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Ontario Line (formerly Downtown Relief Line)


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From the Ontario Line ground breaking press release:

73fb0933a3361200f44db59dbf90df62.jpg

I take it the dark blue lines are for LRT routes and the lavender/lilac lines are for larger subway-type lines?  Metrolinx likes using that shade of purple for all of their under construction projects regardless of the technology.  I guess the Eglinton line will count as the latter, while Metrolinx is still hoping (but with an unspecified completion date) for an extension of Line 4 to meet Line 2 at Sheppard and McCowan.  If the 2030 completion date for the Ontario Line is still expected (or even if it slips) it should be long enough since the closure of the SRT late next year to recycle the number (Line 3) and possibly the colour?  Though if Ford has any say in it, he'll probably want the line colour closer to PC (dark) blue than the existing light blue.  The map is also obviously using placeholder station names since none of the lavender/lilac lines have been workshopped yet.

Cedarvale makes some sense as does Osgoode, but to not refer to Yonge at Eglinton and Queen stations or Danforth at the Pape station seems odd to say the least.  I didn't agree with renaming both stations to Sheppard-Yonge, citing Bloor-Yonge as a precedent.  You can give each line a separate name and refer to the complex with the hyphenated name.  The neighbourhood is known as Yonge-Eglinton after all!  A single name for Sheppard-Yonge could have been Lansing since Princess Diana declined having the station renamed in her honour. 

Riverdale/Leslieville seems unnecessarily long if only because the line straddles the boundary (official or not) of the two neighbourhoods.  I wonder what they'll come up with for Queen & Spadina and King & Bathurst?  The Fashion District could apply to both since it skirts the periphery but I don't know how common that name is these days since the condo-ification of the neighbourhood.  Could St. Mary (or Portugal Square) work at Bathurst with the church just up the street at Adelaide?  St. Patrick's church is probably further from the namesake station or was it named after the old ward?

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2 hours ago, Gil said:

From the Ontario Line ground breaking press release:

73fb0933a3361200f44db59dbf90df62.jpg

I take it the dark blue lines are for LRT routes and the lavender/lilac lines are for larger subway-type lines?  Metrolinx likes using that shade of purple for all of their under construction projects regardless of the technology.  I guess the Eglinton line will count as the latter, while Metrolinx is still hoping (but with an unspecified completion date) for an extension of Line 4 to meet Line 2 at Sheppard and McCowan.  If the 2030 completion date for the Ontario Line is still expected (or even if it slips) it should be long enough since the closure of the SRT late next year to recycle the number (Line 3) and possibly the colour?  Though if Ford has any say in it, he'll probably want the line colour closer to PC (dark) blue than the existing light blue.  The map is also obviously using placeholder station names since none of the lavender/lilac lines have been workshopped yet.

Cedarvale makes some sense as does Osgoode, but to not refer to Yonge at Eglinton and Queen stations or Danforth at the Pape station seems odd to say the least.  I didn't agree with renaming both stations to Sheppard-Yonge, citing Bloor-Yonge as a precedent.  You can give each line a separate name and refer to the complex with the hyphenated name.  The neighbourhood is known as Yonge-Eglinton after all!  A single name for Sheppard-Yonge could have been Lansing since Princess Diana declined having the station renamed in her honour. 

Riverdale/Leslieville seems unnecessarily long if only because the line straddles the boundary (official or not) of the two neighbourhoods.  I wonder what they'll come up with for Queen & Spadina and King & Bathurst?  The Fashion District could apply to both since it skirts the periphery but I don't know how common that name is these days since the condo-ification of the neighbourhood.  Could St. Mary (or Portugal Square) work at Bathurst with the church just up the street at Adelaide?  St. Patrick's church is probably further from the namesake station or was it named after the old ward?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg4e2vz0Mvc

Video of the news

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BlogTO has a post with the renderings for 14 of the stations which came from the Metrolinx press package.

What surprised me most about the announcement was that Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney was actually there.  In just about every other transportation-related announcement someone else was representing her.  With the election coming up, time to bring her out of hiding?

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10 hours ago, Gil said:

BlogTO has a post with the renderings for 14 of the stations which came from the Metrolinx press package.

What surprised me most about the announcement was that Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney was actually there.  In just about every other transportation-related announcement someone else was representing her.  With the election coming up, time to bring her out of hiding?

It’s probably because that election season is right around the corner 

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On 3/27/2022 at 5:00 PM, Gil said:

From the Ontario Line ground breaking press release:

73fb0933a3361200f44db59dbf90df62.jpg

I take it the dark blue lines are for LRT routes and the lavender/lilac lines are for larger subway-type lines?  Metrolinx likes using that shade of purple for all of their under construction projects regardless of the technology.  I guess the Eglinton line will count as the latter, while Metrolinx is still hoping (but with an unspecified completion date) for an extension of Line 4 to meet Line 2 at Sheppard and McCowan.  If the 2030 completion date for the Ontario Line is still expected (or even if it slips) it should be long enough since the closure of the SRT late next year to recycle the number (Line 3) and possibly the colour?  Though if Ford has any say in it, he'll probably want the line colour closer to PC (dark) blue than the existing light blue.  The map is also obviously using placeholder station names since none of the lavender/lilac lines have been workshopped yet.

Cedarvale makes some sense as does Osgoode, but to not refer to Yonge at Eglinton and Queen stations or Danforth at the Pape station seems odd to say the least.  I didn't agree with renaming both stations to Sheppard-Yonge, citing Bloor-Yonge as a precedent.  You can give each line a separate name and refer to the complex with the hyphenated name.  The neighbourhood is known as Yonge-Eglinton after all!  A single name for Sheppard-Yonge could have been Lansing since Princess Diana declined having the station renamed in her honour. 

Riverdale/Leslieville seems unnecessarily long if only because the line straddles the boundary (official or not) of the two neighbourhoods.  I wonder what they'll come up with for Queen & Spadina and King & Bathurst?  The Fashion District could apply to both since it skirts the periphery but I don't know how common that name is these days since the condo-ification of the neighbourhood.  Could St. Mary (or Portugal Square) work at Bathurst with the church just up the street at Adelaide?  St. Patrick's church is probably further from the namesake station or was it named after the old ward?

Do we know if they are going to be using subway rolling stock? Or a different kind all together? Shouldn't they tender vehicles soon?

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1 hour ago, Shaun said:

Do we know if they are going to be using subway rolling stock? Or a different kind all together? Shouldn't they tender vehicles soon?

Definitely not the models used in the current TTC Subway.

The successful bid winner of the tender for the portion of the tender which has the rolling stock will choose the model to be used. Rumour has it they spec it very similar to the REM Metropolis model over in Montreal.

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Could Bombardier (or Alstom now) not make an updated version of the TR?

The Line 2 replacements shopping is probably gonna start at some point in the next few years, so perhaps that will be an indicator or what may come for the Ontario line?

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1 minute ago, MK78 said:

The Line 2 replacements shopping is probably gonna start at some point in the next few years, so perhaps that will be an indicator or what may come for the Ontario line?

No, it won't. As indicated above, whichever company is awarded the tender for the Ontario Line will choose which manufacturer to buy vehicles from.

The Ontario Line is also being designed to completely different specifications from the TTC's current subway system - this was a deliberate decision from the Province. Smaller vehicles = smaller tunnels, therefore savings in construction costs, or at least that's how their thinking went... It also meant they needed a new storage/maintenance facility and couldn't reuse the nearby Greenwood Yard, so take what you want from their decision.

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10 hours ago, Articulated said:

The Ontario Line is also being designed to completely different specifications from the TTC's current subway system - this was a deliberate decision from the Province. Smaller vehicles = smaller tunnels, therefore savings in construction costs, or at least that's how their thinking went... It also meant they needed a new storage/maintenance facility and couldn't reuse the nearby Greenwood Yard, so take what you want from their decision.

The equipment will be a smaller form factor than the current equipment, that part is almost certain. But the tunnels will be the same size or bigger than the current subway tunnels, as the specifications also seem to call for the equipment to be powered from an overhead wire and at a higher voltage than the current subway.

 

And as is the case on the Eglinton Crosstown, larger tunnels are required to be able to clear the dynamic loading gauge of the pantographs.

 

Dan

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3 hours ago, MK78 said:

Really overhead power for subway? That's just weird... what's wrong with traditional 3rd rail? Well maybe winter performance.

Based on the proposed rolling stock specs, sounds like it won't be a subway at all, more like an LRT or something akin to the SRT 🙄 Seems like from now on that's going to be the go-to alternative every single time the topic of building a new subway line/extension is brought up. Guess we're lucky that the existing subway lines weren't built as LRTs.

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50 minutes ago, 81-717 said:

Based on the proposed rolling stock specs, sounds like it won't be a subway at all, more like an LRT or something akin to the SRT 🙄 Seems like from now on that's going to be the go-to alternative every single time the topic of building a new subway line/extension is brought up. Guess we're lucky that the existing subway lines weren't built as LRTs.

The proper term is Light Metro. Similar to the Skytrain, Confederation Line (except that one uses LF stock) and the REM.

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1 hour ago, 81-717 said:

Based on the proposed rolling stock specs, sounds like it won't be a subway at all, more like an LRT or something akin to the SRT 🙄 

The specs call for ultimately more than 20,000 riders per hour per directions. That's certainly not LRT (light rail), or even IC (intermediate) like the SRT. That's most definitely heavy rail. Higher capacity than Line 4 Sheppard (unless they were to extend the platforms).

Just different technology than the existing subway. Maybe the catenary works better for some  (most?) winter conditions - it's a complete disaster during an ice storm though - as we witness on the streetcar system.

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10 minutes ago, nfitz said:

Maybe the catenary works better for some  (most?) winter conditions - it's a complete disaster during an ice storm though - as we witness on the streetcar system.

Does the third rail fare any better in the open cuts?

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1 hour ago, nfitz said:

That's certainly not LRT (light rail), or even IC (intermediate) like the SRT. That's most definitely heavy rail.

Seems like the distinction between light vs intermediate vs heavy rail is becoming increasingly blurred (in terms of capacity or vehicle weight), since an ALRV or Flexity is actually longer & heavier than a subway car, and a lot more so than an SRT car.

1 hour ago, nfitz said:

Just different technology than the existing subway.

If it's going to be built as heavy rail then I see no reason why it shouldn't be integrated with the existing subway network (at least sharing track connections). Even if they want to use smaller trains, that's still possible (i.e. in NYC the A & B division trains have different specs, but still share track connections & maintenance yards). Using different power supplies on different lines is probably not ideal for a subway system but not unheard of either. For example, Metro-North uses 3rd rail on Harlem & Hudson lines, and dual-mode 3rd rail & overhead on the New Haven line. The Sofia Metro (Bulgaria) has both traditional 81-717 & 81-740 rolling stock powered by 3rd rail as well a modified new Siemens model (same model as in Warsaw, but with overhead power instead).

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5 hours ago, MK78 said:

Really overhead power for subway? That's just weird... what's wrong with traditional 3rd rail? Well maybe winter performance.

It's fine in hundreds of other places across the planet. The biggest reason stems from the use of higher voltages - you don't want 1500V dc through a third rail.

 

3 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Based on the proposed rolling stock specs, sounds like it won't be a subway at all, more like an LRT or something akin to the SRT 🙄 Seems like from now on that's going to be the go-to alternative every single time the topic of building a new subway line/extension is brought up. Guess we're lucky that the existing subway lines weren't built as LRTs.

It's.......complicated.

 

As mentioned earlier upthread, it appears that the closest analogue to it in North America is the REM in Montréal. And keep in mind that those cars are still bigger than the individual subway cars in their metro, or the A Division fleets in New York, or loads of other places. But due to the projected passenger loads, they're expecting these things to run as 4-car trains, rather than the 2-(and sometimes 2 pairs of) cars cars in Montréal.

 

But yes, it seems that many of the consultants are now recommending these kinds of systems regardless of what exists already, and making all of the requisite promises to go with it - regardless of whether it's actually the case. (It's lighter! Faster! Stronger! Monorail!)

 

2 hours ago, nfitz said:

The specs call for ultimately more than 20,000 riders per hour per directions. That's certainly not LRT (light rail), or even IC (intermediate) like the SRT. That's most definitely heavy rail. Higher capacity than Line 4 Sheppard (unless they were to extend the platforms).

 

And herein lies the rub.

 

The system requirements call for a passenger capacity that is pretty darn close to what everyone agrees should be the case.


But the equipment requirements that Metrolinx has laid out - or more importantly, the passenger loading metrics used to arrive at those numbers - are not remotely realistic. And frankly, points out just how ill-equipped Metrolinx is to make these kinds of decisions (and yet get entrusted to.)

 

2 hours ago, nfitz said:

Just different technology than the existing subway. Maybe the catenary works better for some  (most?) winter conditions - it's a complete disaster during an ice storm though - as we witness on the streetcar system.

Different technology, different track gauge, different voltage, different loading gauge......

 

Yes, we're going right back into a streetcar versus LRT argument again. The difference is that this time, it doesn't make sense to order the different equipment - whereas it did for the LRTs.

 

As for the actual power supply, frankly it's kind of irrelevant. Overhead wire is no better or no worse than third rail.

 

1 hour ago, MK78 said:

I guess there's no possibility of it having an interior design like TR where are there no doors separating cars.

Why not?

 

Dan

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3 hours ago, smallspy said:

It's fine in hundreds of other places across the planet. The biggest reason stems from the use of higher voltages - you don't want 1500V dc through a third rail.

Dan

That's what Ottawa does. Our Confederation line is 1500 VDC overhead contact. In tunnels (downtown, St. Laurent) they use something that looks like a contact rail.

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3 hours ago, Mark Walton said:

That's what Ottawa does. Our Confederation line is 1500 VDC overhead contact. In tunnels (downtown, St. Laurent) they use something that looks like a contact rail.

Clearly, the conductor rail systems that are a component of overhead catenary systems are completely different than the 3rd rail being discussed.

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I always wondered, why is the power delivery for subways in DC volts? Can't the trains run on AC traction motors? Isn't AC power more efficient at delivery over longer distances?

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On 3/29/2022 at 9:36 PM, Articulated said:

No, it won't. As indicated above, whichever company is awarded the tender for the Ontario Line will choose which manufacturer to buy vehicles from.

The Ontario Line is also being designed to completely different specifications from the TTC's current subway system - this was a deliberate decision from the Province. Smaller vehicles = smaller tunnels, therefore savings in construction costs, or at least that's how their thinking went... It also meant they needed a new storage/maintenance facility and couldn't reuse the nearby Greenwood Yard, so take what you want from their decision.

So building a new yard and operating a totally unique set of vehicles for this 16km line was cheaper than subways or LRT? 

Really?  Or is it more about optics?

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10 hours ago, MK78 said:

I always wondered, why is the power delivery for subways in DC volts?
 

Legacy is the main reason. Plus 600 volts DC will deliver more power than 600 volts peak AC.  If you bump it to 600 volts RMS, power delivery will be the same but because the peak will be higher at almost 850 Vp, you need to insulate and provide electrical clearances around that value instead of 600.  Then phase to phase loading is evened out with three phase rectification at the traction power substations vs. running a single phase of AC.  Mitigating uneven phase to phase loading is a thing for AC electrification and some of the Go train electrification power studies get into it, for example.

10 hours ago, MK78 said:

Can't the trains run on AC traction motors?

There’s different ways of doing this.  Historically, low frequency AC has been used to run universal motors which are DC machines with commutators but built with laminated sheets to cut down on eddy current losses the way AC motors are built.

These days, you take AC and rectify it so you have direct current and then you flip that around and invert it and provide three different phases and do it at variable frequencies to run AC motors at different speeds.  Notice how the existing, legacy DC traction power distribution systems take care of step 1 there.  You pretty much have to go through DC because motor drive frequency will have to change to accommodate different speeds but utility line frequency is fixed; since the two can and do differ, this is why it’s called asynchronous variable frequency drive.  And that’s how all the passenger equipment the TTC has works.  DC traction motors on the passenger fleet kicked the bucket when the last CLRV was retired.

10 hours ago, MK78 said:

Isn't AC power more efficient at delivery over longer distances?

Yes and no.  Long distance power transmission and traction power distribution are two different balls of wax.  Using alternating current and transformers to jack the voltage up before sending it long distance reduces current so I-squared-R losses go down and you don’t need as much conductor cross section for a given power level.  But go too high with the voltage, remember what I said about peak value vs. RMS value up above, and corona discharge losses add up and that’s why in some long distance transmission situations, high voltage DC had been used in different places.

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20 hours ago, MK78 said:

I guess there's no possibility of it having an interior design like TR where are there no doors separating cars.

If they use the Montreal configuration, it's similar to the T1 trains on Line 2, where you get two pairs of 19-metre long cars. So the total length is 76-metres. But unlike Line 2, the two pairs are connected.

If they were to decide they were only ever to run (for example) 100-metre long trains, I believe they could build a fix 5-car all-connected train with 20-metre long cars, using Alstom Metropolis stock. But that would take away all the flexibility.

Which is fine for a mature system, like the TTC Lines 1, 2, and 4, and the Montreal metro lines, where you know that you'll always run full-length trains. But I can see that it might be a bit much for a brand new system - especially if they extend this up to 407, and interline it with a Pickering to Burlington service.\

 

21 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Seems like the distinction between light vs intermediate vs heavy rail is becoming increasingly blurred (in terms of capacity or vehicle weight), since an ALRV or Flexity is actually longer & heavier than a subway car, and a lot more so than an SRT car.

I'm not sure what weight has to do with it, rather than length, width, and frequency. I suppose it's an analogous substitute, as a 150-metre long TTC subway train with a thousand people on it is going to way a lot more than a 40-metre long train with 250 people on it. But I don't think I've ever seen loaded train weight used in this way.

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3 hours ago, nfitz said:

I'm not sure what weight has to do with it, rather than length, width, and frequency.

Presumably the terms "light" vs "heavy" rail would refer to vehicle weight & structural strength among the other things you mentioned (i.e. mainline rail equipment tends to be built more heavily & designed for greater stresses than subway equipment, which in turn tends to be built more heavily than light metro / tram equipment). As far as length goes, that still stands, since a typical modern tram such as a Flexity is longer than any subway car (in terms of width, a Flexity is only slightly narrower than an A-division NYC subway car).

3 hours ago, nfitz said:

I suppose it's an analogous substitute, as a 150-metre long TTC subway train with a thousand people on it is going to way a lot more than a 40-metre long train with 250 people on it. But I don't think I've ever seen loaded train weight used in this way.

The weight comparison would be per car. Obviously a single subway car/pair wouldn't automatically become light rail because it weighs less / has less capacity than a 6-car subway train, anymore than coupling 6 CLRVs together would turn them into a heavy rail subway train.

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

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