Welcome Guest! In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away. Click here to get started.


Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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.
Reply
#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.
Reply
#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
Reply
#4
Cancelling Transit city was such a shame, a lot of it would have been done by now.
Reply
#5
(01-17-2016, 11:32 AM)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.
Reply
#6
(01-17-2016, 11:58 AM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(01-17-2016, 11:32 AM)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.
Reply
#7
(01-16-2016, 07:38 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.
Reply
#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.
Reply
#9
(01-17-2016, 11:58 AM)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, 01:12 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
Reply
#10
(01-17-2016, 05:54 PM)Canard Wrote:
(01-17-2016, 01:12 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?
Reply
#11
I had a great big long technical explanation typed out on all the advantages but decided it's just not worth getting in to - I'm tired of fighting. Any time I bring up anything other than Light Rail it's instantly shot down.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
#12
On the streetcar front, it looks like the King car will finally be getting the boost it deserves.

Plan in the works to redesign King Street — and quickly

Quote:The “King Street Visioning Study,” recently commissioned and formally kicking off in a few weeks, aims to “develop a transformational vision for King Street and generate design ideas to improve streetcar operations, enhance the identity of this significant street and its neighbourhoods and promote walking through significant, innovative place-making initiatives and improvements to the public realm.”
Reply
#13
(01-18-2016, 12:00 PM)Canard Wrote: I had a great big long technical explanation typed out on all the advantages but decided it's just not worth getting in to - I'm tired of fighting.  Any time I bring up anything other than Light Rail it's instantly shot down.

I’m disappointed to hear that. I for one would like to know more about the benefits of other systems, in particular ICTS. I might not agree, but at least I might understand, which I don’t right now.

It’s a different system but I have to say that my opinion of the usefulness of monorail is slightly higher than previously. The number of new, many-station, high-capacity systems opening lately in Asia makes me think they might be more useful than I thought. I might be similarly convinced about ICTS.
Reply
#14
(01-18-2016, 04:52 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: It’s a different system but I have to say that my opinion of the usefulness of monorail is slightly higher than previously. The number of new, many-station, high-capacity systems opening lately in Asia makes me think they might be more useful than I thought. I might be similarly convinced about ICTS.

Asia is building new rail systems left, right an center, some of those are monorail, but as a percentage of all built the number doesn't seem to be going up. Also quite tellingly some of the monorail systems are being extended with standard subway. Monorails look cool which means that are a common go to when a city wants to project a modernistic image e.g. Seattle, regardless of what is their ideal system for their specific needs.
Reply
#15
Why should something be penalized because it happens to "look cool", BuildingScout?  Please cite an example of a monorail system which is being extended with conventional subway. Perhaps a better question for you would be: What alternative rail technology could Chongqing have chosen for their Metro? What other transit technology could handle the steep grades, tight corners, cut through buildings, all while having a minimal visual disruption? The fact is, no other rail technology other than Monorail could have satisfied these needs.

With regard to defending ICTS: for one, it is powered by a linear induction motor (LIM), which means wheel-to-rail traction doesn't play a part in thrust. This is essentially a three-phase induction motor rolled out flat. An aluminium reaction rail/plate is mounted between the running rails of the track. The stator is wound with 3 phases of coils in a pattern: A B C A B C A B C... and when 3-phase electric current is run through them (variable voltage, variable frequency), a current is also induced in the reaction plate. This induced current sets up its own magnetic field which interacts with the field of the stator and pulls the train along.  The stator coils on the bogies react directly with the reaction plates between the rails, so regardless of weather conditions or slope, there is always thrust.  Same goes for braking - it's not possible for there to be any slip*.  It's direct acting and zero maintenance, with no moving parts. It is the perfect motive technology. I have a soft spot for LIM (and LSM) technology as I've long been a fan of it - even built my own functioning LIM in elementary school for a science fair project which won me 2nd place in all of Ontario... but that's another story!

True, Linear Motors are not limited to ICTS exclusivley (several Japanese subway systems have used LIM propulsion, because it lets the bogies be smaller, which means the tunnels can in turn be smaller, which reduces construction costs) - you could even build a LIM-powered tram/LRV if you really wanted to.

ICTS just screams "future" to me, sorry.  I'm a child born in the 80's and I love my 70's and 80's mass transit systems of the future.  100 year old tram technology doesn't get me as excited.  I love riding the rt.  Standing in those futuristic platforms, all steel and tinted glass and concrete and red/blue steel accents... certainly hearalds a much more forward-thinking look than streetcars with trolley poles and subways with public-school toilet tiles (sorry, Virolite fans).

[Image: icts4.jpg]

* - Yes, LIMs function with some "slip", but it's a different kind of slip than what I'm relating to wheel-to-rail interaction.  The forward motion of the train isn't exactly the same speed as the wave through the stator, but it's close and is a closed-loop system, thanks to a tachometer on one of the axles.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)