Includes AN underground subway section.
Nearly all of the routes ducked underground at some point or another.
* Eglinton in the middle
* Sheppard between Consumers Road and Don Mills Station
* I believe Finch would have at Finch station similar to St Clair West station but without the loop
* Jane south of Eglinton
Even Don Mills *may* have ducked below at Don Mills station, though I'm not certain about that.
Even non-transit city LRT routes ducked underground:
* WWLRT used with the Queens Quay tunnel or a new one on Bremner
* Bayfront LRT East at a new Queens Quay portal
They may not be elaborate but could easily be represented by that cartoon tunnel.
Beauty in the eye of the rider
The idea of elevated light rail has frequently been dismissed as a non-starter in Toronto. The fear is that it could create Gardiner Expressway-like scenarios around the city and interfere with above-ground utility lines.
But this photo of the Brentwood Station on Vancouver's Millennium line, sent by Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig, proves it needn't be ugly and could in fact add a little wow to the landscape. Of course this picture is shot from above, not the view most people would enjoy. Other photos online, however, show that the station is still arresting from the rider's perspective.
Metrolinx and the TTC are analyzing the potential impacts of above-grade trains as a way to meet Mayor Rob Ford's goal of reserving road space for cars but expanding transit. Building above ground is less expensive than burying rail lines. With automated light rail such as that used in Vancouver it's also cheaper to operate because you don't have to pay drivers and computerized signalling means you can run more trains.
The technology being used in Vancouver is the next generation of Toronto's SRT, which theoretically can also operate unstaffed.
Elevated transit among Metrolinxâ€™s alternatives
Published 47 minutes ago
The SkyTrain intersects with city streets in Vancouver.
Richard Soberman/Supplied photo
Tess Kalinowski Transportation Reporter
Look. Itâ€™s a bird. No, itâ€™s a train â€” well, maybe one day.
Elevated transit is among the alternatives Metrolinx is considering to address Toronto Mayor Rob Fordâ€™s concerns about street-level light rail that takes away car lanes from city streets.
There are already North American examples, including Vancouver and the Scarborough RT, where elevated light rail has proved effective, said Metrolinx chief executive officer Bruce McCuaig, who met with senior staff in Fordâ€™s office on Friday.
The new mayor says he doesnâ€™t want light rail tracks impeding cars on Toronto streets. He has ordered the TTC back to the drawing board on the $8.15 billion Metrolinx-funded light rail plan for Sheppard, Finch and Eglinton avenues and the Scarborough RT.
Although Ford has pledged to take transit underground, there are signs he might accept underground LRT, such as that planned for about 10 kilometres on Eglinton, as an alternative to subways.
McCuaig said there may be other ways, including elevated tracks, to address the mayorâ€™s key concern about leaving room for cars on the road.
Metrolinx and TTC officials will also be looking at places in the existing light rail plan where the street could be widened and the impact on car turning minimized.
Sheppard is wide enough to maintain four lanes of car traffic with a separate LRT lane in the middle for about 11 kilometres of the 12-kilometre route. But the turning lanes would be eliminated by the new raised median.
Although it can be tricky to fit into the urban landscape, elevated rail costs less than tunneling, said McCuaig.
â€œThere are lots of places where it has been integrated very well. I think everybody looks to Vancouver as a great example of transit right now. Part of it is tunneled and part of it is above grade,â€ he said.
â€œIs it the absolute solution? I donâ€™t think anyone would suggest that. But itâ€™s something we should look at,â€ he said.
Spokesman Brad Ross confirmed the TTC is studying elevated rail â€œto better understand the implications of such a system, including costs.â€
McCuaig said the Eglinton LRT plan, which is tunneled for about 10 kilometres, might be elevated where it surfaces in the east around Laird Dr.
Elevated light rail was considered for the east and west ends of Eglinton, where there was less development before 1975, said consultant Richard Soberman.
â€œGenerally speaking, you would expect the cost of elevated construction to be less but the visual intrusion is much greater. In Vancouver they have managed to circumvent that,â€ he said.
Elevated light rail would mean trains would consist of three cars, rather than the six cars used on the subway. Because the trains are shorter, the stations are smaller, said Soberman.
â€œItâ€™s easier to live with a station when itâ€™s up in the air when itâ€™s 60 metres long rather than 190 metres long,â€ he said.
Nevertheless, Soberman thinks community opposition could make elevated LRT a non-starter in Toronto.
Many cities, including New York, have torn down elevated sections of their rail systems, although Chicago maintains its 170-kilometre El, about 90 kilometres of which is elevated.
Vancouver's elevated rail
Most of Vancouver's SkyTrain, including 52 of about 66 kilometres, operates above ground.
[SIZE=+2]â€¢[/SIZE] Of the Expo lineâ€™s 28.26 km, some 23.75 km are above-ground; all 20 km on the Millennium line and eight of the 18 km on the Canada Line are above-ground. Of the remaining 14 km in the system, 12 km are underground.
[SIZE=+2]â€¢[/SIZE] Traffic moves under, over or beside the guideway. The driverless trains (a later generation of those that run on the Scarborough RT), are not hindered by level crossing controls or traffic lights.
The Expo and Millennium lines were built along existing rail rights-of-way. The 25-year-old Expo Line follows the roadbed of the old Central Park Interurban tram. Millennium follows the CN right-of-way. The elevated portion of the Canada Line runs along a major thoroughfare in Richmond. One of the tunnels under downtown Vancouver was built for rail in the 1930s and taken out of service in the 1960s.
Source: Drew Snider, spokesman TransLink
Maybe this for the LRT section.
It seems that all of those who thought the province would just ignore Toronto and reinvested elsewhere were wrong. Metrolinx is now working to accomodate Ford...Who would of thought!
It would allow them to run a continuous line, ultimately, from Pearson Airport to Kennedy and then to Scarborough Centre and Malvern Town Centre.I thought I read while back that Metrolinx always wanted the Eglinton line to be skytrain technology so it can connect to the SRT. Personally, I think it's a great idea. Totally grade separated, can still use LRT trains if they want to, and much cheaper to construct than subways, and the auto train control will help with controlling labor costs.
So do I ... but it would vary by route. There doesn't seem to have been much reaction at all to the elevated section between McCowan and the 401 for the SRT extension.I think the NIMBY storm that would erupt over trying to do elevated rail in most places would be crazy.