Toronto Transit users got a glimpse of the city’s newest rail line on Tuesday, when Metrolinx gave media a ride on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
The 19-km light rail line has been under construction for almost a decade and was supposed to be opened by now, but its September 2021 opening date was pushed back due to construction delays, which pre-date COVID-19. Was. It is now set to open at the end of next year.
Upon completion, the $5.3 billion line will run along Eglinton Avenue between the Black Creek Drive area on the west and TTC’s Kennedy Station on the east. More than 10 kilometers of the route will be underground, including the section that will run under busy Midtown and connect to the TTC Yong Line. On Tuesday, reporters took a ride on the eastern above-ground section of the line, between Science Center station and Warden Avenue.
The LRT, which is being built by the provincial transit agency but will be operated by the TTC, is expected to carry 5,500 people per hour in its busiest direction by 2031. It will have three connections to the existing TTC Metro lines, and links to 54 bus routes.
Here’s a closer look:
The Ontario Science Center station is 90 percent complete. Before the start of the tour, all the media will have to do a rapid covid test. CrossLinux, the company that makes the line, has faced several outbreaks during the pandemic.
The distance from the train platform to the bus terminal is significant. The train platform on the left of this image is one storey down. To get to the buses from there you have to walk through the tunnel on the right, then up the escalator or stairs.
Crosstown will operate with two-car trains on opening day, although three-car trains are possible. Trains will run up to 60 km/h on the ground section of the track and 80 km/h below ground.
The right of way usually has more physical separation than a TTC streetcar (and some good grass treatment), but crosstowns will still have to interact with car traffic at intersections.
Emphasizing the hybrid nature of this line, while the stations on the underground sections are large and enclosed, the stops on the above ground sections are closer to TTC streetcar stops – little more than shelters.
This is how the cars are interconnected. So unlike the new TTC Metro trains, passengers cannot move between cars.
Crosstown transit signals will not operate with priority, meaning that transit vehicles will not trigger the green light at intersections. By my count we are waiting 50 seconds at intersections.
Critics might say it doesn’t make sense to spend billions of dollars on a new transit line and then take its vehicles in the back seat to single-occupancy cars.
Click here for more information on Eglinton LRT.