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Old July 5th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #481
hkskyline
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Eglinton LRT ready to launch
Toronto Star
June 29, 2011



Along Eglinton Ave., they’ve been waiting nearly 20 years for someone to replace the subway that former Premier Mike Harris cancelled in 1995.

This summer, that wait will finally be rewarded when the TTC starts digging the first tunneling shaft for the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) line.

The $8.2 billion provincially funded LRT will be wholly owned by Ontario and is slated for completion in 2020. Construction will begin around Black Creek Dr., where, next summer, the first of four enormous tunnel-boring machines will be launched from that pit.

The LRT will run about 20 kilometres underground to Kennedy station, where it will continue seamlessly above-ground for 6 kilometres on the route of what is now the Scarborough RT.

Most of the disruption from construction will be around stations and the shafts from which the tunneling machines will be launched and extracted.

Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne will be discussing the project at a public meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, at the York Civic Centre Council Chamber, 2700 Eglinton Ave. W.

The Toronto Star asked Jack Collins, Metrolinx vice-president for rapid transit implementation, about the project:

Given the Eglinton line will run mostly underground, how does LRT differ from subway?

Subway trains have six cars. LRTs will be run in three-car trains.

“A subway train is about 145 metres long and we are 97 metres long. Because of that you can get more people in a subway. Capacity is a difference, but we’re sizing the capacity to meet the needs of the Eglinton line and future growth, and we don’t feel a subway is necessary,” Collins said.

The original LRT plan called for only an 11-kilometre tunnel in the middle. With the switch, the trains are now expected to travel at subway speeds, averaging 34 km/h versus 22 km/h. The trip between Jane and Kennedy will take about 25 minutes, rather than 45.

How many people will ride it?

Metrolinx estimates 12,000 riders an hour during rush hours through the busiest sections, east of Yonge. Projections west of Yonge are about half that.

“The scale coming from the east is much heavier in the peak hours,” Collins said. That’s because many SRT riders will now choose to stay on the Eglinton line rather than switch to the Bloor-Danforth subway.

Won’t so many riders getting off at Yonge over-burden that subway line, which is already at capacity?

Between the TTC’s new subway trains, which carry up to 10 per cent more riders, and a new computerized signaling system that will allow Yonge trains to run closer together, Yonge will have about 30 per cent more capacity in coming years.

“We think that will handle the additional people,” he said. “The Bloor-Danforth line actually gets some relief. People getting on downstream in the morning perhaps will now get a seat.”

What’s the plan for stations?

There will be a maximum of 26, about 800 metres apart in the middle section, farther apart in less-travelled areas. Underground stations will cost about $100 million each. Public consultations on station designs will take place in fall. Among the first to be designed are Eglinton West; Caledonia, where there’s a potential connection to GO’s Barrie line; Keele; Dufferin; Bathurst; Oakwood and Chaplin. Work is beginning on the complex task of reconfiguring Kennedy.

What happens to SRT riders while the line is converted to LRT?

The current plan is to shut down the SRT after the 2015 Pan Am Games, with a design and contractor ready to go. Riders would be bused until the LRT is completed — as soon as possible, probably about three years.

Will the LRT be driverless?

“The trains will have fully functional cabs. (They) may have somebody sitting in there as a customer ambassador, similar to the GO trains. But the actual acceleration, deceleration and braking will be computer-controlled, which is called Automatic Train Operation.”
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Old July 6th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #482
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Is it true that the Eglinton LRT will cost more to build than a subway as stated in the Globe and Mail? The former TTC head blasted this project as being more costly than subway for less capacity.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #483
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Is it true that the Eglinton LRT will cost more to build than a subway as stated in the Globe and Mail? The former TTC head blasted this project as being more costly than subway for less capacity.
$8.2 billion does seem excessively expensive. The estimated cost of the Spadina extension is $2.6 billion.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #484
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Eglinton LRT named Canada’s costliest construction project
Published On Mon Jan 02 2012
Toronto Star

The Eglinton light rail transit line is the most expensive infrastructure project in Canada, according to a report released Monday by ReNew Canada, an infrastructure magazine.

When Rob Ford came into power more than a year ago, he banished plans to build new streetcar lines on Toronto streets, and insisted on burying 19 kilometres of the proposed Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown light-rail line, far more than originally planned. At a cost of $360 million per kilometre of underground rail, that turned the fourth-ranked project of 2011 to top spot at $8.2 billion.

“What’s interesting about the transit projects in the GTA is that they created this idea that trolleys and streetcars are outmoded and that subways are the better, more modern mode of transit,” said Mira Shenker, editor of the magazine that compiles an annual list of the 100 most expensive construction projects across the country.

“But if you look at the list across the country, it’s a lot of light rail and bus transit. Those are still current and still being done.”

That list includes $2.1 billion for a light rail project in Ottawa; $1.4 billion for a rapid bus transit system in York Region; a $1.4 rapid transit expansion in Vancouver and massive light rail projects in Calgary, Waterloo and Edmonton.

To make the list, infrastructure projects must be “going forward,” Shenker said. “We have to feel that this project is moving ahead — that there’s political will with enough backing that we feel the momentum is there and the funding will be there.”

The Eglinton line came in ahead of a controversial hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia, a new project in the planning stages that will cost $7.9 billion.

The top 100 projects in Canada total $114 billion, up from $96 billion the previous year. The cost for the Eglinton line represents about one-third of the $25.4 billion spent on transit projects across the country. Shenker expects the project to remain near the top of the list until its expected completion in 2020.

And the project’s price tag could increase once Metrolinx and GO Transit, the line’s owners, figure out how to cross the Don Valley. Since Ford won’t allow new streetcars on existing roadways, the light rail cars must cross via their own bridge or tunnel. Both options will be costly and aren’t included in the $8.2 billion provincial funding. Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli, however, said the entire project will come in on time and under budget.

Transit projects in the GTA are well represented on the list: the Spadina subway extension comes eighth, at $2.63 billion; the Georgetown rail project, which includes a new spur line to carry airport commuters from Union Station, comes in at 18th, at $1.5 billion; and the Union Station revitalization sits at 49th, at $640 million.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Metrolinx orders tunneling machines $54 million purchase will be used to dig underground section of Eglinton LRT
Published On Wed Jul 28
Toronto Star

...

The same machines could not be used for both projects because the tunnel on Eglinton will be about 6 metres wide, compared with the 5.4-metre tunnel on Spadina.

Light rail vehicles require pantographs (overhead structures) for their power supply, unlike the subway, which uses a third rail, said Prichard.

...
This is something that I've wondered about. In Boston, the Blue Line trains switch from overhead power to third-rail power when they enter the subway tunnel along the southern portion of the line. It seems intuitive that having an overhead wire arrangement requires a larger tunnel diameter, which increases the amount of material to be excavated and amount of concrete to be pored, which increase costs. Given that this is a grade-separated extension of an existing grade-separated line, it seems nonsensical that they are planning to use light rail trains with overhead wire for power.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 09:27 AM   #486
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Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
This is something that I've wondered about. In Boston, the Blue Line trains switch from overhead power to third-rail power when they enter the subway tunnel along the southern portion of the line. It seems intuitive that having an overhead wire arrangement requires a larger tunnel diameter, which increases the amount of material to be excavated and amount of concrete to be pored, which increase costs. Given that this is a grade-separated extension of an existing grade-separated line, it seems nonsensical that they are planning to use light rail trains with overhead wire for power.
Well, this whole project started off as a subway, then abandoned, and now is a streetcar line. The increased diameter is probably not a big enough problem to cause a major cost increase, but at least this line will be grade-separated from the rest of the traffic and hopefully the vehicles can move at reasonable speeds within the tunnels.

Don't think there's 3rd rail technology readily available for light rail yet either. Does any city run these types of vehicles?
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Old January 12th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Well, this whole project started off as a subway, then abandoned, and now is a streetcar line. The increased diameter is probably not a big enough problem to cause a major cost increase, but at least this line will be grade-separated from the rest of the traffic and hopefully the vehicles can move at reasonable speeds within the tunnels.

Don't think there's 3rd rail technology readily available for light rail yet either. Does any city run these types of vehicles?
The Norristown Line in Philadelphia is considered light rail even though it uses third-rail power.


The streetcar lines in Washington, DC, used to obtain power from a conduit below street level through a slot in the pavement. In France, there are streetcars that obtain power from a third rail located at the middle of the track. The third-rail obtains power from a cable below street level. There is a control system that energizes only the portion of the rail directly below the streetcar as the streetcar passes. The point is that there are many systems available that avoid the clearances needed for pantographs and overhead wires.

The amount of material that must be excavated for a tunnel is proportional to the cross-sectional area of the tunnel, which is proportional to the square of the diameter. (6.0/5.4)^2 = 1.23 So, 23% more material must be excavated for a 6.0 m tunnel compared to a 5.4 m tunnel. The wall area of the tunnel is proportional to the diameter. Assuming that the wall thickness is also proportional to the diameter, the same 23% difference would apply to the amount of concrete that must be poured. On a project of this size, it wouldn't surprise me if the cost difference is several hundred million dollars.

It seems to me that they chose light rail during the early planning stages based on the paradigm that light rail is cheaper than heavy rail. Now, the project has evolved in a direction where light rail probably isn't the best choice.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #488
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
It seems intuitive that having an overhead wire arrangement requires a larger tunnel diameter
Not if the pantograph were flexible enough Besides, the height of the wire above Buenos Aires' oldest stock appears to be just a few inches above their rooves. Might Toronto use a charged rail underground instead of a wire (isn't that how the streetcars are powered within their subterranean interchanges with the Spadina subway, or even along the underground portion of the Harbourfront LRT)?
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Old January 13th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #489
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There is certainly equipment available that would avoid the additional height clearance required for conventional pantographs. The Blue Line in Boston with both pantographs and third-rail contact shoes is a prime example.




The planners in Toronto don't seem to have considered using such equipment. They seem stuck on the idea of using standard light rail vehicles.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #490
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You're last picture's telling enough Surely the planning authorities have devised the ability at conversion over to heavy rail into their Eglinton line, no?
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #491
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yep, its being built to be able to be converted later. dont know why they arent doing it in the first place though...
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Old January 14th, 2012, 10:34 PM   #492
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I know ... even if Toronto bothered posting bus route numbers onto their bus stops (poles), Eglinton itself seemed so swarmed by routes that they'd probably never have enough room on the signage to accommodate each of 'em
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Old January 15th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #493
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Actually, Bombardier is also testing out various other cantenary-free technologies, including contactless e-mobility solution systems (inductive power-transfer). Though the shortfall of these solutions, even if it's stable and that the price is reasonable, is that it is currently proprietary and not standardized.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #494
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How does being proprietary mean anything to Toronto?
Toronto may go thru the public relations exercise of putting projects out to tender but everyone knows who will get the contract.
Bombardier is Toronto's defacto rail provider. The TTC has never bought anything but Bombardier rail since the 1980s and any contract that gets any form of senior level financial support guarantees that to continue.
Bombardier is a world leader in rail so it's not such a horrible thing and they would be built in Ontario which is another plus. That, however, makes the concern over proprietary technology a mute point in Toronto. As long as Bombardier builds it, it really doesn't matter what the technical specifications are. Some cities have proprietary technology but other like Toronto {and Montreal} have prorietary suppliers and in both cities it's Bombardier.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #495
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That sorta Flash Gordon testing ought to be tried out on small communities (e.g., Saskatoon, maybe Hamilton) if first anywhere ...
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Old January 16th, 2012, 04:35 AM   #496
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Proprietary technology is OK as long as it's tested. The last thing the city wants is to try out uncharted methods that blow up and cause massive overruns and delays, and there's nowhere else to look to for help since the technology has not been implemented elsewhere. Who wants to be a guinea pig after all?
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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:37 PM   #497
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Bombardier is a world leader in rail
Yeah, much like Ford Motors' own leadership due to their perceived grade of quality ... really, I wish Canadians weren't so desperate at the way we go about bragging it altogether embarasses me ... maybe Bombardier's rail division ought to have stuck to manufacturing rubber-tyred fleets, coz that sort of product of theirs seems to seldom falter
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Old March 7th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #498
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Eglinton LRT first up at new TTC board

Toronto Star reports the pros and cons of burying the Eglinton LRT will be released by the new TTC board.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 02:00 AM   #499
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How does being proprietary mean anything to Toronto?
Toronto may go thru the public relations exercise of putting projects out to tender but everyone knows who will get the contract.
Bombardier is Toronto's defacto rail provider.
Is that ethical, sounds terribly unhealthy even corrupt?
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Old November 25th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #500
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image hosted on flickr

Complimentary by Georgie_grrl, on Flickr
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