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DRL: Subway or LRT?

Do you believe the Downtown Relief Line should be built as Subway or LRT?


  • Total voters
    90

Coruscanti Cognoscente

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In light of recent talk about the LRT, and Mr. Munroe already weighing in on this debate, I felt the need to put this issue to a vote (surprise, surprise).

Update:

While there have been no changes in the results from Poll #1 (68% in favour of replacing the SRT with a subway) and Poll #2 (86% in favour of finishing Sheppard as a subway and not the Transit City LRT plan), Poll #3 now shows subway winning with 54% of the vote versus 44% for LRT and 1% for each of "do nothing" and "other".
 

RedRocket191

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Here's my two cents:

I believe that the DRL should be a continuation of whatever technology the Don Mills and Jane lines use. Being able to stay on the vehicle once you arrive at the Bloor-Danforth subway will help encourage people coming from the north to use the DRL instead of the traditional route. I have a preference for LRT on Jane and Don Mills (and by extension, the DRL), but any capacity issues would be mitigated by pendeltåg along the Weston, Richmond Hill and Lakeshore corridors.

We need the DRL, and we need to ensure it fits into the network and that we provide good service to the stops on the map, regardless of where the trains go afterwards.
 

allabootmatt

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I agree. And I am also inclined to vote for something that might actually happen!

I really, really have no problem with the DRL being an underground LRT between Jane and Don Mills; in fact, with that in the plan Transit City would start to look like a real network. Admittedly the sheer capacity is not subway-level, but you can certainly get not-too-far away with extremely frequent coupled LRVs.
 

urbanfan89

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Perhaps the DRL should be built with subway technology and extended on both ends to Eglinton. To the west the Jane LRT could start at Bloor and have a short branch to Black Creek which joins the main LRT line. To the east the subway could be via elevated viaduct (since the median on Overlea is so wide anyways), which would meet with the Eglinton Subway and the Don Mills LRT which continues northwards.
 

EnviroTO

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I voted for subway but what matters most is that it is underground. The DRL will be too slow if forced to stop at all the intersections along the route in addition to the stops. If the Don Mills LRT and Jane LRT were to connect to an underground LRT DRL as one continuous service reducing transfers that would be fine too although I don't see how it would be possible with the Jane LRT ending at Jane and Bloor rather than Dundas West and talk of the Don Mills LRT heading down Bayview. If it will not be one continuous service then subway would make more sense since the bulk of the line will need to be completely isolated from pedestrians and street traffic in order to be effective and once those requirements are met then the cost to go subway isn't significantly more.
 

RedRocket191

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@ EnviroTO

As I understand it, most DRL concepts use the railway corridor for 90% of the route - so it need not be underground.

Also, the Don Mills TC line is supposed to head down Pape, not Bayview. It is also quite possible that the Jane TC line will use the railway corridor and end up at Dundas West.
 

nfitz

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As I understand it, most DRL concepts use the railway corridor for 90% of the route - so it need not be underground.
I'm not aware of any concept that uses the railway corridor for 90% of the route. The routing that was seriously discused in the 1980s as part of Network 2011 was about 8 km long, of which about 6 km was tunnel. So only 25% would not be underground.
 

RedRocket191

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I'm not aware of any concept that uses the railway corridor for 90% of the route. The routing that was seriously discused in the 1980s as part of Network 2011 was about 8 km long, of which about 6 km was tunnel. So only 25% would not be underground.
May I refer you to the lovely map CDL.TO made.

The only part of that map that isn't on a railway corridor is the section from Danforth to the railway corridor (a total of 1km).
 

nfitz

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That map seems to support the 25% I noted above.

I'm not sure how you get Danforth to the railway corridor as 1 km. It's about 2 km just down Pape to Queen East. And then that figure shows the line going further south to Eastern and turning west. From Queen south to Eastern, and west to the CNR is over another 1 km. At Pape you'd need some kind of tail track north of Danforth. Presumably something similiar to what is on the Sheppard subway at Yonge/Sheppard; they have 800 metres there. Your looking at about 4 km total.

The alignment in that lovely map seems to match the original proposal. However when the experts did the work, they left the railway track at around Jarvis street. So the only part at surface was from where Eastern meets the CNR to Jarvis Street, that's about 2.0 km. Then they proceeded underground to Spadina. Another 2.0 km, assuming no tail track (which I think is an underestimate).

So that's 2 km on surface, and 6 km underground, for 25% on the surface.

If you think that the piece from Jarvis to Spadina will be along the railway alignment, what do you know that the engineers working on this in the 1980s didn't?

That lovely figure also seems to use the routing shown here to get from Spadina to Dundas West - this possible extension wasn't part of the 1980s DRL proposal. Also you can clearly see it doesn't rejoin the CNR until King Street.
 

CDL.TO

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May I refer you to the lovely map CDL.TO made.

The only part of that map that isn't on a railway corridor is the section from Danforth to the railway corridor (a total of 1km).
Unfortunately not. On that map, adapted from the Network 2011 plan, the following sections are underground:

- Pape Station - Eastern Station: Underground via Pape and Eastern Avenues.
- Just west of Jarvis Station (Church St) to John, if not Spadina, under Front to allow a proper interchange with Union subway station.
- From west of Exhibition Station to south of Queen West Station. Underground, perhaps along Fraser Ave.

Still, the majority would be on the surface.
 

RedRocket191

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I stand corrected, but I do believe the railway corridor should be maximized. It's 1km from Pape & Danforth to the railway corridor, near Gerrard.
 

CDL.TO

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The Kingston sub simply isn't wide enough. There's only room for 3 tracks and should realistically have 4 for proper GO and VIA service, which would require expropriation.

The Network 2011 plan studied the Kingston Sub but assessed that an elevated structure would be required to carry the subway line above the GO line.



(And why am I writing all this stuff? What the heck happened to Unimaginative and Scarberian? This has always been their favourite project and they seem to have disappeared!)
 

nfitz

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I stand corrected, but I do believe the railway corridor should be maximized. It's 1km from Pape & Danforth to the railway corridor, near Gerrard.
A great idea in theory, but from Gerrard to Eastern, the width of the railway corridor isn't much more than 20 metres, and there is only space for perhaps 4 tracks. There are already 3 tracks for existing services (and VIA has been eyeing the extra space for years for high-speed). It's only west of Eastern that there is extra land available. So you'd have to tunnel beneath the railway, to follow that alignment.

Surface is more feasible in the west from King to Dundas West Station - the corridor there is much wider, and there is much less demand on it. But from King to Dundas West is what, about 3 km of surface? And from King/CNR to Spadina is about 2 km. So that's 13 km instead of 8. And 5 km instead of 2 km of surface. So that's still less than 40% on the surface ... though I'd think the first phase would be from Pape to downtown, to relieve the Yonge line. Relieving the University Line isn't as urgent.
 

RedRocket191

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(And why am I writing all this stuff? What the heck happened to Unimaginative and Scarberian? This has always been their favourite project and they seem to have disappeared!)
Scarberian's last activity was 5 days ago. I'm worried.
 

Sir Novelty Fashion

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The real question, which the Transit City plan fails to adequately address, is the extent to which the DRL - or any other scheme - can lead to rapid transit service to the inner suburbs.

(I say this with the fundamental bias that I do not regard right-of-ways as a practical means of getting across town.)
 
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