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Union Station Revitalization 
75 Front St W, Toronto
Developer: City of Toronto, Metrolinx


Union Station Revitalization | ?m | ?s | City of Toronto | NORR

steveintoronto

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Even VIA rail has attendants at the bottom of all their escalators to prevent people from being trampled.
You're 'objective reasoning' leaves a lot to be desired.

Persons with disabilities or tired and weary after a long trek would need even more than that at the bottom of a difficult set of stairs. "Ah, but there's the elevators" some might respond. Sure are, for escalator users too.

Why would Metrolinx and others, quite a few who are considerably more 'leading edge' than Metrolinx, still not only use escalators, but use them profusely?

The alternative in many modern stations isn't stairs, albeit logic alone dictates their being available, but elevators are returning in great numbers. Even Onion is using them, albeit like all on the TTC, Metrolinx and Onion, they're as slow as a turtle stuck in molasses...on a good day.

The point remains: There's something very wrong about the stairs to platforms provided within the glass cowls on the York Concourse.

They are of a configuration I haven't seen elsewhere on Metrolinx or the TTC. Or anywhere for that matter other than emergency exits.

And to think that somehow they're safer than an in-line escalator (which also isn't perfectly safe) is fantasy.

I've just searched yet again for this 'Metrolinx policy against escalators'. I can't find it. Anyone have a link or written reference?
 

steveintoronto

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Most likely, it is best to avoid or split up l-o-n-g escalators. For maintenance and safety reasons, to have shorter escalators.
Absolutely, albeit the speed change on a landing, especially for those with wheeled baggage, would be disruptive of overall flow and balance. You're on the right track though, as this is required on stairs, not on escalators, the reason being that the dangers of continuous flights of steps are known and recognized.

I can see under crush conditions far more danger with steps, especially as the ability to 'stand to one side' to traverse the distance isn't available for some odd reason on stairs. Jedis excepted.

Meantime those backward Germans are so behind the times:
Daily press, 2016-01-21, 10:02 AM

Modern escalators for metro network: thyssenkrupp wins major order in Munich
  • 102 escalators for MVG-local transport network in Munich
  • Record order intake in Germany
  • Shifting transport from road to rail a central challenge for major cities
  • [...]
  • Innovations for megatrends
    Many major cities find themselves weighed down by an increasingly overloaded infrastructure coupled with a growing population. Shifting transport in the city from road to rail is a central challenge. thyssenkrupp supports cities around the world with innovative solutions meeting the requirements of urbanization. “We want to jointly address the challenges of urbanization with our customers. It is essential to find new solutions for inner-city transport which save time and reduce consumption of energy and environmental resources” Tietze says.

    For example, by enhancing access to existing metro stations, the ACCEL transportation system has the potential to draw commuters who previously shunned public transport because they are not within easy reach of a station. Applying linear motor technology from the Transrapid magnetic train, ACCEL can transport as many passengers as typical fully automated cabin systems, move up to 7,300 passengers per hour per direction. By creating new access points, ACCEL is capable of increasing the catchment area of each station and therefore the number of passengers by up to 30 percent. With ACCEL, the capacity utilization of metro systems throughout the world can be maximized, offering an alternative to the cost-intensive construction of new stations or interconnecting underground passageways. Another advantage: The number of vehicles on the road would also drop.[...]
I'm sure Doug Ford will put a stop to this!
ESCALATOR MODERNIZATION
If you’re starting to face problems with your escalators, our modernization solutions will increase their lifespan, giving you the flexibility of replacing the entire installation or just individual components. This will ensure your escalators comply with the latest standards and are as energy efficient, safe, and reliable as possible.
[...]
IMPROVED SAFETY
Safety is the starting point of every KONE escalator and autowalk. By modernizing, you can make your escalator even safer. We offer a full set of safety upgrades and modular modernization packages covering electrification, the step chain, drive, and aesthetics. With investing to safety upgrades you can bring your equipment in line with the latest safety codes and standards –giving you and your customers more peace of mind.
http://www.urban-hub.com/cities/the-rise-of-the-modern-escalator-a-city-staple/
 
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steveintoronto

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Ban escalators, and planes, and all modern devices! And let's go back to horse drawn carriages too...

The escalator wasn't maintained properly. Not to mention the massive numbers of partygoers jumping up and down at the same time on the escalator... I've read the follow-up stories.

Now getting back to train crashes....and concrete falling on pedestrians in the teamways under Union. I blame teams myself...
 

tnarduzzi

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This gets me wondering what happened to @tnarduzzi .. he used to have some rather fascinating pictures.
To quote your post signature "It's only illegal if you get caught." Well... I did get caught.

Backstory here is that I never had permission to enter those areas of Union and take photographs. It turns out that somebody who is (or was.. *cough, cough* Carillion) employed on this project also browsed UT and reported my posts to the authorities. As such the City of Toronto and Toronto Police asked me to remove them. I was trespassed from 65 Front St W for one year and threatened with B&E so I decided to comply with their request.

However, it has now been over two years and no criminal charges and no civil lawsuit have materialized. In light of this is there anything specific you want to see reposted? I still have over 300 photographs of the Bay Concourse mid-demolition, the Union steam tunnels, the underground loading docks, and the areas below the York concourse and below VIA during mid- mechanical fit out.

Edit:
Here is a small teaser clip. This video was taken at the crossing point of the main E/W and N/S corridors in the new lower level of Union. The video starts with a view looking down the corridor directly South towards the new stairs which will lead up to Union Square and Scotiabank Arena. The view then rotates 360 degrees turning first to face East, then North, and then West toward the new food court which is below the York Concourse. Given that this video was taken in 2016 things have likely progressed significantly since then. The cinder block knock-out wall which is seen in the East view has likely been removed allowing direct access to the lower level under the new Bay Concourse. Also in the North view you can see the rebar sticking up from the ground which is the foundation for the new stairs which will lead up to the promenade level. These stairs will emerge from the lower level on to the promenade in between the dual small ramps which go to VIA (one level below the main ramp from VIA up to the Great Hall) and will essentially complete the main N/S corridor allowing a person to walk directly north from Union Square to Front St in a relatively straight line albeit with some changes in elevation.

 
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tnarduzzi

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And here is some nostalgia. The old Bay Concourse, mid-demolition in December 2015.

From near the old GO ticket office, centre of image is looking west.
IMG_20151213_225150 - IMG_20151213_225241.jpg


From near the old Tim's kiosk, centre of image is looking south.
IMG_20151213_225304 - IMG_20151213_225323.jpg


From near the old doors to moat & TTC entrance, centre of image is looking south.
IMG_20151213_225523 - IMG_20151213_225544.jpg


From near the old "Blue Route" to the ACC, centre of image is looking north.
IMG_20151213_225829 - IMG_20151213_225848.jpg


From near the old Tim's kiosk, centre of image is looking south down the old "Blue Route" to ACC (note the blue ceiling paint).
IMG_20151213_225417 - IMG_20151213_225424.jpg


From under the VIA concourse, centre of image is looking east.
IMG_20151213_230149 - IMG_20151213_230214.jpg


And finally a progress shot of the Bay Concourse underpinning works. October 2015 to December 2015. Centre of image is looking east from under the VIA concourse.
progress.jpg
 
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Student99

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Union station itself has escalators but they are far from imminent passenger traffic. They are in the food court and the exit from the York Concourse which do not see thousands of people in a span of a few minutes.

The one escalator that GO transit had thrust upon them is on track 25 which I believe was a former VIA track. They have someone at the bottom at all times during operation to prevent a catastrophe. If there is an issue the person is there to shut the escalator down immediately. The escalator is there by force, not by choice and as it is part of the station (which is owned by the City of Toronto and not GO transit) it has to stay.

Even VIA rail has attendants at the bottom of all their escalators to prevent people from being trampled.
I have used that platform 25 escalator most weekend evenings for the past several years and have never seen it staffed, with one possible exception. Two or 3 weeks ago after a crowded sports game let out, I saw a GO staff person standing in front of it at the platform level just hovering around. He didn't seem to be paying much attention to the actual escalator though. Couldn't figure out what he was doing there, but you've given one possible explanation.

I've only ever seen this escalator run upwards, to platform level. Never downwards to the concourse level (has anyone?).
 

tnarduzzi

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And here we jump forward to May 2016. This one is for the engineers amongst us. The column cutting has begun.
DSC_0354.JPG


The new main N/S corridor on the lower level under VIA, looking north from the Union Square stairs towards Front Street. Right now there are temporary ramps which run up to VIA from the Union Square doors. The east half of the temporary ramps up to VIA were in the process of being removed last time I passed through Union. Once the temporary ramps are removed and the lower level is opened up, the entrance from Union Square won't lead through this "maze of ramps" up to VIA but will rather lead straight on to a short flight of stairs down to enter this main N/S corridor straight ahead. This should improve passenger circulation for those who enter the station from the south.
DSC_0344.JPG


Looking south-east at the new stairs which will lead up to Union Square from the main N/S corridor on the lower level. At this point the street level of Union Square / Maple Leaf Square is level with the top of these stairs. The temporary ramps which currently lead up to VIA are on the red steel frame seen in the background.
DSC_0341.JPG


The same stairs as in the picture above (up to Union Square) except looking directly south this time.
DSC_0300.JPG


Just for kicks a peek into the crawl space under the temporary ramps leading from Union Square up to VIA. Looking south.
DSC_0348.JPG


Looking south from the intersection of the main N/S and E/W corridors on the lower level, roughly just north of the exact middle of the VIA concourse. This main intersection of corridors on the lower level is almost dead centre in the station and will allow passengers to walk as-the-crow flies in any direction (to Union Square, Bay St, Front St, or York St). A 360 degree view on this same main intersection is seen here: youtu.be/f0KWmNtnxwI
DSC_0317 (1).JPG


And the same picture as above except with some creative liberties. "Mood lighting".
IMG_0162.JPG
 
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steveintoronto

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On escalator use at train stations, there appears to be no excuse for Metrolinx (if indeed the anti-escalator policy claim is correct) to not be aware of and utilize this leading edge research, save that perhaps Onion's platforms are so incredibly inadequate to begin with the formulas become ineffective in predictions.

To balance that eventuality, however, the same applies for stairs, so that excuse is rendered moot.

A Bottleneck Investigation at Escalator Entry at the Brisbane Central Train Station
Conference Paper (PDF Available) · December 2016 with 130 Reads
Conference: Australasian Transport Research Forum 2016 Proceedings
[...]
https://www.researchgate.net/public...r_Entry_at_the_Brisbane_Central_Train_Station
 
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And here we jump forward to May 2016. This one is for the engineers amongst us. The column cutting has begun.
View attachment 163348

The new main N/S corridor on the lower level under VIA, looking north from the Union Square stairs towards Front Street. Right now there are temporary ramps which run up to VIA from the Union Square doors. The east half of the temporary ramps up to VIA were in the process of being removed last time I passed through Union. Once the temporary ramps are removed and the lower level is opened up, the entrance from Union Square won't lead through this "maze of ramps" up to VIA but will rather lead straight on to a short flight of stairs down to enter this main N/S corridor straight ahead. This should improve passenger circulation for those who enter the station from the south.
View attachment 163349

Looking south-east at the new stairs which will lead up to Union Square from the main N/S corridor on the lower level. At this point the street level of Union Square / Maple Leaf Square is level with the top of these stairs. The temporary ramps which currently lead up to VIA are on the red steel frame seen in the background.
View attachment 163350

The same stairs as in the picture above (up to Union Square) except looking directly south this time.
View attachment 163351

Just for kicks a peek into the crawl space under the temporary ramps leading from Union Square up to VIA. Looking south.
View attachment 163352

Looking south from the intersection of the main N/S and E/W corridors on the lower level, roughly just north of the exact middle of the VIA concourse. This main intersection of corridors on the lower level is almost dead centre in the station and will allow passengers to walk as-the-crow flies in any direction (to Union Square, Bay St, Front St, or York St). A 360 degree view on this same main intersection is seen here: youtu.be/f0KWmNtnxwI
View attachment 163353

And the same picture as above except with some creative liberties. "Mood lighting".
View attachment 163357
Looks like it’s almost ready got any more pictures?
 
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On escalator use at train stations, there appears to be no excuse for Metrolinx (if indeed the anti-escalator policy claim is correct)
It is correct - GO is vehemently anti-escalator. You will find virtually none on any of their properties.

And while the reason that Richard White gave is the true and correct one, the actual reason that they gave to the public at the time of their removal 10+ years ago was that "people would track in ice and salt on them, jamming them and causing damage. We are doing this for your own good, to save costs and headaches". Of course, not that this wasn't an issue with any other escalator at any other facility that allowed people to wear their outdoors footwear inside.

When it was pointed out to them that the TTC operated far more escalators in very similar circumstances and wasn't in the process of removing them all, they were strangely silent....

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 
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When it was pointed out to them that the TTC operated far more escalators in very similar circumstances and wasn't in the process of removing them all, they were strangely silent....
Yeah, when digging on it, the TTC kept showing, even in shared facilities with Metrolinx. I've searched for some written policy by Metrolinx on it. I've yet to find any, but lots of references as to where and when to use them, and maintain them, especially in a reduced mobility context.

It's very odd indeed...the term 'corporate neurosis' comes to mind. If they posted a study pointing to the logic of their actions, I could offer more understanding.

In the event, they're completely at odds with best practice elsewhere. Btw: For those supporting Metrolinx' position, there's been a number of incidents at European stations recently, one in Denmark, one in Sweden somewhere. I found and read the stories. And in all cases, it was down to poor maintenance, outsourced in each case.

Sounds like Metrolinx' elevators!

Even though I often have the Big Black Lab with me going through Onion, and he's *way too big* to lift on any escalators that are or should be there, it's incumbent on me to take the stairs (and the ones on the York Concourse are unintuitive for him, and others in his litter were guide dogs) I can clearly see how modern, safe, well designed escalators should have been the choice for many of those stairs. I can see an excuse of there being limited space and need for bi-directional movement, but overall, pedestrian flow on that concourse and on the platforms is a mess compared to most modern refits.

One only has to view how much easier it was in the Bay Concourse, even if that wasn't perfect, it worked.

Very curious as to what Metrolinx' rationale, if any, is.

Addendum: For the escalhaters:
Escalators off at Copenhagen station as safety ... - The Local Denmark
https://www.thelocal.dk/20180801/copenhagen-station-turns-off-escalators-after-accident
Aug 1, 2018 - All escalators at Copenhagen Central Station were temporarily shut ... said it was unacceptable that the escalators failed to meet standards.

Stockholm Odenplan reopens after escalator scare - The Local Sweden
https://www.thelocal.se/20180716/stockholm-odenplan-reopens-after-escalator-scare
Jul 16, 2018 - Stockholm Odenplan reopened to commuter trains on Monday morning after faulty escalators forced the station to shut. Stockholm City however ...
 

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And here we jump forward to May 2016. This one is for the engineers amongst us. The column cutting has begun.
Thanks for reposting. Many of us save and archive these pictures because they should be saved for history books.

You may have the only photographs of what is likely National Geographic or Discovery Channel material, so now that people read your post, that unquestionably caused many anonymous lurkers to save these pictures to disk. As far as I know, there has been no documentary filming in progress at least for the particular timing & locations within Union of the majority of the pictures you took.

It's a murky grey area with a contractor that's worried about lawsuits about being behind in schedule, and wanting you to delete pics to protect themselves, but that's now a while ago. This is fascinating archival material, and while I don't condone walking onto a construction site without permission -- the pictures are done years ago and now -- the undercover reporting pictures need preservation for history.


(Crop of old tnarduzzi photograph -- showing new basement level under VIA -- viewing the intersection of the corridorway that connects Bay Concourse to York Union Food Court, but also from Front Street to Scotiabank Arena)

This old-ish photograph I see may indicate sufficient completion to shutdown the Leather Shop Bypass pedestrian route when the Union Station Food Court opens. A construction-hoarded route through the Bay Concourse connecting TTC Union to the fully completed new basement underneath VIA -- linking all the way to the Food Court.
 

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I wonder what's the lighting plan for the headhouse. Chicago in the meantime: https://www.architecturalrecord.com...o-dewalt-train-associates-and-obscura-digital

Thanks for reposting. Many of us save and archive these pictures because they should be saved for history books.

You may have the only photographs of what is likely National Geographic or Discovery Channel material, so now that people read your post, that unquestionably caused many anonymous lurkers to save these pictures to disk. As far as I know, there has been no documentary filming in progress at least for the particular timing & locations within Union of the majority of the pictures you took.

It's a murky grey area with a contractor that's worried about lawsuits about being behind in schedule, and wanting you to delete pics to protect themselves, but that's now a while ago. This is fascinating archival material, and while I don't condone walking onto a construction site without permission -- the pictures are done years ago and now -- the undercover reporting pictures need preservation for history.
Doesn't help that the city does such a sh*t job managing the front-facing aspect of this project - like how many serious updates were there on the city's project site?

AoD
 

DSC

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I wonder what's the lighting plan for the headhouse. Chicago in the meantime: https://www.architecturalrecord.com...o-dewalt-train-associates-and-obscura-digital

AoD
The 'north face' of the Head House will be lit - there are LEDs set into the granite tiles of Sir John A Plaza at the base of all the pillars. They also had LED "boxes" set up along the western moat roof (at the walls) last year and were testing them a couple of time but these 'boxes' were removed while they completed the moat roofing - I assume they will be returning. I think there are some pics of the light test back in this thread - it looked pretty good.