get parts and bombardier doesn't make them anymore" which is hilarious considering Vancouver just finished refurbishing their entire MK I fleet (same as Toronto's) to get another 15-20 years out of them.

Toronto is a transit planing disaster. Always has been, always will be.

My understanding is that the Mark 3 trains would not fit through the tunnel between Ellesmere and Midland. Also, the hope is/was to extend the line to Malvern, and to run an integrated network with LRT lines on Sheppard, Eglinton, and Morningside/Kingston. As such, continuing to maintain one relatively short line as ICTS doesn’t really make sense.

That being said, the subway plan for Scarborough is utterly idiotic. For the same money, all the LRT lines ever seriously proposed for Scarborough could be built, giving high-quality transit service to a large number of neighbourhoods and important destinations with Scarborough, including many which won’t be helped at all by the subway plan.

I believe the original plan was for the SRT to be replaced with LRT in time for the Pan-Am games in, what year was it again, oh right, 2015. The Sheppard LRT would also have definitely been operating already. It’s easy to blame this all on Ford, but your observation that Toronto has always been (and, pessimistically, always will be) a planning disaster is apt — in fact, Ford can only really be blamed for less than two years of delay on the LRT projects. He was elected in 2010, and within less than two years Council voted to reinstate Transit City. Most of the delay is actually due to flip-flopping on the funding by the Ontario government. Ford just provided the extra push that changed significant delay and a reduction in the original plan into massive delay, an even bigger reduction in the original plan, and an alternative, extremely wasteful, subway plan.
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#8
Yes, putting LRT trains on the SRT alignment would make far more sense. It would have its own ROW from Kennedy to STC and could then fan out on road alignments.

That's pretty much the Transit City plan. They should dust it off and see how much money they'd save, if anyone had the political will.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#9
(01-17-2016, 12:58 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Instead they should just shut up and build LRT lines all over the place.

It's funny to me that in recent years, LRT has just become this magic "this will solve all of our problems" pill. Light Rail has a very specific niche. It does not work in every single application. There are a multitude of other transit technologies which can (and do) work better, depending on the application. You can't just blindly say that LRT should go everywhere. Subway/Heavy Metro, Light Automated Metro, Automated Guideway Transit/Peoplemovers/Monorails all have their place in the selection matrix, too, and should be carefully debated.

(01-17-2016, 02:12 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: My understanding is that the Mark 3 trains would not fit through the tunnel between Ellesmere and Midland.

...if they buy off-the-shelf MK III vehicles, and don't enlarge the tunnel.

So, you can either:

-Enlarge the tunnel for $100 million. Whoop-de-do.
-Get Bombardier to make shorter trains. Spend a bit on some engineering and boom, it's done. Every train is built from scratch. Nothing is truly "off the shelf". Toronto already bought custom streetcars. Every Streetcar and Subway vehicle they buy is custom because of their stupid non-standard track gauge!

Quote:Also, the hope is/was to extend the line to Malvern, and to run an integrated network with LRT lines on Sheppard, Eglinton, and Morningside/Kingston. As such, continuing to maintain one relatively short line as ICTS doesn’t really make sense.

Yes, I get that. But extending the existing technology using an elevated guideway would have meant no lanes of traffic are disrupted and would have been much safer than at-grade Light Rail. Not to mention the service speed would be much quicker, operating overhead instead of in traffic.

Quote:That being said, the subway plan for Scarborough is utterly idiotic. For the same money, all the LRT lines ever seriously proposed for Scarborough could be built, giving high-quality transit service to a large number of neighbourhoods and important destinations with Scarborough, including many which won’t be helped at all by the subway plan.

Absolutely - and this is what infuriates me the most. This is 100% a case of people wanting equality ("We deserve a subway!") and the TTC being stupid with their free car that Mom and Dad bought ("I'm not going to change the oil in it anymore, watch the engine seize up and say 'oh look, it doesn't work anymore, now I need a new car mom and dad'").

The best part of all of Toronto's stupidity around this is that it's actually forced them to extend the life of the rt - but oh look, didn't they say it couldn't be done? Right...
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#10
(01-17-2016, 06:54 PM)Canard Wrote:
(01-17-2016, 02:12 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: My understanding is that the Mark 3 trains would not fit through the tunnel between Ellesmere and Midland.

...if they buy off-the-shelf MK III vehicles, and don't enlarge the tunnel.

So, you can either:

-Enlarge the tunnel for $100 million.  Whoop-de-do.
-Get Bombardier to make shorter trains.  Spend a bit on some engineering and boom, it's done.  Every train is built from scratch.  Nothing is truly "off the shelf".  Toronto already bought custom streetcars.  Every Streetcar and Subway vehicle they buy is custom because of their stupid non-standard track gauge!

Quote:Also, the hope is/was to extend the line to Malvern, and to run an integrated network with LRT lines on Sheppard, Eglinton, and Morningside/Kingston. As such, continuing to maintain one relatively short line as ICTS doesn’t really make sense.

Yes, I get that.  But extending the existing technology using an elevated guideway would have meant no lanes of traffic are disrupted and would have been much safer than at-grade Light Rail.  Not to mention the service speed would be much quicker, operating overhead instead of in traffic.

So what you are saying is that if we did a bunch more work (either fix the tunnel, or get Bombardier to make more-customized cars), we can keep the ICTS system. But what is so great about the ICTS system over an equivalent LRT?

An elevated guideway could be used for LRT if desired, just as a tunnel is being used for a long stretch of the Eglinton LRT. Similarly, LRT can operate with fully automatic control, just like the SRT can (but doesn’t, although that’s another story…). To be honest, I’m not at all clear what benefits ICTS is supposed to have over LRT in any situation — anything ICTS can do, LRT can do just as well, as far as I can tell. But LRT is more flexible — it can easily run at grade or even in mixed traffic if needed. So the only reason I can see to work with ICTS is if one already has a substantial ICTS system. That’s why I consider it reasonable for Vancouver to keep, maintain, and extend its ICTS network. Do you know of anything ICTS can do that LRT cannot?
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