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North of Eglinton Station, a center track is provided where trains can move towards it rather than north towards Lawrence station. Interlock signals which lead to the center track can set the path to the center track by signaling a double yellow signal. However, unlike most center tracks, the Eglinton Center track is effectively a dead-end tail track and can never be used for normal service.

Trains at Eglinton Station can pull into the tailtrack from both the northbound and the southbound platform. Unlike most cases where a train is headed to a dead-end track, the train is given a double-yellow signal, which is one of the possible "proceed" signals from the northbound platform [signal N338, X54]  and the only "proceed" signal from the southbound platform [signal NA338, X58] other than the call-on. There are around two red signals further down the center track. Most interlock signals which lead to a dead-end track require a train to be called on to pull into, such as one of the three Finch tailtracks. Furthermore, there is a lunar signal on both signals, which is only used if the train is headed into the dead-end center track, implying that the center track constitutes a grade-timed block and the first red signal after will flash and evolve into a yellow signal.

I first had the impression of that center track during my childhood when my father came to view the subway tunnel with me - that was before the TR era. All three tracks use tube tunnels [similar to the Finch West center track]. Since I use the TTC everyday to commute to university and work [usually 3 days a week] for over a year, where I use most of the Yonge portion of Line 1, I only saw the Eglinton center track used three times. Hence, it is used quite rarely, considerably less than the tailtracks beyond each terminal station. In fact, in the first instance I saw [early August 2018] I was actually riding on a train which has been declared out of service just before it reaches Eglinton station, where everyone is forced out of the train, and the train heads into the center track to reverse through a double-yellow. In the second instance [November 30 2018 @ 12:30pm] a track-level injury had occurred and service between Eglinton and Bloor had been shut off. The northbound train that arrived at Eglinton just before the announcement was forced into the center track through the double-yellow. In the third occurrence, the train went out of service around Davisville station. I believe that the same train went into the center track. I only saw the double-yellow signal used on the northbound signal just twice, and never saw the NA338 signal being used.

Attached is a diagram which labels the layout of the Eglinton center track in my impression and observation, and another instance of a 'normal' center track.

  • I have a major question regarding the use of this center track: Under which circumstance is this center track used, and how often is this dead-end center track used compared to an ordinary center track such as the one north of York Mills?
  • I am wondering if the center track is more often used in the past, and how the center track is used nowadays. Do TTC operators record and log instances where the center track is used? How long is that tail track? Is there any emergency exit in that tail track?

EglintonTailtrack.png

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Do you mean the old storage track left over from when Eglinton was the terminus? Haven't they already ripped that out as part of moving the platforms at Eglinton in preparation for Line 5? 

Do we need a new thread for this? If so, can someone fix the spelling?

image.thumb.png.9e6114777ad56afe5df1fd869cf9c0de.png

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The center track is the old storage track left over when Eglinton was the terminus. Thing is, there are still bored sections on the old storage track which further intrigued me, implying that the center track might be a normal one, but the later decide to leave it the way it is as a dead end.

As of now, the center track haven't been ripped — it is still in the original alignment. I can still see the "tube tunnel" parts of the dead-end center track.

As for the potential spelling error, I use 'center' rather than 'centre' more often.

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1 hour ago, nfitz said:

Do we need a new thread for this? If so, can someone fix the spelling?

 

Is it a spelling error if both words are valid spellings and mean exactly the same thing?

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2 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Is it a spelling error if both words are valid spellings and mean exactly the same thing?

[It is getting a little off-topic; I am asking how and when this center track is used, right now and before]

I used only 'center' on this thread; this is the American spelling [in Canada 'centre' is preferred]. 'Centre' is here only as a tag to assist searching. Just use one version or another consistently.

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2 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Is it a spelling error if both words are valid spellings and mean exactly the same thing?

I didn't say it was an error ... but really?

I was hoping it would be moved into an existing thread.

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10 hours ago, nfitz said:

Do you mean the old storage track left over from when Eglinton was the terminus? Haven't they already ripped that out as part of moving the platforms at Eglinton in preparation for Line 5? 

Do we need a new thread for this? If so, can someone fix the spelling?

image.thumb.png.9e6114777ad56afe5df1fd869cf9c0de.png

When Eglinton was the terminus, the two tracks each ended a few feet north of the platform with a wall with a flashing light on it.  The centre pocket track was only built when the line was extended which is why it’s the same circular bored tunnel as the extension and not the same early fifties rectangular cut and cover the way the rest of Eglinton station was.

There was a guy at the Toronto Transportation Society who for years was saying that the walls with the flashing lights were one of the things that nobody got a picture of.  I happened to find some video of one of them a couple of years ago and sent a few cellphone shots of my screen to a friend who passed them along so it turns out there are some known images of that.  I guess it’s one item off the list of no-known-photos of items.  Colour pictures of the subway car mock-up at Hillcrest is another one.

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At some point in the next little while the construction will start on moving the Eglinton platform northbound - I believe the new shift will only be about 35 metres, and not  the 75 metres that Metrolinx originally estimated. Nonetheless, this will be enough to require the switches to the north of the station be pulled, and the pocket track rendered out of service.

 

Is the track still used? Yes, every weekday. The morning gap trains are frequently turned back at Eglinton and prepped to return southbound there. Is there an emergency exit from it? No, but there is one less than a thousand feet to the north of the north end of it. There are cross-passages between the north end of it and the two mainline tracks, however.

 

You noted the double-yellow signal. This is a quirk/design characteristic of the older style of pocket tracks used on the B-D and the older sections of the YUS. Because the control circuit for that signal block is only the length of the track with no additional space beyond it, the signal system is incapable of giving a less restrictive signal than yellow-over-yellow. The newer pocket tracks on the Spadina extension - as well as the pocket track south of York Mills - are built longer and have multiple signal blocks on them, and thus trains can be given a less restrictive signal to enter them.

 

Dan

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2 hours ago, smallspy said:

Is the track still used? Yes, every weekday. The morning gap trains are frequently turned back at Eglinton and prepped to return southbound there.

Also I'm sure it's used as a temporary spot where a train with mechanical issues can be parked, for the line mechanic to try to resolve issues, just like other center tracks and tail tracks. Or they may leave a disabled train there until there is less traffic on the line for it to be limped or towed back to the yard.

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47 minutes ago, MK78 said:

Also I'm sure it's used as a temporary spot where a train with mechanical issues can be parked, for the line mechanic to try to resolve issues, just like other center tracks and tail tracks. Or they may leave a disabled train there until there is less traffic on the line for it to be limped or towed back to the yard.

Of course it is.

 

But that's not a scheduled, planned event. The gap trains are.

 

Dan

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5 hours ago, smallspy said:

...

You noted the double-yellow signal. This is a quirk/design characteristic of the older style of pocket tracks used on the B-D and the older sections of the YUS. Because the control circuit for that signal block is only the length of the track with no additional space beyond it, the signal system is incapable of giving a less restrictive signal than yellow-over-yellow. The newer pocket tracks on the Spadina extension - as well as the pocket track south of York Mills - are built longer and have multiple signal blocks on them, and thus trains can be given a less restrictive signal to enter them.

Dan

The yellow-over-yellow and the yellow-over-yellow-over-lunar are the two only "proceed" possibilities that guarantee you to take the diverging path, which includes the center track. In the latter case, this occurs if the block which goes into the center track is timed. The signals indicating proceed to Eglinton dead-end center track is a yellow-over-yellow-over-lunar since the track which leads to the center track is timed. The call-on is occasionally used, and may indicate taking the diverging path if only the center track block is timed.

What is the less restrictive signal? Is it green-over yellow? Is it ever used in the TTC, as I never heard of that occurring in the TTC. Can you take a picture of a green-over-yellow in the TTC if you saw it, and how the center track looks in the driver's perspective?

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1 hour ago, --Mulliganaceous-- said:

What is the less restrictive signal? Is it green-over yellow? Is it ever used in the TTC, as I never heard of that occurring in the TTC. Can you take a picture of a green-over-yellow in the TTC if you saw it, and how the center track looks in the driver's perspective?

Unfortunately, doing this sort of thing has become a lot more difficult on the Yonge-University line because it has to be done from a platform or other wayside location like one of the open cuts because of the full width cab on the Tawranna Rocket trains.  Taking any kind of a decent picture out the front window isn't possible anymore since you're shooting through two panes of glass and across the cab now.

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1 hour ago, --Mulliganaceous-- said:

The yellow-over-yellow and the yellow-over-yellow-over-lunar are the two only "proceed" possibilities that guarantee you to take the diverging path, which includes the center track. In the latter case, this occurs if the block which goes into the center track is timed. The signals indicating proceed to Eglinton dead-end center track is a yellow-over-yellow-over-lunar since the track which leads to the center track is timed. The call-on is occasionally used, and may indicate taking the diverging path if only the center track block is timed.

What is the less restrictive signal? Is it green-over yellow? Is it ever used in the TTC, as I never heard of that occurring in the TTC. Can you take a picture of a green-over-yellow in the TTC if you saw it, and how the center track looks in the driver's perspective?

In theory, wouldn't it be G/Y aspect leading into a solid green once on the divergent track (hence not allowing for a timed signal)? Whereas Y/G or Y/Y (with or without lunar) would have to lead into a timed signal (either prior to a curve or crossover)?

If that's the case, it would be much more common in a place like New York (express to local and vice versa on straight track) than it would be here.

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12 hours ago, smallspy said:

...

Is the track still used? Yes, every weekday. The morning gap trains are frequently turned back at Eglinton and prepped to return southbound there. Is there an emergency exit from it? No, but there is one less than a thousand feet to the north of the north end of it. There are cross-passages between the north end of it and the two mainline tracks, however.

...

Dan

So, the center track is used more frequently than it looks, mainly due to the gap trains. However, it is not predictably used; the three times I saw it being used are all at business day nights.

 

5 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Unfortunately, doing this sort of thing has become a lot more difficult on the Yonge-University line because it has to be done from a platform or other wayside location like one of the open cuts because of the full width cab on the Tawranna Rocket trains.  Taking any kind of a decent picture out the front window isn't possible anymore since you're shooting through two panes of glass and across the cab now.

The T1 is not often seen in the yellow or purple lines anymore. They are only seen during exceptional circumstances such as having many TR trains being out of service.

In fact, it is hard to see the path of the center track even if you are in front of a northbound T1 or on the rear of the southbound T1 [unlike the Osgoode case where the wall can be seen]. You might just see the bored section that the end of the center track is a bored tunnel. The only reliable way is if one of the CPTDB members are TTC staff authorized to go into the tunnels. In fact, I saw one staff [in the Nov 30 occurrence] walk into the tunnels and into the center track to inspect the train that has been put out of service.

 

5 hours ago, meltingtomato said:

In theory, wouldn't it be G/Y aspect leading into a solid green once on the divergent track (hence not allowing for a timed signal)? Whereas Y/G or Y/Y (with or without lunar) would have to lead into a timed signal (either prior to a curve or crossover)?

If that's the case, it would be much more common in a place like New York (express to local and vice versa on straight track) than it would be here.

You have stated what I have predicted. A signal with a lunar indicates that at least one of the possible branches that follows the signal is timed, as the crossovers itself constitute two blocks, one for each possible paths if the train may take either path. In the case for the northbound Eglinton signal, there is an interlock signal with a lunar, and there are two possible paths, with each path constituting one block.

In most cases, trains go on the straight track towards Lawrence. The block after the signal is immediately straight after the signal and is not timed, so if the block is clear it will be Y/G if the next signal is red, and G/G otherwise.

Much less commonly, trains go on the diverging track. The block which follows is separate from the block immediately straight after the signal, and it is timed, so it will be Y/Y lunar. The two paths belong to separate blocks.

A signal showing the lunar aspect basically replaces the green, indicating the track ahead is clear, but you still have to slow down due to grade timing. A green with a lunar is not possible, so the yellow over lunar replaces it and is less restrictive than the yellow without the lunar. It also seems that the Y/Y over lunar could replace G/Y, but in my observations, the flashing red signal following it is right at the end of the crossover or the entrance of the center track. I want something less restrictive than Y/Y over lunar.

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18 hours ago, --Mulliganaceous-- said:

What is the less restrictive signal? Is it green-over yellow? Is it ever used in the TTC, as I never heard of that occurring in the TTC. Can you take a picture of a green-over-yellow in the TTC if you saw it, and how the center track looks in the driver's perspective?

The signal system built to allow a green-over-yellow indication to be displayed, at least in theory, should the track layout and geometry allow it. Those short spare tracks certainly don't.

 

I think that there are only about 2 locations on the system that can display that indication, and that is because of local peculiarities with the particular track layouts. For all intents and purposes, all turnouts are to be taken a lower-than-mainline speed.

 

16 hours ago, meltingtomato said:

In theory, wouldn't it be G/Y aspect leading into a solid green once on the divergent track (hence not allowing for a timed signal)? Whereas Y/G or Y/Y (with or without lunar) would have to lead into a timed signal (either prior to a curve or crossover)?

If that's the case, it would be much more common in a place like New York (express to local and vice versa on straight track) than it would be here.

Only in a location where there are enough circuits and signals on the diverging track would an intermediate signal on it be capable of displaying a solid green. The tracks through Lower Bay in both directions were once like this before they changed everything to timed circuits.

 

Most of the spare and tail tracks are not long enough (remember, there needs to be at least three circuits) to have an intermediate capable of showing a green indication.

 

11 hours ago, --Mulliganaceous-- said:

So, the center track is used more frequently than it looks, mainly due to the gap trains. However, it is not predictably used; the three times I saw it being used are all at business day nights.

I go through Eglinton Station around 7.25 every morning. And 19 times out of 20, there is a gap train waiting to head southbound in the tail track.

 

Quote

Much less commonly, trains go on the diverging track. The block which follows is separate from the block immediately straight after the signal, and it is timed, so it will be Y/Y lunar. The two paths belong to separate blocks.

It's not often that I see the northbound gap train run through Eglinton, but sometimes I do. And I don't recall the use of a lunar at that signal in concert with the yellow-over-yellow indication - likely because the next signal can not be a timed signal. It's a fixed red to indicate the end of the block.


Dan

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11 hours ago, --Mulliganaceous-- said:

The T1 is not often seen in the yellow or purple lines anymore. They are only seen during exceptional circumstances such as having many TR trains being out of service.

In fact, it is hard to see the path of the center track even if you are in front of a northbound T1 or on the rear of the southbound T1 [unlike the Osgoode case where the wall can be seen]. You might just see the bored section that the end of the center track is a bored tunnel. The only reliable way is if one of the CPTDB members are TTC staff authorized to go into the tunnels. In fact, I saw one staff [in the Nov 30 occurrence] walk into the tunnels and into the center track to inspect the train that has been put out of service.

I don't think you see T1s on the Yonge or Sheppard lines anymore at all, with the ATC requirement now in place on sections of the Yonge University Spadina line which mandates Tawranna Rockets and the fact that all the Pocket Rocket shortened version for Sheppard have all been delivered and placed into service.  Agreed, the view wasn't the most unobstructed out the front or rear windows of the old trains but it was far better than what you get now on the TRs.  I actually rode through the pocket track once, years ago, on a train of H cars.  I think it was an H5 and I think it was during the early days of the North Yonge closures for the tunnel reline project.  The Gloucesters were by far the best for seeing out in the tunnels because they weren't all that brightly lit inside, just a comfortable glow, and all the windows including the one above the seat on the right across from the cab were single panes of glass which minimized reflections and you could get no glass at all if you dropped the window in the front door open and looked through that.

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Today, at 3:00PM approximately, I saw a TR stored inside the Eglinton pocket track. After I return home, this train left, aka emerged from the pocket track.

I bet this track ain't used that rarely, and are more often used during morning hours.

@Wayside Observer How did you manage to get into the pocket track?

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:53 AM, smallspy said:

It's not often that I see the northbound gap train run through Eglinton, but sometimes I do. And I don't recall the use of a lunar at that signal in concert with the yellow-over-yellow indication - likely because the next signal can not be a timed signal. It's a fixed red to indicate the end of the block.

It comes up as Y/Y/L as there's an automatic signal just after the trailing switch which is timed to ensure trains aren't coming in too fast since there's no runoff.

 

As for the G/Y indication, I don't believe there are any currently in the system - the only ones I can think of were:

- WB Royal York to Islington on the center track routing, which was removed when those signals were retimed to give call-ons in relation to the jump frogs

- EB Spadina up the Spadina Ramps, which was removed when ATC was extended down to St Patrick

 

In theory the X4 signal NB approaching Davisville can also support it, but I think it also throws a Y/Y for the build-up routing.

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1 hour ago, Archer said:

As for the G/Y indication, I don't believe there are any currently in the system 

Isn't there one in the Greenwood yard portal somewhere? 

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6 hours ago, Archer said:

As for the G/Y indication, I don't believe there are any currently in the system - the only ones I can think of were:

- WB Royal York to Islington on the center track routing, which was removed when those signals were retimed to give call-ons in relation to the jump frogs

- EB Spadina up the Spadina Ramps, which was removed when ATC was extended down to St Patrick

In 20+ years of riding the Toronto subway, I have never seen a G/Y aspect. I don't want to contradict you, but I don't think the signal system is set up to display that.

I have definitely seen on many occasions,  and rode through several diversions, when Y/Y aspects were shown, even though the following signal on the diverging route displayed a "clear" aspect (that is, either yellow or green).

Before the ATC was introduced on Line 1, the EB ihome signal past Spadina (on the BD Line) was definitely displaying a Y/Y aspect (not G/Y) , when the routing was set up the ramp toward upper St. George, even though the following signal approaching upper St. George was clear (that is, either G/G or Y/G).

WB Home Signal when leaving upper St. George was displaying Y/Y/Lunar if the diverging route toward BD Line's Spadina Stn was set up, since the next (automatic) signal (which is past the switch that joins it to the mainline WB track on the BD line) is designed to function as a GT signal for that routing.

Similarly, the home signal WB at Yonge displays Y/Y (not G/Y) if the routing is set toward Lower Bay, even as the following (automatic) signal located  just before entering the platform at Lower Bay was clear, displaying a solid green. The signal that follows (located at the west end of the Lower Bay platform) is a home signal, and its most permissive indication is Y/G/Lunar, since the next signal toward Museum is grade-timed. Rode through all three of these routings during the B/D line diversions through Museum and Lower Bay a few years ago.

In day-to-day service, one can see a Y/Y aspect followed by a "clear" aspect on the diverging route at the home signal SB approaching Davisville before the turnout that leads into the yard, especially in the morning when the AM peak trippers run in to the yard. It shows a Y/Y aspect, while the following home signal (which is located just before entering the build-up platform at Davisville) is clear, displaying Y/G.

6 hours ago, Archer said:

It comes up as Y/Y/L as there's an automatic signal just after the trailing switch which is timed to ensure trains aren't coming in too fast since there's no runoff.

That is correct. I also suspect there are at least two blind trips past the automatic signal in the centre track for the same reason. I have always wondered why the Eglinton pocket track is set up differently than the Osgoode pocket track, even though both are only long enough to accommodate a 6-car train. The Eglinton pocket track can be accessed from both mainline tracks with a Y/Y/Lunar aspect. The Osgoode pocket track is an oddball one: it is accessible via call-on light only (but the signal system displays red-over-red-over-lunar-over-flashing yellow (!) when that routing is set up, since there is a GT signal in the pocket track itself which must be approached slowly to prevent run-off).

On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 9:01 AM, smallspy said:

You noted the double-yellow signal. This is a quirk/design characteristic of the older style of pocket tracks used on the B-D and the older sections of the YUS. Because the control circuit for that signal block is only the length of the track with no additional space beyond it, the signal system is incapable of giving a less restrictive signal than yellow-over-yellow. The newer pocket tracks on the Spadina extension - as well as the pocket track south of York Mills - are built longer and have multiple signal blocks on them, and thus trains can be given a less restrictive signal to enter them.

Dan

The centre tracks at St. Clair West & Lawrence West were grade-timed both ways, so the most permissive aspect was yellow-over-yellow-over-lunar in either direction. Obviously, with the ATC now in place, that is moot.

However, you are certainly incorrect about the York Mills centre track. I distinctly remember in the year 2001 when the line was shut down north of York Mills on a number of weekends for the construction of the Sheppard line wye tracks, that upon leaving SB from the NB platform, trains were given a Y/Y indication on the home signal (not G/Y) upon entering the centre track, with the entire routing SB toward Lawrence being "clear" and all the following signals showing green. The next signal was a home signal about half-way through the centre track going SB (displaying G/G), and the next one was at the south end of the centre track (also showing G/G), just before re-joining the mainline SB track toward Lawrence.

With the more recent weekend closures, I saw the same set up in locations such as SB Lawrence. With Lawrence functioning as the northern terminus, all trains were using the NB platform at Lawrence to reverse toward Eglinton. When the SB route was set up, the home signal at the south end of the NB platform at Lawrence was displaying Y/Y, with all the following automatic signals toward Eglinton showing green.

Other locations, such as EB turnback from WB platform at Jane, and NB turnback from SB platform at Bloor operate in the same way (Y/Y aspect on the backup home signal, despite having "clear" signals on the mainline track past the crossover).

So it looks like Y/Y is as permissive as it gets on the TTC system.

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3 hours ago, ttc rider said:

In 20+ years of riding the Toronto subway, I have never seen a G/Y aspect. I don't want to contradict you, but I don't think the signal system is set up to display that.

Prepare to get your mind blown. 

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1 minute ago, ttc rider said:

Where is that?

Islington "Jizzlington" EB platform signal.

The train was routed EB over the crossover to the WB track and back thru the center track ending up on the EB track once again.

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I've seen a TR enter the Eglinton tail track at least once. Back in 1999, the M-1 charter actually pulled into the tail track before heading back to Davisville.

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33 minutes ago, Byfold said:

Islington "Jizzlington" EB platform signal.

The train was routed EB over the crossover to the WB track and back thru the center track ending up on the EB track once again.

Interesting - although I am the type of person who has to see it to believe it. That's quite a circuitous route - why would they do that?

In any event, perhaps someone could explain know why this set-up is not implemented in other locations, such as:

- WB Yonge toward Lower Bay

- EB Spadina toward upper St. George

 -SB approaching Davisville for turnout into build-up track.

And I don't think it is because of track layout. At least the first two routes can be tackled in "full-parallel" speed.

And of course there are multiple cases of crossovers when there is not even a lamp for the green lights on the backup signal. The most permissible aspect is yellow-over-yellow.

 

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