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Ontario Line (formerly Downtown Relief Line)


Orion9131
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2 hours ago, 81-717 said:

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).

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.

It's relative. And to a lesser extant, regulatory.

 

To things like the freight railways - and Transport Canada - CN, CP, VIA, GO and the like are all "heavy rail", and everything else is "light rail".

 

To transit, "subways" - which are generally defined as multi-car trains operating with some sort of signal separation between trains, level loading and with full separation from other modes - have long been considered "heavy rail", and "streetcars" - lighter weight, frequently single-car trains operating with little-to-no separation between modes and generally no supervisory signalling - have been considered "light rail". The actual weight of the equipment almost doesn't matter, as there have been some absolutely massive cars that ran in mixed traffic on the streets, and some very, very lightweight equipment used on subways.

 

And then the Germans ruined it in the 1950s by taking streetcars, operating them in longer trains and with more (but not necessarily complete) separation. And LRT was born.

 

I think at this point, the best way to define whether a vehicle is "heavy" or "light" is its intended use, and not its physical characteristics.

 

Dan

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've gone back 6 pages/5 years trying to see if we had a thread for the Ontario Line.  This is the closest thing we had.  Wasn't sure if a new one should be created or this one simply renamed or amended to include the successor Ontario Line.

Anyway, the first set of preliminary technical drawings for the entire line (we've only previously seen segments of it - at least I have) are now available:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/appendix_c_-_ontario_line_profile_drawings.pdf

All but three of the stations (Exhibition, Flemingdon Park and Science Centre) have an island platform.  Two of them are terminus stations which runs counter to the TTC's usual policy of having island platforms in that case.  Then again, since this isn't a TTC project...  I don't know what the trade-offs were for these 3 stations.  Still, Flemingdon Park and Science Centre are also elevated stations, meaning they will need 2 sets of elevators for both stations. 

In Exhibition's case, based on the station rendering it looks like pedestrian circulation will be over the tracks for both the Ontario Line and the Lakeshore West GO Line.  You could possibly see an exit directly onto street level for the eastbound platform, but will still need a separate elevator to access the other side of the tracks to get to the GO train station or Exhibition Place itself.

The Queen/Spadina station building itself backs right onto Grafitti Alley.  Any guesses on whether or not it will influence the design or possible permanent name for the station?  It would be interesting to have a back door from the station literally opening onto Grafitti Alley.

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1 hour ago, Gil said:

I've gone back 6 pages/5 years trying to see if we had a thread for the Ontario Line.  This is the closest thing we had.  Wasn't sure if a new one should be created or this one simply renamed or amended to include the successor Ontario Line.

This was the Ontario Line thread here. 

I think this one should simply be renamed Ontario Line which in the beginning it was original planned the Downtown Relief Line before being changed to Relief Line and then eventually to Ontario Line. Plus there is some history dating back well over 10 years with the early planning phase and discussion. 

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16 hours ago, Gil said:

All but three of the stations (Exhibition, Flemingdon Park and Science Centre) have an island platform.  Two of them are terminus stations which runs counter to the TTC's usual policy of having island platforms in that case.  Then again, since this isn't a TTC project...  I don't know what the trade-offs were for these 3 stations. 

 

Centre platforms have long been the standard at terminal stations on the TTC's system(s) where possible, as it allows for the best combination of passenger flows to and from the trains, allows for a single location from which passengers can board without having to cross tracks, and still allow for a short crossover near the platforms to minimize the interference trains will have to deal with and thus reducing the minimum possible headways (although other station designs and track layouts can reduce this minimum what a bit more).

 

The set-ups at the terminals of the Ontario Line will change the metrics somehwhat - the crossovers ahead of the platforms are located a decent distance away, forcing a reduced minimum possible headway assuming that only one track will be used for loading and unloading at off-peak times.

 

But at peak times, with the crossovers located behind the platforms, it allows for a pretty low minimum possible headway as one platform would be dedicated to offloading trains and the other to loading them. Is 90 seconds possible? With this track layout, and assuming a decent ATC/ATO system - it certainly seems to be.

 

16 hours ago, Gil said:

In Exhibition's case, based on the station rendering it looks like pedestrian circulation will be over the tracks for both the Ontario Line and the Lakeshore West GO Line.  You could possibly see an exit directly onto street level for the eastbound platform, but will still need a separate elevator to access the other side of the tracks to get to the GO train station or Exhibition Place itself.

Exhibition will be an interesting case.

 

There will be a main, overhead concourse that will service all of the platforms that the new station will contain.

 

According to the preliminary site plan designs, the existing tunnel will remain however, although it will only serve the GO train platforms (and eventually the streetcar platforms as well).

 

Dan

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  • 2044 changed the title to Ontario Line (formerly Downtown Relief Line)
  • 4 months later...

ICYMI (in case you missed it) and sorry if I'm late into this - the preferred bidders have been selected and awarded for the Ontario Line:

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/rapid-transit/preferred-proponent-teams-selected-for-ontario-line-south-and-rssom-contracts/

In the case of Exhibition Station, I'm not sure how the new e-sports venue (that will be constructed within the Exhibition Place grounds in the coming years) will play a role (pun intended) with the new station on the line? 

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Yes Hitachi has been selected, but it's up to them to best determine the vehicle that will fit Metrolinx' service requirements (which are optimistic to say the least).

In short, we dont know for certain. Based on the platform length it's likely and obvious that would be the # of cars.

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Only three mid-line crossovers, and no center/pocket tracks where you can hide a disabled train? Seems to me that they're going to constrain their operations as soon as something happens outside of "normal operations".

There should at least be another crossover just west of University Ave so that you can still link up Exhibition to the University leg of Line 1 if there is an issue that takes Queen/Yonge out of the mix.

I also don't see why they're putting the mainline-side terminal crossovers so far from the stations. If something happens to the tail-side crossovers, there's no way they'll be able to maintain 90 second headways (which are wildly optimistic anyways) with such large zones of conflict on the mainline side.

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2 hours ago, Archer said:

Only three mid-line crossovers, and no center/pocket tracks where you can hide a disabled train? Seems to me that they're going to constrain their operations as soon as something happens outside of "normal operations".

There should at least be another crossover just west of University Ave so that you can still link up Exhibition to the University leg of Line 1 if there is an issue that takes Queen/Yonge out of the mix.

I also don't see why they're putting the mainline-side terminal crossovers so far from the stations. If something happens to the tail-side crossovers, there's no way they'll be able to maintain 90 second headways (which are wildly optimistic anyways) with such large zones of conflict on the mainline side.

You would think that they would account for centre/pocket trains to avoid the possibility of crippling the entire line should an issue occur. Especially once it is built, building pocket and crossover tracks will be harder versus if done during the planning phase before building out the infrastructure.

If they were strategic and put it before the subway stations, it would at least give alternative options and minimize the amount of buses being pulled from regular routes.

Plus pocket tracks are handy in case they need to insert a train to clear a platform quickly.

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  • 1 month later...

Contract has been awarded for Ontario Line South package. This area covers from Exhibition to the Don Yard (west of Don River).

$6 billion dollars set aside. $5.5 billion for capital costs and $500 million for financial and transition costs.

This work involves building the tunnels, stations and utilities. Track installation will be handled by a separate contract.

https://www.infrastructureontario.ca/Contract-Awarded-Ontario-Line-Southern-Civil-Stations-Tunnel/

 

Final comments:

$6 billion dollars or roughly $1 billion dollars a kilometre. That is pretty steep especially trying to minimize costs instead of building Ontario Line as a subway versus light metro trains running frequently. Especially being a pretty major investment with a huge financial commitment involved. 

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Contract for the Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance or RSSOM for 30 years has been awarded to Connect 6ix. 

The Connect 6ix team includes: 

  • Applicant Lead:Plenary Americas, Hitachi Rail, Webuild Group (Salini Impreglio Canada Holding Inc.), Transdev Canada Inc.
  • Design Team:Hitachi Rail, IBI Group Professional Services (Canada) Inc.
  • Construction Team:Hitachi Rail, Webuild Group (Astaldi Canada Design & Construction Inc. and Salini Impreglio Civil Works Inc.), NGE Contracting Inc. 
  • Operations, Maintenance and Rehabilitation Team: Hitachi Rail, Transdev Canada Inc.
  • Financial Advisors:National Bank Financial Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

The responsibilities of the contract by Connect 6ix include:

  • Designing, supplying, operating and maintaining the rolling stock (trains)
  • Designing, building, operating and maintaining all track and systems (communications and train control)
  • Designing, building, operating and maintaining the Maintenance and Storage Facility (where the trains are stored) and the Operations Control Centre (where staff control train operations and are connected to TTC and GO Transit systems) and backup operations control centre
  • Working collaboratively with TTC according to future operations and maintenance agreements
  • Integrating fare equipment with the PRESTO system

Total value of the contract is $9 billion dollars. $2.3 billion dollars for capital costs and $6.7B for short-term construction financing and transaction costs, train costs and 30-year operations and maintenance, lifecycle, and long-term financing.

Link to the article here:

https://www.infrastructureontario.ca/Contract-Awarded-Ontario-Line-Rolling-Stock-Systems-Operation-Maintenance/

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7 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Will the Ontario line have any track connections to the mainline rail network (i.e. at Exhibition or along the Lakeshore East portion)?

 

2 hours ago, TechnicaProductions said:

Absolutely not

If you're asking to interline service - TechnicaProductions is correct, absolutely not.

 

There will however been a delivery track at the maintenance facility in Leaside, connecting the Ontario Line to CP's Belleville Sub. This will be solely used to ship and receive equipment and possibly supplies, however.

 

Dan

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I remember back when the province first announced details on the Ontario Line they had specced it to handle less passenger traffic than the "main" subway lines (ie the ones that already exist). Is this still the case or am I just misremembering facts?

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1 hour ago, smallspy said:

If you're asking to interline service - TechnicaProductions is correct, absolutely not.

No I am not.

1 hour ago, smallspy said:

There will however been a delivery track at the maintenance facility in Leaside, connecting the Ontario Line to CP's Belleville Sub. This will be solely used to ship and receive equipment and possibly supplies, however.

That's what I was wondering – a connection to the mainline can allow the cars to be transported directly by rail (as in, coupling them to a freight consist), although this is far more common practice in Europe than in North America.

24 minutes ago, Cityflyer said:

This is what Toronto's futuristic new Ontario Line subway trains will look like (blogto.com)

With the trains being slightly narrower than the TRs, it seems they are anticipating one side to have side facing seats while the other side having the standard forward/backward seats.

Will they be in standard married pairs like Montreal's REM, full-length sets like the TR, or unconventional married pairs like the future T1 replacements?

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38 minutes ago, wowzhao said:

I remember back when the province first announced details on the Ontario Line they had specced it to handle less passenger traffic than the "main" subway lines (ie the ones that already exist). Is this still the case or am I just misremembering facts?

That is correct. They sourced it to utilize the same technology that Vancouver has for their three lines. 

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2 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

That is correct. They sourced it to utilize the same technology that Vancouver has for their three lines. 

The line that I have taken a ride on in Vancouver was the ICTS, just like in Scarborough. The tecvhnology for the Canada line (?) is different. And I'm not aware of the third line. Which of those technologies will be used?

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The Ontario Line will be an automated light metro, but it won’t use the same technology as the SkyTrain. Most notably: the Ontario Line does not use linear induction motors or an electrified rail.

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6 hours ago, 81-717 said:

That's what I was wondering – a connection to the mainline can allow the cars to be transported directly by rail (as in, coupling them to a freight consist), although this is far more common practice in Europe than in North America.

This is absolutely, positively not going to happen.

 

What may happen will be like the LRT cars for the Crosstown, Kitchener or Edmonton, where the cars are loaded on flatcars and then offloaded by means of a portable ramp.

 

I say may here, because at this point this is all speculation, and we don't actually know how the cars will be shipped.

 

6 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Will they be in standard married pairs like Montreal's REM, full-length sets like the TR, or unconventional married pairs like the future T1 replacements?

According to Metrolinx's statements from some time back, the assumption is that they will be configured as full-length sets of 4 cars expandable to 5 if/when the need arises.

 

Dan

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4 hours ago, 2044 said:

The Ontario Line will be an automated light metro, but it won’t use the same technology as the SkyTrain. Most notably: the Ontario Line does not use linear induction motors or an electrified rail.

So the line will be built to light metro standards, instead of heavy rail? If the trains are going to be similar to the REM, that should qualify as heavy rail (not sure why the REM is classified as a light metro let alone light rail, because the rolling stock design looks very much like heavy rail).

49 minutes ago, smallspy said:

This is absolutely, positively not going to happen.

What may happen will be like the LRT cars for the Crosstown, Kitchener or Edmonton, where the cars are loaded on flatcars and then offloaded by means of a portable ramp.

Weren't all subway cars up to the T1s delivered on flatcars as well?

I can see why a tram/LRV can't be towed in a mainline consist, but I thought that a subway car (much like a commuter railcar) should be able to handle it without issue (since they do it in Europe all the time).

49 minutes ago, smallspy said:

I say may here, because at this point this is all speculation, and we don't actually know how the cars will be shipped.

Is the mainline track connection going to be built regardless of whether the cars get shipped by rail or by truck?

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