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Rail Deck Park (?, ?, ?)

DonValleyRainbow

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My biggest concern is how this may affect the future USRC speedups (30/45kph approaches in the future) that was supposedly necessary to raise throughput to 49 trains per hour. The pillars needed for this park will absolutely require strong coordination with Metrolinx over this. Prefer mostly pillarless options with massive trusses, to keep future flexibility. Otherwise, you will be essentially locking-in the USRC layout.

If this can be coordinated with Metrolinx simultaneous with electrificafion with a 100% dual-mode locomotive and EMU fleet and switching to electric-only operations under the park, this could tie in really well. Applies to VIA too, give. HFR desires, with only extremely limited diesel loco ops (e.g. Canadian). Circa 2030, unless accelerated for Expo 2025?

Still need to solve the flying pig epidemic first.

Good point on VIA HFR/HSR. That will need some key consideration. Another point: CN still uses the passing tracks to the south of Union.

One thing this park will have going for it thought is that it must only support people, soil and vegetation, artwork, and any other park amenities on top. This should reduce the need for pillars and increase the feasibility of supporting it with wider trusses.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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A park like this has only been suggested in these parts for the better part of the last decade. Glad our civic leaders have caught on/up.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Good point on VIA HFR/HSR. That will need some key consideration. Another point: CN still uses the passing tracks to the south of Union.

One thing this park will have going for it thought is that it must only support people, soil and vegetation, artwork, and any other park amenities on top. This should reduce the need for pillars and increase the feasibility of supporting it with wider trusses.

Be careful what you wish for re: pillars - wider spacing can translate from being able to use a simple beam to deep, expensive trusses. To give an idea of what could be possible - look at the 45 Bay Skygarden proposal section:

upload_2016-8-4_10-12-37.png


From Architectural Drawings, Feb 2016 on the 45 Bay Project Site: http://www1.toronto.ca/City Of Toronto/City Planning/Community Planning/Files/pdf/4/45 Bay Feb 2016 - 1 - drawings.pdf

AoD
 

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W. K. Lis

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One problem is that the trees in such a park will take decades before they get big enough or mature enough to cast worthwhile shade.



Hopefully, the city will have a nursery or farm growing the tree saplings now, to be transplanted when ready.



Would like to see a variety of edible fruit trees planted, like apples, cherries, or peaches. Not just trees for show.

 

AlvinofDiaspar

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One problem is that the trees in such a park will take decades before they get big enough or mature enough to cast worthwhile shade.

Not necessarily - given the experiences at the waterfront. The question might be whether the deck can handle trees that grows to a significant size.

AoD
 

jje1000

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IMO a "Nice to have" project", but not a "Must-have" (like Under Gardiner). Toss this into the pile of projects that have been announced but have no full funding.

It's really a distraction away from the fact that we have far more pressing infrastructure needs, and that our city programs are facing funding cuts that are starting to impact service.
 

salsa

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Another pie-in-the-sky napkin dream from our one-time civic leader. Sure to join other great Tory big-idea concepts like a viable transit system, a workable inter-urban rail system, a robust anti-poverty strategy and a campaign promise to increase the city's tree canopy by 10 million trees.

It's not necessarily Tory's idea since Jennifer Keesmaat, Joe Cressy and Adam Vaughan were also heavily involved. But yeah, this is just another unfunded initiative that John Tory will take credit for without actually committing money toward it.
 

mdrejhon

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Be careful what you wish for re: pillars - wider spacing can translate from being able to use a simple beam to deep, expensive trusses. To give an idea of what could be possible - look at the 45 Bay Skygarden proposal section:
Wider spacing will be much safer in accidents with derailed trains.

With the potential of 30/45mph operations through crowded rail switches/crossovers necessary for nearly doubling train throughput through Union peak. Pillars could force a permanently lower speed limit, and permanently lower throughput through USRC -- hurting RER dramatically.

All those pillars, all those crossovers, and improved USRC rail approach speed? A derailed train would be much more fatal if a pillar is taken out and a collapse occurs. Will Transport Canada approve of higher-speed approaches in a decked-over railyard-like environment?

So the deep expensive trusses may necessarily be worth it.

You aren't supporting a roadway full of vehicles, you don't need salting operations within the park, and you can just have enough dirt for grass for most of the park -- with deeper wells only for areas with trees.

But it has to be properly planned and designed. If this happens at all, it's not going to happen unless done concurrently with electrification & USRC speedup. This could bump things out to ~2030(ish) or an expo2025/developer-funding-accelerated ~2025 as the absolute best-case scenario, if that.

This is great stuff, but this needs to be stupendously carefully planned-out.

Even so, this may need to be 25-year Master Plan stuff (2040s, etc).

Now, let's talk about solving the flying pig epidemic first.
 
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P23

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I'm curious about the vacant lot south of Wellington that borders on the tracks across from Stanley Park, is it slated for development? This is pure fantasy on my part, but expropriating at least a part of it and connecting it to this rail yard park, Garrison Common, Under Gardiner, West Railpath and Stanley Park(s) would be a dream project.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Wider spacing will be much safer in accidents with derailed trains.

With the potential of 30/45mph operations through crowded rail switches, this could force a permanently lower speed limit, and permanently lower throughput through USRC -- hurting RER dramatically.

All those pillars, all those crossovers, and improved USRC rail approach speed? A derailed train would be much more fatal if a pillar is taken out and a collapse occurs. Will Transport Canada approve of higher-speed approaches in a decked-over railyard-like environment?

The deep expensive trusses may necessarily be worth it. You aren't supporting a roadway full of vehicles, you don't need salting operations within the park, and you can just have enough dirt for grass for most of the park -- with deeper wells only for areas with trees.

But it has to be properly planned and designed. If this happens at all, it's not going to happen unless done concurrently with electrification & USRC speedup. This could bump things out to ~2030(ish) or an expo2025/developer-funding-accelerated ~2025 as the absolute best-case scenario, if that.

This is great stuff, but this needs to be stupendously carefully planned-out.

Even so, this may need to be 25-year Master Plan stuff (2040s, etc).

Now, let's talk about solving the flying pig epidemic first.

If the 45 Bay proposal went through, I don't see why this particular section will require a fundamentally different approach. At this point the important thing is have the intent on the books first.

AoD
 

salsa

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I'm curious about the vacant lot south of Wellington that borders on the tracks across from Stanley Park, is it slated for development? This is pure fantasy on my part, but expropriating at least a part of it and connecting it to this rail yard park, Garrison Common, Under Gardiner, West Railpath and Stanley Park(s) would be a dream project.

The lands will become an extension of Stanley Park as part of the Fort York pedestrian bridge.

Screen shot 2016-08-04 at 12.01.50 PM.png


Screen shot 2016-08-04 at 12.02.47 PM.png
 

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smably

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There are also plans for the Wellington Destructor just east of the Stanley Park extension, which might come with more greenspace. A staff report from a couple of years back suggests the possibility of a new multi-use path between Strachan and Bathurst on the north side of the rail corridor, providing a nice link between the railpath extension and the rail deck park:
Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.25.59 PM.png
 

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WislaHD

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A visualization of how Rail Deck Park might look like:

View attachment 82667
posted by Brian Gilham on twitter

Sorry, but I would call this visualization concept a missed opportunity. While an obvious improvement over nothing, it would be no different from any other boring Toronto park - and all our parks are boring.

This is the opportunity to go big, Millennium Park big. We don't need a dog park for the condo owners of South Core. We should be imagining a public space akin to urban plazas of Europe, Asia or Latin America. Beautifully designed and finished walkpaths and landscaping, intelligently designed public space that allows for events and performers, plenty of seating space, sculptures and other art opportunities, and perhaps a fountain.
 

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