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Ontario Line (formerly Downtown Relief Line)


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Here's the Star's take on the matter:

City favours relief line over subway

Council seeks old plan, not Yonge addition

Jan 29, 2009 04:30 AM

Donovan Vincent

city hall bureau

Toronto council wants a proposed TTC "relief line" – which could run south from Donlands or Pape station to downtown and connect to the west side of the Bloor subway – made a priority over extending the Yonge line into York Region.

Council voted yesterday to ask Metrolinx to make the relief line – an idea that's been kicking around since the late 1980s – part of its 15-year plan instead of its 25-year plan, and push it ahead of the Yonge extension.

The cost of the Metrolinx-backed 6.8-kilometre Yonge project is estimated at $2.4 billion.

The TTC will soon submit its own report on the plan to the Ontario environment ministry, along with conditions for approval that could double the cost.

While the Yonge extension is a priority for York Region, it is much less so for Toronto. Some Toronto councillors are concerned that adding to the line will overwhelm an already packed system. A relief line should be in place first, they said yesterday. TTC chair Adam Giambrone said it could be a subway or underground light rail.

Metrolinx chair Rob MacIsaac said last night that he's not anxious to reopen Metrolinx's freshly minted regional transportation plan, but added he's a "fan" of the downtown relief line concept, adding that Metrolinx recognizes it as a project of "regional significance."

Metrolinx would have to vote on Toronto's motion.

Meanwhile, the topic is being discussed over at the Spacing.ca wire, where among other things they're trying to come up with a better name than "Downtown Relief Line/DRL".

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Giambrone said that 18000 people would use it per hour, but he suggested an underground streetcar?? No way: If they're gonna build the DRL, then it should be the truest of subways. Just being a streetcar may turn many away, and it could hve l;ess of an impact on the crowding at Bloor-Yonge. Subway all the way.

As for the yonge extension: Start thew DRL, then start yonge 2 years later. this way, the DRL will be open before the extension, but constuction on both can proceed. It would produce a lot more jobs too.

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Giambrone said that 18000 people would use it per hour, but he suggested an underground streetcar?? No way: If they're gonna build the DRL, then it should be the truest of subways. Just being a streetcar may turn many away, and it could hve l;ess of an impact on the crowding at Bloor-Yonge. Subway all the way.

As for the yonge extension: Start thew DRL, then start yonge 2 years later. this way, the DRL will be open before the extension, but constuction on both can proceed. It would produce a lot more jobs too.

Leave it Giamborne to throw cold water on the true subway idea and come up a with lame streetcar proposal instead.

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Before you knock the underground Streetcar idea consider this:

LRT in a tunnel can handle that capacity and can be interlined with the Jane and/or Don Mills line. A subway could not do that, as Don Mills doesn't warrant that sort of capacity north of Eglinton and Jane probably doesn't warrant that sort of capacity at all. There are flaws, sure, but I think that's a reason to include it in the study instead of excluding it out-of-hand.

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I think council made the right decision here. A downtown relief line is long overdue. The Yonge extension can wait. We certainly don't need any more focus on servicing the sprawl around Toronto. Enough of that was done after 1970.

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Spacing came up with "Grand Trunk Subway"

Swing and a miss.

More like they got beaned I would say!!!

Grand Trunk sucks, besides CN probably would have something to say about that as my understanding is they still own the rights to the name.

If it runs along the lake shore how about the "Shore Line"?

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Before you knock the underground Streetcar idea consider this:

LRT in a tunnel can handle that capacity and can be interlined with the Jane and/or Don Mills line. A subway could not do that, as Don Mills doesn't warrant that sort of capacity north of Eglinton and Jane probably doesn't warrant that sort of capacity at all. There are flaws, sure, but I think that's a reason to include it in the study instead of excluding it out-of-hand.

That is a good reason to look at LRT. LRT might be a good choice, if a line from Union to Eglinton is chosen. Less expensive, and the interchange at Bloor will be less complex. Also, you have much greater versatility, and you might even be able to use one tunnel instead of 2.

D40LF: haha! Yeah, if that is the best bloggers can come up with, may as just stick with Downtown Relief Line. Shoreline make sense, though.

OK scratch that. Bloggers are lame. Some of the names are pretty pathetic!

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Before you knock the underground Streetcar idea consider this:

LRT in a tunnel can handle that capacity and can be interlined with the Jane and/or Don Mills line. A subway could not do that, as Don Mills doesn't warrant that sort of capacity north of Eglinton and Jane probably doesn't warrant that sort of capacity at all. There are flaws, sure, but I think that's a reason to include it in the study instead of excluding it out-of-hand.

While I would normally would be loathe to support something that would result in additional transfers (*ahem* Sheppard East), I think that in this case a subway is not only warranted, but necessary.

If this is planned right, subways could concievably be interlined into the DRL from the east end of Bloor-Danforth. Or better yet, tie in the University-Spadina line with it, and run the Yonge line separately and independantly.

Not only that, but to run headways of 120 seconds on any sort of mode is going to require some sort of advanced signalling system. We already have that on the subways, but how would we approach this with LRT? No doubt that it's not insurmountable, but it is something that has to be considered.

Dan

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so wats gonna happen now....is the viva rapidway to steeles going to have a reprieve afterall....???

man i hate politics going before progress...they cant commit to one thing without having afterthoughts and doing something else....

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If this is planned right, subways could concievably be interlined into the DRL from the east end of Bloor-Danforth. Or better yet, tie in the University-Spadina line with it, and run the Yonge line separately and independantly.

That will be some complex engineering at Union, and Pape/Donlands. Somehow, I have a feeling that riders are going to have to transfer at Union, regardless of the technology offered. Unless somehow, it is possible to connect to the Yonge Line East of Union.

Not only that, but to run headways of 120 seconds on any sort of mode is going to require some sort of advanced signalling system. We already have that on the subways, but how would we approach this with LRT? No doubt that it's not insurmountable, but it is something that has to be considered.

LRT can utilize cab signalling. What is the lowest headway you can achieve with that?

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That will be some complex engineering at Union, and Pape/Donlands. Somehow, I have a feeling that riders are going to have to transfer at Union, regardless of the technology offered. Unless somehow, it is possible to connect to the Yonge Line East of Union.

No doubt that there is going to be a lot of pulled-out hair in the design and construction process, but it will have to be done no matter what.

As for connecting the two lines, the reason I suggested that was because the passenger loads are considerably higher on the Yonge line than the others, and separating it would allow for improvements to be done to it independently of the other lines. It could also allow full ATO operation, rather than the mixed operation that the TTC is anticipating will happen at first.

LRT can utilize cab signalling. What is the lowest headway you can achieve with that?

The minimum theoretical headway with the SELTRAC II system is something like 40 seconds. That is dependent on a lot of things however, such as the system functioning properly.

Dan

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"City council favours DRL before Yonge extension." Of course it does. It benefits the citizens of Toronto more to have a DRL than to extend the subway into York Region. I as well believe a DRL is sorely needed.

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Wouldn't the Eglinton Crosstown be sort of a relief line? I mean it streched from one end of the city to the other just like the Bloor-Danforth Subway, or are they expecting the ridership on the Eglinton to be high?.

as for the Names I think they should keep it short and sweet, like "Youge-University-Spadina" is too long. Red Rocket Link or Downtown LRT is good enough

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Wouldn't the Eglinton Crosstown be sort of a relief line? I mean it streched from one end of the city to the other just like the Bloor-Danforth Subway, or are they expecting the ridership on the Eglinton to be high?.

as for the Names I think they should keep it short and sweet, like "Youge-University-Spadina" is too long. Red Rocket Link or Downtown LRT is good enough

That would be a relief line to the B-D subway, not the Yonge line where it's needed.

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That would be a relief line to the B-D subway, not the Yonge line where it's needed.

Oh I thought this was a Bloor Danforth discussion my bad...what would happen if they extended the platforms at the stations to fit 8 cars instead of 6?

EDIT: (and I'm just throwing things out now) what if they advertised the Spadina-University portion of the line? it doesn't take that much more time to get to some places. Going to York Mills? instead try taking the University Portion to Wilson and take a 96 Wilson or a 165 Weston North as an alternative. and I'm talking about people who are getting on the Yonge Line at Union Station, if you get on at say Dundas or College there is no sense doing that. but if they want to ease the congestion on the Yonge line perhaps they should advertise alternatives. GO does the same thing with the over crowding parking lots at Rouge Hill, they recommend you park at Guildwood.

Although I can see the hassle with that as there isn't an Express train at Guildwood unless you want to pay for Via Rail.

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Steve Munro says DRL should be subway, and extend to Eglinton East/Don Mills, not far from where the proposed Eglinton LRT emerges. That's quite the statement from a guy who champions LRT.

If the Eglinton tunnel was built as subway, something some locals say should happen anyway, a 5km length of tunnel from Dundas West to Keele and Eglinton would create an orbital line, diverting Bloor West as well as Danforth riders heading in both directions. This gives the general idea rather than a proposed route. Such a line would also absorb part of the Spadina line's western catchment so that more 905 feeder service could be pushed over from Finch to the northern Spadina line without overloading St George.

In my view such a line should be non-interlined to stop delays cascading into the other lines and built to 21st century standards of signalling with platform doors and ATO on day 1 to minimise suicides and trash fires and maximise passenger comfort through smoother train acceleration.

The Eglinton West LRT to Airport/Scarborough could connect at Keele while the Jane LRT, which looking less and less likely to go all the way to Bloor W, could connect either at Keele/Eglinton or Keele-St. Clair which would offer an interlink for servicing purposes with an Gunns Loop-extended 512. Meanwhile the Eglinton East LRT east from Don Mills would simply be the first 7km of the Scarborough-Malvern LRT, with an interlink to the Don Mills LRT at the subway interchange.

There is one significant problem with that scenario though - having looked at the Google and MSN images it's going to be difficult to serve Thorncliffe Park, a major source of riders, while threading through a subway line through dense numbers of highrises with its wide curve radii.

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There is one significant problem with that scenario though - having looked at the Google and MSN images it's going to be difficult to serve Thorncliffe Park, a major source of riders, while threading through a subway line through dense numbers of highrises with its wide curve radii.

If I'm not wrong the DRL north of Danforth would be routed up Pape (or Donlands), across the Millwood brigde, along Overlea and then up Don Mills. A stop on Overlea in front of the East York Town Centre, which it right in between Thronecliffe Park East and West, would be a 10 minute walk from the bottom of Thronecliffe Park which I think would be sutable. Have an exit to Thornecliffe East/West & Overlea on each end of the platform. If that is to long of a walk passengers can use the 88 to get up to Overlea.

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If I'm not wrong the DRL north of Danforth would be routed up Pape (or Donlands), across the Millwood brigde, along Overlea and then up Don Mills. A stop on Overlea in front of the East York Town Centre, which it right in between Thronecliffe Park East and West, would be a 10 minute walk from the bottom of Thronecliffe Park which I think would be sutable. Have an exit to Thornecliffe East/West & Overlea on each end of the platform. If that is to long of a walk passengers can use the 88 to get up to Overlea.

The Millwood bridge (the one coming from Pape/Donlands) cannot support either LRT or subway on the surface (for LRT only) or underneath without major upgrades apparently. Whatever the TTC does to cross the Don Valley will need to be in its own bridge.

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Oh I thought this was a Bloor Danforth discussion my bad...what would happen if they extended the platforms at the stations to fit 8 cars instead of 6?

EDIT: (and I'm just throwing things out now) what if they advertised the Spadina-University portion of the line? it doesn't take that much more time to get to some places. Going to York Mills? instead try taking the University Portion to Wilson and take a 96 Wilson or a 165 Weston North as an alternative. and I'm talking about people who are getting on the Yonge Line at Union Station, if you get on at say Dundas or College there is no sense doing that. but if they want to ease the congestion on the Yonge line perhaps they should advertise alternatives. GO does the same thing with the over crowding parking lots at Rouge Hill, they recommend you park at Guildwood.

Although I can see the hassle with that as there isn't an Express train at Guildwood unless you want to pay for Via Rail.

In response to extending the platforms:

There are two slideshows on the City of Toronto website that state it is possible to add a '7th car' to trains in order to expand capacity on the YUS. It struck me as odd, since a full sized 7th car probably would not fit on the current platforms, but the presentions mentioned nothing of lengthening platforms. Does anyone have any insider knowledge on this? I'll add the link later.

Also, i believe the TTC knows that by extending University-Spadina, they will divert most of the 905 traffic coming in from the west (Brampton and Vaughn). That being said, most people wont ditch the Yonge subway for a bus ride if they're going to York Mills. Even with overcrowding, the ride on Yonge is probably way less of a hassel than a ride on University-Spadina and then Wilson.

Steve Munro says DRL should be subway, and extend to Eglinton East/Don Mills, not far from where the proposed Eglinton LRT emerges. That's quite the statement from a guy who champions LRT.

If the Eglinton tunnel was built as subway, something some locals say should happen anyway, a 5km length of tunnel from Dundas West to Keele and Eglinton would create an orbital line, diverting Bloor West as well as Danforth riders heading in both directions. This gives the general idea rather than a proposed route. Such a line would also absorb part of the Spadina line's western catchment so that more 905 feeder service could be pushed over from Finch to the northern Spadina line without overloading St George.

In my view such a line should be non-interlined to stop delays cascading into the other lines and built to 21st century standards of signalling with platform doors and ATO on day 1 to minimise suicides and trash fires and maximise passenger comfort through smoother train acceleration.

The Eglinton West LRT to Airport/Scarborough could connect at Keele while the Jane LRT, which looking less and less likely to go all the way to Bloor W, could connect either at Keele/Eglinton or Keele-St. Clair which would offer an interlink for servicing purposes with an Gunns Loop-extended 512. Meanwhile the Eglinton East LRT east from Don Mills would simply be the first 7km of the Scarborough-Malvern LRT, with an interlink to the Don Mills LRT at the subway interchange.

There is one significant problem with that scenario though - having looked at the Google and MSN images it's going to be difficult to serve Thorncliffe Park, a major source of riders, while threading through a subway line through dense numbers of highrises with its wide curve radii.

I think I could see this proposal happening eventually. One I know for sure is that I would take subway over LRT for the DRL any day.

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@Mr Engineer

the 7th car is supposed to be a mid-set carriage and shorter than the other six according to Steve Munro. Unless the drop in section is very cleverly engineered, the change in door spacing could rule out YUS platform doors, which would suck because that would prevent suicides, limit trash fires, allow more rational queueing for doors, allow extra seating to be placed between doors and pave the way for cleaner air (brake particulates) and better climate control on downtown platforms especially during extreme heat days.

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The Millwood bridge (the one coming from Pape/Donlands) cannot support either LRT or subway on the surface (for LRT only) or underneath without major upgrades apparently. Whatever the TTC does to cross the Don Valley will need to be in its own bridge.

Either way, it will cross the Don Valley in that area.

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  • 2044 changed the title to Ontario Line (formerly Downtown Relief Line)

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