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18 hours ago, T3G said:

Has there been any thought given to installing signals mounted on street infrastructure that shows approaching drivers what direction the switch is set in?

 

No need, they have eyes. Leslie Barns has double pointed switches with indicators (little led strips at track level), and people there still get it wrong. Line 1 and Line 2 has huge bright signal stacks, and people still manage to screw that up too. Even with the ATC system improving things on line 1, people still find a way to mess up.

 

With double pointed signalled switches on the street, you need switch heaters. You need to keep them clean of debris. It doesn't take much to block a switch from being  in a locked position. Having single pointed unsignalled switches, and having procedures to stop check and go is a reliable and relatively efficient system when procedures are followed.

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6 hours ago, Turtle said:

 

With double pointed signalled switches on the street, you need switch heaters. You need to keep them clean of debris. It doesn't take much to block a switch from being  in a locked position. Having single pointed unsignalled switches, and having procedures to stop check and go is a reliable and relatively efficient system when procedures are followed.

All of what you just wrote also applies to single point special work if you want bulletproof operation.

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Debris is always the culprit on any type of switches. Just wait till a juice box land in the right spot.

If they can automate the system somewhat, that could help. Such as the streetcar knows what route it’s on and the location through GPS. When it reach the special works, it’ll attempt to set the right path. If it can’t set it for whatever reason, a chime should play to let the op know they must check.

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8 hours ago, Turtle said:

No need, they have eyes. Leslie Barns has double pointed switches with indicators (little led strips at track level), and people there still get it wrong. Line 1 and Line 2 has huge bright signal stacks, and people still manage to screw that up too. Even with the ATC system improving things on line 1, people still find a way to mess up.

It's interesting that you mention the subway, because never in living memory have I ever been on a subway, or any other type of train, where the driver stopped to check the switch before proceeding.

Stop and check makes for a miserably jerky and unpleasant ride, if there was a way to avoid doing that, we should be looking in on it despite the fact that drivers have eyes. For what it's worth I've never been on a tram system in Europe with such a procedure. Maybe on yard track, but never on a mainline operation.

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49 minutes ago, T3G said:

It's interesting that you mention the subway, because never in living memory have I ever been on a subway, or any other type of train, where the driver stopped to check the switch before proceeding.

Stop and check makes for a miserably jerky and unpleasant ride, if there was a way to avoid doing that, we should be looking in on it despite the fact that drivers have eyes. For what it's worth I've never been on a tram system in Europe with such a procedure. Maybe on yard track, but never on a mainline operation.

One of my acquaintances at SEPTA was a manager that came up through streetcars and upper management bounced him to one of the Market-Frankford carhouses briefly.  They started familiarizing him on the M4 cars and the line and that was one of the big adjustments for him on the half training run he had was blasting through switches at full speed.  Not slowly, not stop and proceed, but full MAS.  The half training run was because the second half was cancelled when the control centre had a crew from a train that died take over and put the training train into passenger service.  The stint at the Market-Frankford shop was similarly short lived before going back to trolleys.

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Okay, so now y'all have a bunch of ways to save 5 minutes on a 30 minute trip, but you still haven't dealt with transit signal priority and the double stopping problem. You haven't dealt with streetcars having to wait in the tunnel for Spadina stn because the platform wasn't designed for 100' cars.

 

You get an automatic stop and check with near sided stops, the uncomfortable ride with stop check and go only occurs with far side stops, or multiple facing switches at an intersection.

 

Now that is out of the way, what happens when there is a switch malfunction when you have all this fancy equipment to indicate the position and status of the switches to the operator (visual, audible, whatever)??? Does that vehicle have to wait for somebody specially trained to deal with switch/signal malfunctions just like in the subway, or is the operator going to have the equipment and qualifications to deal with the problematic switch?

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sorry, had another thought. What do you do about those nimbys or professional complainers that have a direct line to their local politicians or ttc board members when you increase the speed through trackwork? Higher speed and higher vehicle frequency through switches and trackwork = more vibrations and noise... ???

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I really don't think we are asking too much for the TTC to operate switches like the rest of the world does. If every city can do it reliably, we can't it be done in Toronto? I don't see European cities have any fancy stuff when it comes to switches and yet they can just go.

We can also agree that Spadina is forever crippled unless a massive rebuilt occurs. This North American design is really terrible and I don't know why they keep building it in such way. Eglinton is going to have the same problem. Spadina is exaggerative by having the stops and special works so closely placed. St Clair isn't that bad with a similar design.

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11 hours ago, Turtle said:

You haven't dealt with streetcars having to wait in the tunnel for Spadina stn because the platform wasn't designed for 100' cars.

Yes, Spadina is a shambolically designed and operated street by people who clearly have never seen how a tram ROW actually works. Does that mean that we shouldn't try to make improvements (especially improvements which would benefit the whole network) wherever possible? Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

11 hours ago, Turtle said:

Now that is out of the way, what happens when there is a switch malfunction when you have all this fancy equipment to indicate the position and status of the switches to the operator (visual, audible, whatever)??? Does that vehicle have to wait for somebody specially trained to deal with switch/signal malfunctions just like in the subway, or is the operator going to have the equipment and qualifications to deal with the problematic switch?

Why do either of these options have to be on the table? If the visual signal fails, have the operator visually inspect the switch as they are currently expected to do. If the actual switch control mechanism fails, behave as though the switch is out of service electrically. In both cases, radio control about the problem, and if the TTC is a semi competent organization they will send someone out there to deal with the problem.

Again, this solution has been adopted in many European cities, it's not like we're trying to reinvent the wheel here.

3 hours ago, Turtle said:

sorry, had another thought. What do you do about those nimbys or professional complainers that have a direct line to their local politicians or ttc board members when you increase the speed through trackwork? Higher speed and higher vehicle frequency through switches and trackwork = more vibrations and noise... ???

You can... ignore them...??? I know that Toronto's only MO, as a city, is to cater to the selfish and stupid, but if we somehow reach a point, in this fantasy scenario, where they stop being content with mediocrity and modernize the switch system despite it being technically functional as it is, then we can also conceive that they will ignore people who complain about service improving.

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On 5/20/2022 at 3:29 AM, Turtle said:

 

I would argue that slow speeds through intersections with special trackwork does not delay the streetcars significantly. Traffic signal timing does more damage to the schedule. You also miss lights due to boneheaded jay walkers/cyclists, or even cars that encroach on the right of ways. Double stopping occurs because of this on the ROWs with the farside stops.  For a streetcar to travel 100ft at "less than" 10km/h (i.e you won't really get in trouble for 11, but you will for 12 if you get caught) only takes about 10s. For an entire intersection that isn't a large one, less than 30s. A fresh red light and having to double stop eats up more time than that. Then you get routes like Bathurst where everybody has to get in front of the streetcar to make a left turn, which most times with heavy traffic only 2 cars can do that left on a light cycle if the second guy is aggressive, you lose a lot of light cycles waiting for left turns to get out of the way.

No arguements here from any of those points.

 

On 5/20/2022 at 3:29 AM, Turtle said:

A route like Spadina is bad for intersections with trackwork, but in that case streetcar congestion has a large impact too. Having to wait while the vehicle ahead is servicing a farside stop, or having to wait for the opposite car to clear trackwork that has a potential collision course eats more time. King and Spadina nortbound is a bad place to be if you get unlucky, especially at times when more than the 503 is using Charlotte Loop. You can easily lose 5 minutes there if a southbound car, or westbound->north car doesn't let you in.

And again....no arguments.

 

On 5/20/2022 at 3:29 AM, Turtle said:

10km/h entering three intersections on the Queensway, but that's just nitpicking. That was the result of a few pretty nasty accidents with left turning cars there. No special trackwork involved. I have been told the reduced speeds there, and everywhere else was a recommendation from a coroner inquest about an accident, and not specifically an internal recommendation, but what I have been told in the past hasn't exactly been completely accurate (broken telephone syndrome).

You're confusing two different sets of rules.

 

Queensway intersections are 7km/h.

 

The rule for specialwork is that it must be traversed at no more than 10km/h. That's why they installed those blue indicators on the dashboards of the CLRVs and ALRVs.

 

I seem to recall that there was also a rule that only one car can enter an intersection, but I also can't recall if they rescinded that one.

 

Dan

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9 minutes ago, smallspy said:

I seem to recall that there was also a rule that only one car can enter an intersection, but I also can't recall if they rescinded that one.

 

Dan

The rule there has to do with intersecting trackwork that could result in a collision. For example if one car took a switch, or if there was a switch that moved when it shouldn't have because of wear, debris or whatever.

8 hours ago, T3G said:

Why do either of these options have to be on the table? If the visual signal fails, have the operator visually inspect the switch as they are currently expected to do. If the actual switch control mechanism fails, behave as though the switch is out of service electrically. In both cases, radio control about the problem, and if the TTC is a semi competent organization they will send someone out there to deal with the problem.

 

Because safety. You can't just proceed over a switch when it's position is undetermined, even if it looks like it is in the correct position. That's why they have special people in the subway with special training to do that. Probably a valid reason for having the streetcars pass through facing switches at a restricted speed, in case something happens, even though the switch appears to be in the proper position and locked.

 

What you guys are also missing are the problems with the pantographs and overhead. The reduced speed through trackwork helps to protect that equipment. You can't run through the frogs and crossovers in the overhead too fast without damaging something.

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28 minutes ago, smallspy said:

You're confusing two different sets of rules.

 

Queensway intersections are 7km/h.

I'm not confusing anything, even though my style of writing there may have confused my point. Queensway intersections are 10km/h, because the driver of a left turning automobile got hit and killed by a streetcar. Initially they made it 7km/h and raised it to 10km/h. Everywhere else is 25km/h. That's only entering the intersection, once in the streetcar can accelerate.

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1 hour ago, Turtle said:

The rule there has to do with intersecting trackwork that could result in a collision. For example if one car took a switch, or if there was a switch that moved when it shouldn't have because of wear, debris or whatever.

Really goes to show the level of safety you get with the TTC. Most agencies put more into preventative maintenance.

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1 hour ago, Turtle said:

I'm not confusing anything, even though my style of writing there may have confused my point. Queensway intersections are 10km/h, because the driver of a left turning automobile got hit and killed by a streetcar. Initially they made it 7km/h and raised it to 10km/h. Everywhere else is 25km/h. That's only entering the intersection, once in the streetcar can accelerate.

This one is one of the most idiotic of policies the TTC has. So instead of Toronto Transportation Services coming up with a proper solution, it's the TTC who devises a short-sighted stupid policy to have streetcars slow-roll through intersections. It's also clear that the TTC dosnt communicate this 10 km/hr rule clear enough, because most drivers just slow roll through the entire intersection, and then accelerate after clearing the entire thing.

I'm old enough to remember the days where streetcars went through these intersections at regular speeds and there were 0 issues during the 100+ times i went through them on a streetcar.

I've said it before, and i'll say it again: the TTC has some kind of fantasy with crippling streetcar operations to the point of making it undesirable. Many riders actually find bus substitutions on streetcar routes almost a blessing since they travel the same route much faster (until the TTC finds out about it and screws the replacement bus service with massively long recovery times).

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2 hours ago, Turtle said:

Because safety. You can't just proceed over a switch when it's position is undetermined, even if it looks like it is in the correct position.

I mean, how is that any different from currently operating over a switch out of service, or one that is not electrified at all? You have no way of preventing switch movement there, either.

Trains have been traversing switches at speed for 150 years now, and even passing other trains going the other way, long before there was any kind of electronic switch blocking at all, and somehow they got on fine. If we were to ask streetcars to stop and stay everytime a switch motor or indicator light dies, then perhaps it's best that we don't implement this kind of technology in Toronto.

2 hours ago, Turtle said:

Probably a valid reason for having the streetcars pass through facing switches at a restricted speed, in case something happens, even though the switch appears to be in the proper position and locked.

And how do they deal with this concern on the subway? There have been millions of subway trips that have occurred in my lifetime but only a handful of derailments, while operating at appreciably higher speeds than on the streetcar network.

2 hours ago, Turtle said:

What you guys are also missing are the problems with the pantographs and overhead. The reduced speed through trackwork helps to protect that equipment. You can't run through the frogs and crossovers in the overhead too fast without damaging something.

Unless, of course, you build the overhead to higher speed tolerances, as in high speed electric rail (or European street running tramway), right?

All I'm getting from this discussion is that the TTC is deeply content with mediocrity, even though many other places around the globe have implemented more elegant and passenger friendly solutions decades ago.

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1 hour ago, TTC103 said:

Really goes to show the level of safety you get with the TTC. Most agencies put more into preventative maintenance.

Never said that, in fact they go around the system every day inspecting, cleaning, adjusting, and lubricating the switches. Still doesn't stop ice from keeping a switch from locking, or human error on the part of the driver. That's what the rules are there for, because enough people screwed up the same way that a rule was made to prevent that error.

1 hour ago, lip said:

This one is one of the most idiotic of policies the TTC has. So instead of Toronto Transportation Services coming up with a proper solution, it's the TTC who devises a short-sighted stupid policy to have streetcars slow-roll through intersections. It's also clear that the TTC dosnt communicate this 10 km/hr rule clear enough, because most drivers just slow roll through the entire intersection, and then accelerate after clearing the entire thing.

Actually it works, look at the accident rate on St Clair and how it has improved. You can't stop idiot drivers from making left turns on a red, or a left turn at a no turn intersection, or whatever. Also, with far side stops it probably is a good idea not to accelerate in the intersection if the stop has to be serviced, for passenger comfort reasons and onboards.

 

Mind you, the traffic signal layout for the car drivers on St Clair is poor with only a couple exceptions. The left turn signal is too close to the main traffic lights. Probably except for Russell Hill westbound. Defensive driving, which slowing down is part of, prevents collisions.

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7 minutes ago, T3G said:

Trains have been traversing switches at speed for 150 years now, and even passing other trains going the other way, long before there was any kind of electronic switch blocking at all, and somehow they got on fine. If we were to ask streetcars to stop and stay everytime a switch motor or indicator light dies, then perhaps it's best that we don't implement this kind of technology in Toronto.

So you have never experienced a lengthy "signal problem" on the subway in Toronto?  You never experienced a signal problem on a section being run on their fancy new ATC system? A lot of those "signal problems" involve track switches. The difference in the tunnels is that it takes longer to deal with because nobody is on scene when it happens that is qualified to get the switch in a state where it is safe to travel over. With the ancient archaic single pointed switches the use on the streetcar network, the person with the skills and tools is right there on scene, and it is dealt with before most people notice. It's just a thing the driver does. Gets out with the broom on odd occasions to sweep out debris, and uses the little stick to set the switch. If that switch is flush, it should be locked, but travelling over it at 10km/h takes only a few seconds anyways, might as well be extra safe.

 

7 minutes ago, T3G said:

And how do they deal with this concern on the subway? There have been millions of subway trips that have occurred in my lifetime but only a handful of derailments, while operating at appreciably higher speeds than on the streetcar network.

Exactly what I said, have the train hold until someone qualified can make their way to the problem to deal with it.  So you have a bunch of people on that train stuck, and a bunch of other trains stuck behind while they make announcements and wait.

 

7 minutes ago, T3G said:

Unless, of course, you build the overhead to higher speed tolerances, as in high speed electric rail (or European street running tramway), right?

All I'm getting from this discussion is that the TTC is deeply content with mediocrity, even though many other places around the globe have implemented more elegant and passenger friendly solutions decades ago.

They have overhead that is either pole only, panto only, or both. They are in the process of changing over to panto only overhead, but it takes time.

 

We don't have much longer to go to see what a real lrt system can do. Proper panto only overhead from the start, double pointed signalled switches, ATC operation underground and in the yard. Yes, no operators in the yard, they park themselves. We will see how they deal with intersections and how uncomfortable the ride will be. So far it's looking good with limited transit signal priority, really intelligent how they decided to handle that. Apparently a green light will only hold for the trains if that train is behind schedule. Super smart.

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On 5/21/2022 at 7:07 PM, Turtle said:

Actually it works, look at the accident rate on St Clair and how it has improved. You can't stop idiot drivers from making left turns on a red, or a left turn at a no turn intersection, or whatever. Also, with far side stops it probably is a good idea not to accelerate in the intersection if the stop has to be serviced, for passenger comfort reasons and onboards.

 

Mind you, the traffic signal layout for the car drivers on St Clair is poor with only a couple exceptions. The left turn signal is too close to the main traffic lights. Probably except for Russell Hill westbound. Defensive driving, which slowing down is part of, prevents collisions.

Well I mean of course it's going to work, that's the definition of defensive driving. If I drove a car out at 10km/h i'd be less likely to get in an accident, compared to doing around the speed limit. I'm sure if TTC buses drove around at 10km/h the accident rate would decrease as well.

As I mentioned before, I dont recall there being significant issues when the TTC didnt institute their idiotic policy on straightaway intersections with no special trackwork. It's actually gotten to the point where some drivers have literally started taking it too literal and they slow down to a crawl on all signalized intersections before accelerating at regular speed.

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4 hours ago, lip said:

Well I mean of course it's going to work, that's the definition of defensive driving. If I drove a car out at 10km/h i'd be less likely to get in an accident, compared to doing around the speed limit. I'm sure if TTC buses drove around at 10km/h the accident rate would decrease as well.

25km/h isn't slow and uncomfortable if you are rolling down the street at 30km/h or 35km/h.  10km/h on the three Queensway intersections is excessively paranoid, 25km/h would be fine there too. All of the routes, except for that Queensway section and Lakeshore, are on 40km/h streets, so you're not going to be going that fast anyways.

 

I don't know if it will annoy you to know that line 1 trains, when they have too large a headway behind or are otherwise ahead of schedule, travel at 30km/h or less from Dupont to Eglinton West. Really annoying how the train tries to maintain that speed uphill too. It doesn't have a power position low enough to maintain that speed, so it cycles on and off. Accelerate, coast, accelerate, coast, ... for over 5 minutes of driving.

 

4 hours ago, lip said:

As I mentioned before, I dont recall there being significant issues when the TTC didnt institute their idiotic policy on straightaway intersections with no special trackwork. It's actually gotten to the point where some drivers have literally started taking it too literal and they slow down to a crawl on all signalized intersections before accelerating at regular speed.

 

It was all over the news every time there was an accident on St Clair.  They still get them, but it's pretty rare now. The last one was a pedestrian I think.

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They even turn left in front of non TTC vehicles too. There was an accident last year on St Clair with a left turning car and a firetruck that was using the ROW to respond to an emergency. How do you manage to turn left in front of a firetruck??? Look on youtube, there are a lot of clips of tram accidents with left turning cars. Look at the ION and how much trouble they've had with auto/tram accidents. The TTC has been doing pretty well lately.

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On 5/22/2022 at 1:28 AM, Turtle said:

Do the LRVs for Eglinton have elevator style trap protection or are they going to force staff to manually check for trapped objects?

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12 hours ago, Turtle said:

25km/h isn't slow and uncomfortable if you are rolling down the street at 30km/h or 35km/h.  10km/h on the three Queensway intersections is excessively paranoid, 25km/h would be fine there too. All of the routes, except for that Queensway section and Lakeshore, are on 40km/h streets, so you're not going to be going that fast anyways.

 

If the streetcar is on a ROW, does the road speed limit apply? (I don't see why it should....but who knows.) Note that a lot of St. Clair is still 50 km/h for the road, east of around Dufferin or Winona through to Yonge if I recall.

The 10 km/h on The Queensway is quite annoying, because quite often there's no need to stop at Colborne Lodge, but the streetcar has to drop to a crawl. Particularly bad when it could have made the traffic light, but instead slows down, oops light turns yellow, there we are for a minute. And with the far side stops, even if there is a reason to stop, the streecar could easily start slowing only when it's pretty much crossed the intersection and still stop smoothly.

And so what if one person died after turning in front of a streetcar? How many people die, willingly or accidentally, in the subway? I'm surprised there is not yet a recommendation to enter all stations at 10 km/h. That would save a lot more lives that the streetcar speed limits. Which gets us back to "the TTC has one theory for subways, and a much crappier theory for streetcars".

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ed T. said:

And so what if one person died after turning in front of a streetcar? How many people die, willingly or accidentally, in the subway? I'm surprised there is not yet a recommendation to enter all stations at 10 km/h. That would save a lot more lives that the streetcar speed limits. Which gets us back to "the TTC has one theory for subways, and a much crappier theory for streetcars".

Every life is important, i'm certainly not taking away from that at all.

But this is exactly my point, how many stupid policies is the TTC going to come up with because of a handful of incidents that have happened in the past? If a streetcar T-bones an idiot driver who decides to make a left turn in front of a streetcar, there shouldnt be some stupid policy instituted one after the other to screw up service by slowing it down in the name of "safefy". I dont see Metrolinx slowing down their trains at grade crossings because people decide to cross and get killed when the crossing arms go down. But yet the TTC is doing something exactly akin to this by slowing streetcars down at signalized intersections.

Streetcar service in this city is already a joke as it is, and the TTC implements policy after policy which only makes the service even slower and more laughable. I wish I could do a comparison between how travel times are on various streetcars routes today vs how they were 20 years ago, because I guarantee most routes have had their travel times increase by at least 20% and it's not because of the TTC's common BS excuse of "increased vehicular traffic" (ie: the same BS they spewed to riders of the 501 for years).

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TTC’s management of the streetcar network is flat out embarrassing. When I take people around the City on transit, these always come up: “Why are we going so slow?”, “Why can’t we move faster?”, can’t keep up with traffic, a streetcar in the distance taking forever to get to the stop. Then I have to explain to them all these recent rules the TTC has that kneecap service. Something not mentioned yet here, the TTC made the doors close slower on the streetcar. Probably to avoid “accidents”, but now they primarily cause you to miss a light. Especially since passengers can reopen them, which I think is another rule the TTC came up with. Maybe someone should sue for time wasted, since lawsuits seem to be the only thing that pushes the TTC to get things done now. Like another poster said above, I’m sure service moves a lot slower now than it did maybe five or six years ago. And if it doesn’t, it sure feels like it. And that’s all that really matters to passengers. If it feels slow, the service is going to look unattractive.

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On 5/21/2022 at 7:28 PM, Turtle said:

Exactly what I said, have the train hold until someone qualified can make their way to the problem to deal with it.  So you have a bunch of people on that train stuck, and a bunch of other trains stuck behind while they make announcements and wait.

I was referring to streetcars passing through switches at a slow speed in case the switch should come unlocked while there's a vehicle under it and how there's no subway equivalent to this (at least, not one which is obvious and irritating to a passenger), not to preventative measures that are made after a discovery is made.

On 5/21/2022 at 7:28 PM, Turtle said:

They have overhead that is either pole only, panto only, or both. They are in the process of changing over to panto only overhead, but it takes time.

I didn't know you were referring to the combined panto/pole wire, I thought you were just speaking generally. Fair enough, in that case.

On 5/21/2022 at 7:28 PM, Turtle said:

Apparently a green light will only hold for the trains if that train is behind schedule. Super smart.

True, the lack of transit priority is going to kneecap the line from day one. But, considering how nothing in this city ever runs on time, maybe this particular point isn't going to be as big a deal as initially feared! :D

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