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Metrolinx: Finch West LRT

W. K. Lis

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They did a RFP for the entire project out and let the consortium find a subcontractor to install whatever signal system. ML just sign out and tender.

Chances is it would be hard to find anything else that can run on Eglinton cause ATO is needed and needs a dedicated set of computers unless it is specially built for it. Finch would be more primitive. Just a simple computer that would set the switches and signals. It won’t be able to drive itself like 99% off the LRVs in the world.

Your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than the Apollo 11 guidance computers

From link.

In 1969, humans set foot on the moon for the very first time. It’s really difficult to imagine the technical challenges of landing on the moon more than five decades ago if you’re not a rocket scientist, but what’s certain is that computers played a fundamental role – even back then.

Despite the fact that NASA computers were pitiful by today’s standards, they were fast enough to guide humans across 356,000 km of space from the Earth to the Moon and return them safely. In fact, during the first Apollo missions, critical safety and propulsion mechanisms in spacecraft were controlled by software for the first time. These developments formed the basis for modern computing.
Essential to the lunar missions was a now ancient command module computer designed at MIT called the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC). The computer used an operating system that allowed astronauts to type in nouns and verbs that were translated into instructions for their spaceship. To control the hardware, AGC had built-in machine code instructions using a compiler called Luminary. Here’s how some of the code for the computer looked like when it was used for Apollo 13 and 14.

While it was handy, AGC wasn’t particularly powerful having 64Kbyte of memory and operating at 0.043MHz. In fact, it was less equipped than a modern toaster!

A pocket calculator or even a USB-C charger has more computing power than the best computers used to send astronauts to the moonBesides AGC, thousands of flight technicians and computer engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center employed the IBM System/360 Model 75s mainframe computer in order to make independent computations and maintain communication between Earth and lunar landers.​

These computers cost $3.5 million a piece and were the size of a car. Each could perform several hundred thousand addition operations per second, and their total memory capacity was in the megabyte range. Programs were developed for the 75s that monitored the spacecraft’s environmental data and astronauts’ health, which were at the time the most complex software ever developed.
Today, however, even a simple USB stick or WiFi router is more powerful than these mainframes, let alone an iPhone. The iPhone 6 uses an Apple-designed 64 bit Cortex A8 ARM architecture composed of approximately 1.6 billion transistors. It operates at 1.4 GHZ and can process instructions at a rate of approximately 1.2 instructions every cycle in each of its 2 cores. That’s 3.36 billion instructions per second. Put simply, the iPhone 6’s clock is 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and could perform instructions 120,000,000 times faster. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying an iPhone could be used to guide 120,000,000 Apollo-era spacecraft to the moon, all at the same time.

Computers are so ubiquitous nowadays that even a pocket calculator has much more processing power, RAM, and memory than the state of the art in computing during the Apollo era. For instance, the TI-84 calculator developed by Texas Instruments in 2004 is 350 times faster than Apollo computers and had 32 times more RAM and 14,500 times more ROM.

Even USB-C chargers are faster than Apollo computers. The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 runs at ~48 times the clock speed of the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer with 1.8x the program space.

These sort of comparisons aren’t quite fair, though. It’s like making a side by side comparison between the first airplanes designed by the Wright Brothers and an F-18 fighter. Sure, both could fly but the two are, technologically speaking, worlds apart. After all, the iPhone clearly beats even one of the most famous — and a lot more recent — supercomputer that ever existed: IBM’s 1997 Deep Blue supercomputer which beat Garry Kasparov in a historic chess showdown.

With this in mind, one can only awe at the kind of computer power each of us holds at their finger tips. Nevermind we use them for frivolous matters. Imagine what you’ll be holding in your hand (or inside it) 20 years from now.
 

smallspy

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Isn't the signalling between the different lines incompatible? Like from what I understand you wouldn't be able to run Finch West trains on Eglinton and vice versa without heavy modifications.

The Crosstown, due to its underground section, will be using an ATO/ATC system not unlike (but incompatible with) the new signalling system currently being installed and used on the YUS. It will also use a compatible version of that same system on the surface sections of the line to protect against the switches/interlockings.

I have not yet been able to find out what system will be installed on the Finch West line. At the very least, it will be something similar to the portion used on the surface section of the route - it may end up being the same system, but it also may not.

Dan
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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I'll never understand why there is a desire to make things as incompatible as possible. Has Toronto not learned from the SRT?
Toronto did actually plan to have all of the lrt lines use the same vechles. Metrolinx screwed it up when they didn't want to change their timeline for delivery and pay for a change order to bombardier, instead they decided to sue them for failure to deliver when they had nowhere for them to be delivered to and then went with another supplier for Finch West.
 

micheal_can

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Toronto did actually plan to have all of the lrt lines use the same vechles. Metrolinx screwed it up when they didn't want to change their timeline for delivery and pay for a change order to bombardier, instead they decided to sue them for failure to deliver when they had nowhere for them to be delivered to and then went with another supplier for Finch West.
It is not just the vehicles, but the stations and signals.

You should be able to take any LRT train from any line in the city and move it around and it should work. Also, the drivers should only need to learn the vehicle, not the way the system is.
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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It is not just the vehicles, but the stations and signals.

You should be able to take any LRT train from any line in the city and move it around and it should work. Also, the drivers should only need to learn the vehicle, not the way the system is.
Metrolinx is to blame for that. Which is why i don't think that they are going to do anything special for the extra go train stations they are adding in Toronto that everyone here thinks are going to be served by European style electric trains.
 

robmausser

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I'll never understand why there is a desire to make things as incompatible as possible. Has Toronto not learned from the SRT?

There just isn't THAT much advantage to having things compatible. The issues of the SRT had nothing to do with incompatibility. The issues had everything to do with it being untested gadgetbahn.

Everything that is incompatible, from the Ontario Line, the Finch LRT and the Eglinton LRT is still using standard off the shelf technology that's been proven and tested. (to the exception of the Alstom Citidas trains, but they got extensive testing in Ottawa and hopefully all the kinks are worked out)

While interoperability is a nice to have, its not really that big of a deal. Its better to use the right tool for the job, and it gives you the opportunity to update to the latest technology advancements as well as negotiate for the best price.
 

Steve X

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From this article: https://www.railwaypro.com/wp/thales-to-provide-cbtc-solution-for-torontos-finch-west-lrt/

Thales a contract for the delivery of SelTrac CBTC system for the new LRT line.
How many SelTrac systems do they have?

Also, the HuLRT would be using the signalling system from Hitachi Rail STS

They wouldn't be able to move trains from Finch to Hurontartio either.
 

NoahB

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Each consortium handles the maintenance too. Moving trains between lines is never an option even if technically compatible.
 

micheal_can

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Each consortium handles the maintenance too. Moving trains between lines is never an option even if technically compatible.

I am thinking in 30-50 years when it is time for new LRVs. It would be nice to pick one and it works on all LRT lines within the city. Kinda like the way all Streetcars can run on all streetcar lines.
 

smallspy

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I am thinking in 30-50 years when it is time for new LRVs. It would be nice to pick one and it works on all LRT lines within the city. Kinda like the way all Streetcars can run on all streetcar lines.
Nothing stopping that from happening when the time comes. Signal system installation is a pretty minor thing when compared to the vehicle as a whole.

Dan
 

micheal_can

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Nothing stopping that from happening when the time comes. Signal system installation is a pretty minor thing when compared to the vehicle as a whole.

Dan

Back a few pages, someone said that the stations are different. Wouldn't that cause issues will new stuff?
 

Steve X

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Back a few pages, someone said that the stations are different. Wouldn't that cause issues will new stuff?
When it's time to replace the signaling system (e.g. TTC Line 1), there would likely be a major improvement that allows things that can't be achieved today to happen.
 

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