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Sheppard Line 4 Subway Extension (Proposed)

I've already argued that choices should be made when considering a full suite of evidence which we simply don't have available to us now. So I won't revisit that at length.

I will, however, take issue w/people going on about an above-ground alignment to STC.

Let's have a look at this route:

1682263040396.png


So in the south-east, I've started the line exactly where the SSE subway station is being built. The existing line is deeply tunneled here, and the proposed development at STC precludes any realistic surface or elevated option on the south side of the 401.

The subway will not withstand a sharp change in grade, and therefore cannot be expected to be elevated over the 401.

The alignment north of the highway as I have shown it, could cross subdivisions, while the property, by Toronto standards would be relatively cheap to acquire, moving to an open trench means cutting off most of these communities from surrounding major roads, unless you build bridges over the open cut. It then would have to dive more deeply again.

Since its more than likely Sheppard will be tunneled up to the point of any southern turn and it would have to pass under the CP mainline, I see very little room to get the line up to the surface or close to same then dive down again under the 401.

The 401 which carries considerable weight, also has bridge pilings, electrical conduit and significant drainage infrastructure underneath it, indicating depth under the highway would be material, not shallow.

***

That is not an argument against such an alignment. Again, evidence is needed of what the built-out transit network will look like here.

Rather its a suggestion that people are putting forward options that I would charitably call fanciful without a clear understanding of feasibility or cost.

* note that any southern link to STC must cross both the CP Mainline and the 401, and cannot reasonably head south before crossing the Stouffville line as well.

Also, again, train storage, unless we know this line will have access to Wilson, it will have to have an east end yard somewhere, which is far and away most likely to be in/adjacent to CP's Toronto Yard, which is well north of Sheppard rather than south.
 
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What is your source for this? I am not aware of any conventional knowledge which suggests subway tunnels are in any way cheap.

The tunnel related contracts for the original Eglinton Crosstown were about $600M, including the TBMs and tunnel liners but not tracks, signalling, etc. They were roughly 10% of the total construction price.

Eglinton Crosstown West tunnel contract is $729.2M for 9.2km.

Stations and emergency exits add significantly to the price.
 
I fail to see on what basis having a transfer could even constitute an inconvenience. This seems like an exclusively modern North American problem.
Alright, I guess it's not even worth discussing if we can't agree on a single shared reality. I personally think transfers are an inconvenience that we should avoid when we can, but maybe I'm wrong!
I've already argued that choices should be made when considering a full suite of evidence which we simply don't have available to us now. So I won't revisit that at length.

I will, however, take issue w/people going on about an above-ground alignment to STC.

Let's have a look at this route:

View attachment 471439
This is not a very generous interpretation of what I said in video / what any reasonable above ground alignment would look like - so of course it looks bad!

What's the point of even discussing things like this on a forum if we have to talk about why expropriating houses to send an elevated subway through a neighborhood is a bad idea?
 
The tunnel related contracts for the original Eglinton Crosstown were about $600M, including the TBMs and tunnel liners but not tracks, signalling, etc. They were roughly 10% of the total construction price.

Eglinton Crosstown West tunnel contract is $729.2M for 9.2km.

Stations and emergency exits add significantly to the price.
Alright, fair enough, I'll concede on this point.

However, I still find our insistence on shoving subways everywhere to be a highly questionable piece of policy. And, presumably, one would want a station at STC, so that would inflate the costs.

Do you ride transit?
Shockingly, yes, I do. The only time I view transferring as being a real problem is when I have to wait, exposed in the elements. Inside a subway station, enclosed and generally warm, it is of no concern to me at all. Of the things going on in my life, having to transfer to wait for a subway is probably not even in the top 10,000 most pressing things going on in my life.

The thought of running one subway so deep into Scarborough I already found to be a very strange transit project, running two parallel subway lines between STC and Sheppard-McCowan, for no reason other than we're too lazy as a society to change trains, seems so convoluted a plan that I'm not entirely certain that I'm not dreaming. You realize we're talking about Scarborough and not Manhattan or Shanghai here, right?
 
Alright, fair enough, I'll concede on this point.

However, I still find our insistence on shoving subways everywhere to be a highly questionable piece of policy. And, presumably, one would want a station at STC, so that would inflate the costs.


Shockingly, yes, I do. The only time I view transferring as being a real problem is when I have to wait, exposed in the elements. Inside a subway station, enclosed and generally warm, it is of no concern to me at all. Of the things going on in my life, having to transfer to wait for a subway is probably not even in the top 10,000 most pressing things going on in my life.

The thought of running one subway so deep into Scarborough I already found to be a very strange transit project, running two parallel subway lines between STC and Sheppard-McCowan, for no reason other than we're too lazy as a society to change trains, seems so convoluted a plan that I'm not entirely certain that I'm not dreaming. You realize we're talking about Scarborough and not Manhattan or Shanghai here, right?
Only strange until you look at the bus ridership in the area which amounts to hundreds of thousands a day, with many of the most used routes in North America. . . (high use in a global context actually).

Its nice that transferring is of no concern to you, but when planning multi billion dollar projects I'd like to see us not building in an inconvenience for tens of thousands of daily journeys as a key element of that. Fortunately, transit planners generally are meant to have the convenience of the transit network towards the top of the "pressing things going on in their life" list.

I am not going to try to convince you that having to get on Line 2 for one stop in the middle of a crosstown or cross region journey is a bad idea - there is not point. If you don't think transferring is a problem in a middle of a journey when an option that allows you to not transfer exists I am not sure what to say.
 
How is this in any way a fair interpretation of what I said? "Yeah let's ram the line above ground through tracts of peoples houses?" I never suggested a track connection to Line 2 would be made. A sheppard east alignment has not been chosen, if we want it to go elevated above ground then we would probably choose an alignment that doesn't go through a residential area . . .

You said

As pointed out in the video going from just south of Agincourt could be above ground if cost is THAT big of an issue, there’s a ton of space and OL has shown it’s politically feasible.

From just south of Agincourt? I will note, I read your text and did not consult your video initially, which now having done so adds no material detail on your statements,. Let's look at line you drew:

1682273828218.png


The onus is on you to prove your statement is feasible or you ought not to have made it.

You love to make emphatic statements without providing the supporting evidence.

Let's review your imaginary alignment. There is clearly no space to elevate immediately south of Agincourt GO Station, as you need to traverse the CP Mainline, and you do not have time to make the requisite climb. Even a steep gradient would not get you to the surface in time, never mind clearance.

1682274372786.png


Note that I made the favourable assumption that the train was fully turned south, with its north end abutting Sheppard.

Once you're underground under the CP Mainline, you also have to stay under Highland Creek. Note then that if you brought the track up above grade between the creek and the 401, it would only be feasible if you were relatively shallow to begin with. But, there's a small problem............. You're going to emerge in the midst of the high-risk floodzone for the creek, which would make the tunnels vulnerable to water infiltration.

1682274623211.png

Blue is the flood risk from the TRCA flood risk map.

Assuming you avoid this by staying underground until you clear the 401......well, you'll note that the blue continues to the south.

I suppose you could surface in the middle of Progress Avenue and go elevated from there, but that will require considerable expropriation to widen Progress for a portal.

You would then have to rigidly follow the road alignment all the way to the proposed SSE station, and I'm not all clear how that's going to work, including turning radii with the new at-grade crossing of McCowan and the new road grid in the area.

*****

As a side note, having now listened to your video..............The Sheppard line will be six-car trains not 4. That decision has already been taken internally for planning purposes.

****

Once again, please note, I am not arguing against your proposition of going to STC, merely suggesting additional information, which I outlined in previous posts is required to determine if that is the best course (it may be, that is TBD).

What I am arguing is that the case has been made on scant evidence, and that in the course of defending your choice you've made statements which also lack proper support.

Its ok to say "I wish it were this way, or maybe we could do this" but you tend to say "we can and its easy' without either being well founded.
 
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It’s just not at all uncommon for a rapid transit line to divert to hit a major hub and then divert back. There are lots of places on the tube where such things happen, the great thing about tunnels is that we can divert off of a major corridor to hit a Hub and then go back. It’s way better to end an extension at an existing hub rather than a maybe someday hub.

I never suggested we should run service from every corner of the city to every other corner, this is just clearly a place where you should connect the existing hub instead of making a new satellite hub that breaks a ton of connections, planners can choose to send the new subway to an existing hub and everyone wins. I personally would prefer my trips not needlessly have a transfer and associated extra time added because . . .? “Extending” buses so that they travel to scarborough Centre (where they mostly already go) still is fine because it also means those riders get direct access to the Durham scarborough BRT and various go services.

This just feels like the perfect solution fallacy, of course everyone cannot have a perfect direct trip, but a connection at STC where there is already significant density and transit conductivity would clearly create a stronger net work than one where various secondary lines travel to multiple different stations in the area. It just feels like defending the existing “plan” for no good reason. We can go right back to Shepard afterwards!

The more I think about it, the more I seem to agree.

IMHO, Sheppard should dip south of the 401 for a connection to Scarborough Centre on Line 2. I thought a connection at Sheppard and McCowan would suffice but the more I think about it I find the contrary to be true.

Firstly, because of connections to GO buses and interurban transit. Simplicity for everyday riders offering less transfers. It's not a big transfer but it shows foresight, and will be more efficient from a network perspective.

Secondly, More economic impact can be realized faster at Scarborough Centre. More conducive land owners, less single family dwellings.

Thirdly, There remains less points of major interest east of McCowan on Sheppard than just south of it. An extension of Line 4 to Centennial College and UTSC would be more straightforward as both are just south of the 401 to the east of McCowan.

In conclusion, the additional benefits resulting from direct connections to interurban transit, more development ready land, more points of interest on the route and higher potential ridership for any extension, IMHO it would be worth the foresight.
 
You said



From just south of Agincourt? I will note, I read your text and did not consult your video initially, which now having done so adds no material detail on your statements,. Let's look at line you drew:

View attachment 471483

The onus is on you to prove your statement is feasible or you ought not to have made it.

You love to make emphatic statements without providing the supporting evidence.

Let's review your imaginary alignment. There is clearly no space to elevate immediately south of Agincourt GO Station, as you need to traverse the CP Mainline, and you do not have time to make the requisite climb. Even a steep gradient would not get you to the surface in time, never mind clearance.

View attachment 471486

Note that I made the favourable assumption that the train was fully turned south, with its north end abutting Sheppard.

Once you're underground under the CP Mainline, you also have to stay under Highland Creek. Note then that if you brought the track up above grade between the creek and the 401, it would only feasible if you relatively shallow to begin with. But, there's a small problem............. You're going to emerge in the midst of the high-risk floodzone for the creek, which would make the tunnels vulnerable to water infiltration.

View attachment 471487
Blue is the flood risk from the TRCA flood risk map.

Assuming you avoid this by staying underground until you clear the 401......well, you'll note that the blue continues to the south.

I suppose you could surface in the middle of Progress Avenue and go elevated from there, but that will require considerable expropriation to widen Progress for a portal.

You would then have to rigidly follow the road alignment all the way to the proposed SSE station, and I'm not all clear how that's going to work, including turning radii with the new at-grade crossing of McCowan and the new road grid in the area.

*****

As a side note, having now listened to your video..............The Sheppard line will be six-car trains not 4. That decision has already been taken internally for planning purposes.

****

Once again, please note, I am not arguing against your proposition of going to STC, merely suggesting additional information, which I outlined in previous posts is required to determine if that is the best course (it may be, that is TBD).

What I am arguing is that the case has been made on scant evidence, and that in the course of defending your choice you've made statements which also lack proper support.

Its ok to say "I wish it were this way, or maybe we could do this" but you tend to say "we can and its easy' without either being well founded.
I never said it was easy, but you are also assuming a level of detail that is completely unfair. The subway station at agincourt could be moved around quite a bit! This would give you more flexibility to move the alignment going southeast and the portal, the CP line is substantially above grade so you simply can't be *elevated* by the time you are crossing it, but I do not think there is sufficient distance to enable that anyways.

The floodplain is an issue, but you can build a portal in a flood plain, it's been done before and in frankly worse locations and soil conditions.

Suggesting that because someone does not provide extreme detail the general idea is invalid feels unfair to me, because just as one can look for technical problems for a very specific alignment we can also just say - well move the alignment, and change the constraints completely. It feels (to me - perhaps I am just too senstive) driven by a desire to find a problem with what I have suggested rather than saying "well perhaps this could work if . . . " which is fine, you're free to critique me until the cows come home . . . but I don't think it actually makes the case that an alignment within this rough band is not possible.

Its the same with the six car thing, that can be someones operating assumption for one agency or another but, until construction for the stations is signed on the dotted line it's still up in the air. Suggesting that (I feel) my idea is less credible because I am not basing it on assumptions which may or may not actually be the ones which we head forward based on just feels pedantic. This reminds me of a conversation I THINK we had regarding extending Line 2 west...

Ultimately, these feel like the type of details that if we were sitting in the room could be hashed out pretty quickly, and we'd get to the *real* hard constraints much faster - perhaps that's just the limitation of a forum but, I don't really have a desire to prove (though I don't really like the use of this word here) something is or isn't possible. The window of possible solutions is really wide! The endless "well this wouldn't work because X" just seems to delay getting to a discussion that actually tries to make something work and then does have to face constraints - but, constraints which are clearly defined.

Perhaps my short return to UT is best ended.

Thanks for chatting
Reece
 
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Shockingly, yes, I do. The only time I view transferring as being a real problem is when I have to wait, exposed in the elements. Inside a subway station, enclosed and generally warm, it is of no concern to me at all. Of the things going on in my life, having to transfer to wait for a subway is probably not even in the top 10,000 most pressing things going on in my life.

The thought of running one subway so deep into Scarborough I already found to be a very strange transit project, running two parallel subway lines between STC and Sheppard-McCowan, for no reason other than we're too lazy as a society to change trains, seems so convoluted a plan that I'm not entirely certain that I'm not dreaming. You realize we're talking about Scarborough and not Manhattan or Shanghai here, right?
So you would have no preference between a trip that was a single seat ride over 20 km, vs one that has 3 transfers over the same distance, each involving a substantial walk, vertical circulation, and wait for the next train and hope you can find a seat?

It is not really credible that transfers aren't seen as a penalty when evaluating transportation options. I mean, people prefer direct flights for much the same reason!
 
The floodplain is an issue, but you can build a portal in a flood plain, it's been done before and in frankly worse locations and soil conditions.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but kindly ask for an example.

Suggesting that because someone does not provide extreme detail the general idea is invalid feels unfair to me, because just as one can look for technical problems for a very specific alignment we can also just say - well move the alignment, and change the constraints completely. It feels (to me - perhaps I am just too senstive) driven by a desire to find a problem with what I have suggested rather than saying "well perhaps this could work if . . . " which is fine, you're free to critique me until the cows come home . . . but I don't think it actually makes the case that an alignment within this rough band is not possible.

Note that:

1) I give every poster at UT an equally hard time on any fantasy building, park, tourist attraction or transit line. I endeavour to do so politely, but my patience is taxed by far fetched ideas for which support has not been provided. No matter the subject or poster.

2) I'm not opposed, intrinsically to a Sheppard connection to STC, I merely noted that any definitive conclusion on that is premature without answers to other questions.

3) Your alignment is fine, if its undeground, and so is the one I drew. My exception was to the suggestion that an elevated line for anything 'south of Agincourt' was a reasonable statement. I am doubtful on the practicality of any of it being elevated for reasons I've outlined, though its certainly may be possible on a shorter stretch of any alignment on the south side of the 401. Note, more practical in the alignment I drew in that it would avoid the floodplain, is a shorter distance, and avoids material need for turns.

4) Again, an underground alignment here might be a reasonable choice, once we have all the facts. I'm one who isn't big on people drawing random 120-storey fictional buildings or wild transit fantasies I prefer the proposed, practical etc. Others will differ, of course. We will all engage in some measure of conjecture on not yet built projects, and that's fine, I just want to see statements prefaced by noting what's not known and what may be a challenge for a given idea.

Its the same with the six car thing, that can be someones operating assumption for one agency or another but, until construction for the stations is signed on the bottom line it's still up in the air.

High-level planning is underway; and the assumption being used is six-car trains. Sure, it can all be changed, stranger things have happened, but its unlikely.

Suggesting that (I feel) my idea is less credible because I am not basing it on assumptions which may or may not actually be the ones which we head forward based on just feels pedantic.

Less credible? I haven't suggested any other alignment as more credible. I've suggested that any alignment to any point is premature, because insufficient evidence exists for a number of key questions. That's true for your idea and any and every other one.

Its not personal We can't have a credible discussion weighing the alternatives without certain answers. You can choose to model your option on one possible set of answers (Sheppard West extension with use of Wilson Yard), and then show both the cost of that option vs east-end train storage, and also how you envision other nodes relating to the choice you've made. (and I'm entirely fine w/that). You can choose to model using other assumptions. But there should be an indication of why one assumption is superior to the other based on cost, ridership, build-ability etc etc.
 
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So you would have no preference between a trip that was a single seat ride over 20 km, vs one that has 3 transfers over the same distance, each involving a substantial walk, vertical circulation, and wait for the next train and hope you can find a seat?

It is not really credible that transfers aren't seen as a penalty when evaluating transportation options. I mean, people prefer direct flights for much the same reason!
I mean, if it comes down to it, what I would really like is a subway with a station underneath my street, that quickly and directly hits my workplace as well as any other places where I run errands.

I realize this is not possible and concessions must be made, however. So when I consider the question of what is acceptable to me and what is not, I figure in the wait times, the quality (or lack thereof) of amenities, and whether I am exposed to the elements in waiting. As for the issue of whether it is better to have a one seat ride or a transfer, it must be looked at in the broader context. This isn't a question of running a direct bus line to the location in question, this is a question of running a monster subway costing hundreds of millions to a place that realistically subways have no business running.

I am not aware of the Sheppard-McCowan being proposed to have a substantial separation between platforms, so without seeing some designs which might change the equation significantly, I find the idea of running two major subways through this Scarberian landscape just to avoid a single transfer to be very poorly justified indeed. As I said before, the money that would be used to buy this kind of duplication, what else is there that is not being purchased? If Scarborough would wish to pay for this completely out of their own pockets I would have no objection, but since the province is collectively paying for it I support the solution which creates the least duplication and leaves the most money free for other, more transit starved communities.
 
Reece mentioned diverting back to Sheppard from STC if were to continue eastward, and yeah I guess that does solve my complaint. My real complaint is that McCowan getting 3 subway stations

Lawrence n McCowan/STC at (Ellesmere n McCowan roughly)/Sheppard & McCowan is way overkill when it's east of McCowan that need some sort of rapid transit that isn't go service.
 
Lets throw billions of dollars away so a few riders will not have to transfer from one system to another for that single seat ride and not deal with the weather.

The best for Sheppard east of McCowan is an BRT Light. Even then, it should start at Kennedy Rd at best.

The current idea going to STC has never made sense from day one and one should look at the current ridership x it 10 to say the subway is still dumb idea.

While you throw away billions for this line, areas that have more ridership have to suffer since there is no money to built something for them, let alone increase service levels.

As someone who first proposed an Sheppard subway right across the full length of Sheppard in 2006, that was scrap by 2008 once I had a real look at the corridor and doing an 50 year vision for it. An LRT is the only real option at grade compare to the elevated idea by a fair number of members.

Burying an line is saying rats must travel underground in the dark seeing nothing while the single person vehicle can travel freely taking in the sights and the ray of light.

How many decades will it take to build this underground system compare to the surface line that can be built in 1/4 of the time or less??

What were the original number of riders ridding the system when the line open compare to what it is today?? That is a small increase.
 
Reece mentioned diverting back to Sheppard from STC if were to continue eastward, and yeah I guess that does solve my complaint. My real complaint is that McCowan getting 3 subway stations

Lawrence n McCowan/STC at (Ellesmere n McCowan roughly)/Sheppard & McCowan is way overkill when it's east of McCowan that need some sort of rapid transit that isn't go service.
Exactly. We're going to find that out too when Sheppard McCowan is empty during off peak hours. Most people will depart at STC on the Bloor Danforth or Agincourt/Kennedy on the Sheppard subway. It's not too big of a deal since Islington isn't all that anymore, but it speaks to poor planning.
I never said it was easy, but you are also assuming a level of detail that is completely unfair. The subway station at agincourt could be moved around quite a bit! This would give you more flexibility to move the alignment going southeast and the portal, the CP line is substantially above grade so you simply can't be *elevated* by the time you are crossing it, but I do not think there is sufficient distance to enable that anyways.

The floodplain is an issue, but you can build a portal in a flood plain, it's been done before and in frankly worse locations and soil conditions.

Suggesting that because someone does not provide extreme detail the general idea is invalid feels unfair to me, because just as one can look for technical problems for a very specific alignment we can also just say - well move the alignment, and change the constraints completely. It feels (to me - perhaps I am just too senstive) driven by a desire to find a problem with what I have suggested rather than saying "well perhaps this could work if . . . " which is fine, you're free to critique me until the cows come home . . . but I don't think it actually makes the case that an alignment within this rough band is not possible.

Its the same with the six car thing, that can be someones operating assumption for one agency or another but, until construction for the stations is signed on the dotted line it's still up in the air. Suggesting that (I feel) my idea is less credible because I am not basing it on assumptions which may or may not actually be the ones which we head forward based on just feels pedantic. This reminds me of a conversation I THINK we had regarding extending Line 2 west...

Ultimately, these feel like the type of details that if we were sitting in the room could be hashed out pretty quickly, and we'd get to the *real* hard constraints much faster - perhaps that's just the limitation of a forum but, I don't really have a desire to prove (though I don't really like the use of this word here) something is or isn't possible. The window of possible solutions is really wide! The endless "well this wouldn't work because X" just seems to delay getting to a discussion that actually tries to make something work and then does have to face constraints - but, constraints which are clearly defined.

Perhaps my short return to UT is best ended.

Thanks for chatting
Reece
Please stay. Debates are good. We all want what is best for Toronto and the GTHA here.

~~~~
FYI Folks. The entire point of the Sheppard Subway was to connect North York City Centre and Scarborough City Centre. So going to Sheppard McCowan doesn't fulfill that goal. Also, most people are going to STC. Something to think about.
 
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