Comment 120423

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted November 07, 2016 at 23:06:08

I have witnessed the transition of Toronto's TTC Spadina street from a traditional streetcar route to a somewhat more-modern LRT. New streetcars are based on modern LRT vehicles now, and Spadina is already its right-of way. And Spadina is now 100% new-streetcars, turning it into a defacto preview of other LRTs. However, some differennces:

-- It has older traffic priority, using very sub-optimal timings and manually triggered rather than GPS triggered. In many cases this results in streetcars stopping twice -- once at a red light, then again at the far-side stop. For efficient far-side platform operation, you want a reliable well-tuned traffic priority system.

-- TTC enabled the all-door boarding experience with the new streetcars, but it's not currently (yet) level boarding, subway style. They still use a fold-out ramp for wheelchairs. Once all of Toronto's streetcar network is 100% new streetcars, it is theoretically possible to later rebuild all streetcar stops as real level-boarding stations.

-- It is still using trollypole rather than pantograph operation. Pantographs are more slip-proof and is able to provide more power/more traction in many cases, as thicker wires are often used with pantographs. The new streetcars have pantograph capability, so TTC can upgrade eventually.

-- In many sections of TTC Spadina streetcar route, stop spacing is not currently optimal for subway-speed experience.

-- New streetcars are unidirectional. They don't have driver cabs on both ends, and they don't have doors on both sides. The LRVs we will get, will be double-ended and can change ends -- no turning loop needed for Hamilton LRT!

However, Spadina is most certainly one of TTC's most attractive streetcar routes, given its more modern elements to a very legacy/100+ year old system that's incrementally migrating to an LRT.

With these caveats above, it is indeed that Spadina's TTC streetcar route, is the closest thing to an operating LRT in Ontario. However, it is not a clean-sheet modern flexible LRT system design like ION LRT, Hamiltonn LRT, and Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-11-07 23:09:12

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