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he explained that because it is already set up on all streetcar lines
My understanding was that while it is installed it is not necessarily turned on. If it's installed on King then it's either turned off or not working as streetcars are getting held by light cycles.
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My understanding was that while it is installed it is not necessarily turned on. If it's installed on King then it's either turned off or not working as streetcars are getting held by light cycles.

It is installed and active at most intersections on the streetcar system. However, there are some that don't have it installed, and there are a couple where it doesn't work (but that goes for intersections on bus routes as well).

Still another problem is when the equipment onboard the streetcars themselves doesn't work - this seems to happen not infrequently.

Dan

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My understanding was that while it is installed it is not necessarily turned on. If it's installed on King then it's either turned off or not working as streetcars are getting held by light cycles.

I know for a fact that Spadina has the equipment but it has purposely never been turned on.

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It is installed and active at most intersections on the streetcar system. However, there are some that don't have it installed, and there are a couple where it doesn't work (but that goes for intersections on bus routes as well).

Still another problem is when the equipment onboard the streetcars themselves doesn't work - this seems to happen not infrequently.

Dan

if they're anything like the transponders on the buses, they're problematic at best.

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I know for a fact that Spadina has the equipment but it has purposely never been turned on.

You know wrong.

It may not be set up to operate on through routes through intersections, but it does when a car needs to turn.

if they're anything like the transponders on the buses, they're problematic at best.

You're probably right in that they are problematic, but on the streetcar fleet the sensors are more likely to be repaired quicker as the same equipment is used to activate the powered switches.

Dan

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You know wrong.

It may not be set up to operate on through routes through intersections, but it does when a car needs to turn.

You're probably right in that they are problematic, but on the streetcar fleet the sensors are more likely to be repaired quicker as the same equipment is used to activate the powered switches.

Dan

good point.

we have induction loops in the wash rack lanes which let us know if the transponder is functioning- controls a 2 colour light.

green for functioning, flashing red for inoperative.

we keep track of which ones are on the blink. wether or not they get repaired in a timely fashion is something else altogether.

now that you mention it, they may not be the same as the bus ones are active the moment the engine is started, wheras i reckon the streetcar version must have a momentary switch in the system to select for straight/diverging route?

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now that you mention it, they may not be the same as the bus ones are active the moment the engine is started, wheras i reckon the streetcar version must have a momentary switch in the system to select for straight/diverging route?

As far as I understand it, front loops are always active as they are used to "lock" the switches in place until a signal from the rear end loop "unlocks" it - which is also supposed to be always active. The signal for selecting/changing the switches is sent via the trolley pole and overhead wire.

Dan

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As far as I understand it, front loops are always active as they are used to "lock" the switches in place until a signal from the rear end loop "unlocks" it - which is also supposed to be always active. The signal for selecting/changing the switches is sent via the trolley pole and overhead wire.

Dan

ahh i see. thanks!

i thought they did away with all that trolley pole NA stuff a few years ago and kept the signs simply to denote remote switches . i stand corrected.

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ahh i see. thanks!

i thought they did away with all that trolley pole NA stuff a few years ago and kept the signs simply to denote remote switches . i stand corrected.

Nope - it's still very much in use.

Now, whether we continue to use it with the new equipment (whenever it arrives), that's a who 'nother question.

Dan

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Nope - it's still very much in use.

The overhead NA activation was replaced with loops in the roadway when 4900 appeared, because with the extra amount of "car" in front, it'd be fouling the switch by the time the overhead pole hit hte trigger.

And from my understanding, the NA switch converts the signal emitted by the transmitter from a negative to a positive (for example only, just to keep it simple to explain). When passing over a loop sensor for signal priority, those loops will notice both positive and negative signals. When approaching a switch, the swith will react differently to positive and negative signals ("negative" making the switch stay in the normal position, "positive" making teh switch change to the other position).

Not sure if I can make it any more clearer than that.

And as proof of the in-ground sensors, there's a loop sensor before and after every switch that is NA operated. It's no longer overhead operated.

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Sounds as if the intent is to time things so that the light will change "just in time" for the vehicle's arrival at the intersection.

I could have sworn that Queens Quay was set up much like this pre-509. The timing was a bit wonky, as it varied from intersection to intersection. You had to drive at a different speed between each stop, and it took a while before the operator could figure out the "sweet spot" for changing the signal as the car approached the intersection. But a friend of mine had it all figured out in the late '90s, it was actually pretty impressive. You can see in the road where the loops are, about half way to the next intersection. So I ask, is this still the case along Queens Quay?

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The overhead NA activation was replaced with loops in the roadway when 4900 appeared, because with the extra amount of "car" in front, it'd be fouling the switch by the time the overhead pole hit hte trigger.

And from my understanding, the NA switch converts the signal emitted by the transmitter from a negative to a positive (for example only, just to keep it simple to explain). When passing over a loop sensor for signal priority, those loops will notice both positive and negative signals. When approaching a switch, the swith will react differently to positive and negative signals ("negative" making the switch stay in the normal position, "positive" making teh switch change to the other position).

Not sure if I can make it any more clearer than that.

And as proof of the in-ground sensors, there's a loop sensor before and after every switch that is NA operated. It's no longer overhead operated.

There are loop sensors in the ground, but they are simply to receive signals from the front and rear of each car to lock and unlock the switch. If you look at the overhead near an NA switch, you will see a wire coming off of the trolley wire near where the pole would be when the car is in front of a switch - that wire goes to the numbered switch control box mounted at the top of a wayside pole.

Dan

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Does anyone know if the TTC plans on building the Eglinton tunnel large enough to handle a conversion to a full subway line in the future? I think that if they're spending hundreds of millions (possibly over a billion) of dollars on a tunnel, they should invest in the future and build it to accommodate a rapid-transit conversion in the future. Another issue would be the stations, and other similar infrastructure. So, has anyone heard anything about if the Eglinton line tunnel will be built with that in mind?

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Over his last two posts (here and here), Steve Munro is suggesting that the Scarborough RT is being preserved in order to be extended along Eglinton as part of the RTP. Further, he is suggesting that Bombardier will be awarded a "design-build-operate-maintain" style contract, where the line is essentially contracted out to a third party, with the TTC only dictating performance expectations.

Now, there are advantages to this:

  • The need to transfer at Kennedy will be eliminated, as people will be able to ride directly to Yonge
  • Capacity will be improved over the Transit City proposal
  • Speed will be improved over the Transit City proposal
  • The type of contract he's suggesting will be awarded results in capital costs being known up-front (as the contractor will have to deliver the product on-budget).

But, there are disadvantages:

  • ALRT technology is not as expensive as heavy-rail subway, but compared apples to apples its not always the best "value".
  • Unless the expectations are very firm and specific, there is always the possibility of the contractor cutting corners (ie, cheaper stations that are too small and not expandable).

Now, my question to those who support a heavy-rail subway on Eglinton is this:

IF extending the SRT along Eglinton is the only way that an upgrade from the proposed Transit City line will occur, is that something people could support?

To those who support light rail:

If an SRT extension can be paid for without eliminating another transit project elsewhere, is that something people could support?

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Does anyone know if the TTC plans on building the Eglinton tunnel large enough to handle a conversion to a full subway line in the future?

Yes.

Over his last two posts (here and here), Steve Munro is suggesting that the Scarborough RT is being preserved in order to be extended along Eglinton as part of the RTP. Further, he is suggesting that Bombardier will be awarded a "design-build-operate-maintain" style contract, where the line is essentially contracted out to a third party, with the TTC only dictating performance expectations.

Now, there are advantages to this:

  • The need to transfer at Kennedy will be eliminated, as people will be able to ride directly to Yonge
  • Capacity will be improved over the Transit City proposal
  • Speed will be improved over the Transit City proposal
  • The type of contract he's suggesting will be awarded results in capital costs being known up-front (as the contractor will have to deliver the product on-budget).

But, there are disadvantages:

  • ALRT technology is not as expensive as heavy-rail subway, but compared apples to apples its not always the best "value".
  • Unless the expectations are very firm and specific, there is always the possibility of the contractor cutting corners (ie, cheaper stations that are too small and not expandable).

Two comments:

ART will require a totally grade-separated line - meaning stations further apart (along with a likely parallel bus service), and considerably higher infrastructure costs.

As for the possibility of the (sub-)contractor(s) cutting corners, that is not the worry of the TTC - they lay out the specifications of the line, and whomever the contractor is must build it to those specs. If they are not built to spec, or built cheaply, than generally under these kinds of contracts it is up to the contractor to fix it, or pay for it.

Now, my question to those who support a heavy-rail subway on Eglinton is this:

IF extending the SRT along Eglinton is the only way that an upgrade from the proposed Transit City line will occur, is that something people could support?

I will admit that I will not be one shedding tears if Eglinton were to be built as an ART-type of system, rather than LRT. While I am not worried about the capacity of an LRT on Eglinton, an ART-type of system would be a pretty big improvement in the eyes of many in terms of the quality of service provided.

That said, I remain steadfast in my agreement with those who want to convert the SRT to an LRT.

To those who support light rail:

If an SRT extension can be paid for without eliminating another transit project elsewhere, is that something people could support?

That is the $64,000 question, isn't it? Funds aren't infinate, and money doesn't grow on trees...

But it is my opinion that no, I couldn't support (in this current situation) building the Eglinton line as an ART. If the Provincial or Federal governments step to the plate with extra funds above and beyond what is already necessary for the rest of Transit City and MoveOntario2020, than yes, I would support it.

Dan

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ART will require a totally grade-separated line - meaning stations further apart (along with a likely parallel bus service), and considerably higher infrastructure costs.

Interestingly, the TTC claims in this PDF that the distances between underground stations (which is the section that I think should be able to be converted to RT in the future) will be similar to a subway line. Here's the exact quote from the PDF:

In the underground section, stations will be located about 850 metres apart, typically at intersections where existing north-south bus routes or the Yonge and Spadina Subway lines cross Eglinton Avenue. This station spacing is similar to the central sections of the existing Bloor-Danforth and Yonge-University-Spadina subway lines where passengers accept a longer walk to reach the frequent, reliable service and weather-protected waiting area provided by the underground operation.

That means that the station spacing will be sufficient for an RT line, which seems to solve one problem. Another issue is regarding the station structure: Will the stations be like subway stations, and have a fare-paid area (much faster for offloading/loading passengers), or will they be like the Queen's Quay station, where you have to pay in the vehicle as if it were on the street? If the stations were built using the second format that I mentioned, it would result in a very inefficient and slow passenger loading procedure. All passengers would have to file in though a single door to pay a far, show a card, etc. With fare-paid areas, all doors of the vehicle can be opened at once, which is much faster and efficient.

Yet another fundamental issue lies with the platform length. The platforms will probably be just long enough to fit articulated LRVs of maybe 3 segments in length (that's what I remember the TTC saying that they are considering using on Eglinton). Still, those platforms could be retroactively extended for a full RT system, like how North York Centre was built.

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That means that the station spacing will be sufficient for an RT line, which seems to solve one problem. Another issue is regarding the station structure: Will the stations be like subway stations, and have a fare-paid area (much faster for offloading/loading passengers), or will they be like the Queen's Quay station, where you have to pay in the vehicle as if it were on the street? If the stations were built using the second format that I mentioned, it would result in a very inefficient and slow passenger loading procedure. All passengers would have to file in though a single door to pay a far, show a card, etc. With fare-paid areas, all doors of the vehicle can be opened at once, which is much faster and efficient.

The stations will be like Queen's Quay. Correct me if I'm wrong, the Eglinton LRT as well as the other Transit City routes will be operated as Proof-Of-Payment (POP) routes, similar to VIVA. This allows for all door boarding. This is currently in place on the TTC's 501 Queen streetcar as well, passengers with transfers and passes are allowed to enter the streetcars by the rear doors between 7am and 7pm 7 days a week.

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The stations will be like Queen's Quay. Correct me if I'm wrong, the Eglinton LRT as well as the other Transit City routes will be operated as Proof-Of-Payment (POP) routes, similar to VIVA. This allows for all door boarding. This is currently in place on the TTC's 501 Queen streetcar as well, passengers with transfers and passes are allowed to enter the streetcars by the rear doors between 7am and 7pm 7 days a week.

It's definitely cheaper to do it that way, but it's a real pain to enforce. Either they're going to have to spend a lot of money enforcing it, or they'll lose a lot on fare evasion. It's one thing for GO Transit, with their fares being anywhere from less than $4 to over $15, but the TTC doesn't lose nearly as much for every person that evades paying the fare, thus making fare enforcement less cost-effective. Is the TTC's POP system still in it's trial phase, or is it permanently implemented now?

Another issue that I forgot to mention is the difference in platform height between streetcar platforms and RT train platforms. That could require extensive renovation to change.

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It's definitely cheaper to do it that way, but it's a real pain to enforce. Either they're going to have to spend a lot of money enforcing it, or they'll lose a lot on fare evasion. It's one thing for GO Transit, with their fares being anywhere from less than $4 to over $15, but the TTC doesn't lose nearly as much for every person that evades paying the fare, thus making fare enforcement less cost-effective. Is the TTC's POP system still in it's trial phase, or is it permanently implemented now?

Another issue that I forgot to mention is the difference in platform height between streetcar platforms and RT train platforms. That could require extensive renovation to change.

Well obviously the line would need to be closed for the conversion. They need to replace the overhead wires with a third rail as well as raise the platform. PS: If the Eglinton line was built as ART, we'd still need to do major upgrades to fit a subway (if the time comes). Since the SRT is built to standard gauge, so would the Eglinton line (so the two lines can operate together, exchange vehicles etc.). Since all the subways will be the same gauge, that means Eglinton would need to be regauged when converted. Either way, conversion to subway will close the line for a period of time.

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If they were to convert it to a subway line form ART they would probably do it in steps starting from the west so the line isn't divide in two.

Well, they seem pretty intent on building it as LRT. I was thinking of the conversion to ART or subway later on, not from ART to subway (because it's not being built as ART in the first place).

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Well, they seem pretty intent on building it as LRT. I was thinking of the conversion to ART or subway later on, not from ART to subway (because it's not being built as ART in the first place).

I wouldn't be so sure.

I have not seen the RTP, and I will not be one of the first people to see it. DavidH will probably be the first person to see it (i'm starting to think he's a Metrolinx mole :P )

Anyway, what I do think is that while the TTC's EAs are a sign of progress on urban transportation, the Metrolinx RTP has the power to override the EAs. This will cause conflict surrounding the vision for Sheppard East and for Eglinton if the Metrolinx proposal differs from the TTC proposal, so I wouldn't place any bets on what will or won't happen right now. We are about 26 days from the official public release of the RTP, and it will be much clearer then.

Oh, and @ smallspy:

I feel that MoveOntario2020 as a plan is irrelevant in the world of the RTP, as I'm sure you'll agree that the white papers increase the scope of the plan far beyond what MO2020 proposed. The money is still there, but think of it as "17.5 billion by 2020 to support the RTP" - not to support the specific projects under MO2020.

Metrolinx's investment strategy will also propose how we raise the additional funds which will likely be needed to build the network.

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I wouldn't be so sure.

I have not seen the RTP, and I will not be one of the first people to see it. DavidH will probably be the first person to see it (i'm starting to think he's a Metrolinx mole :P )

Anyway, what I do think is that while the TTC's EAs are a sign of progress on urban transportation, the Metrolinx RTP has the power to override the EAs. This will cause conflict surrounding the vision for Sheppard East and for Eglinton if the Metrolinx proposal differs from the TTC proposal, so I wouldn't place any bets on what will or won't happen right now. We are about 26 days from the official public release of the RTP, and it will be much clearer then.

This is what I am afraid of. While the RTP is not out yet, Metrolinx has yet to discuss any local plans, and I fear that we are going to see a Regional plan, at the expense of local travel.

Prepare for conflicts this September 26.

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This is what I am afraid of. While the RTP is not out yet, Metrolinx has yet to discuss any local plans, and I fear that we are going to see a Regional plan, at the expense of local travel.

Prepare for conflicts this September 26.

See, this is the catch 22 I've been watching grow for the past few weeks now.

Many believe that without local travel being taken into account, Metrolinx's plans will fail. But Metrolinx has indicated many times that there are no plans to take over the day-to-day operation of local transit systems, and there is little support at the political and the citizen level, especially in Toronto. As it stands now, I would put my money on Brampton Transit planners still making decisions about how frequent local bus routes will be in Brampton. Metrolinx will likely give them money, but transit agencies are very opposed to being told how to spend the money they are given.

I hate to say this, but don't think we can have our cake and eat it too.

If we want Metrolinx to consider local plans, then we have to support give them more power over local affairs. If we want to keep Metrolinx out of local affairs, then we have to *hope* that the local transit providers increase service on their own. Some will do this but others will cut transit routes at the first sign of a budget shortfall.

So which is it going be?

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