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TTC: Sheppard Subway Extension (Proposed)

afransen

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Perhaps not - but the ridership of even the current section of Line 4 doesn't indicate it should be a subway. So who knows what happens when Metrolinx get's involved in the Line 4 extension, and starts cooking up other unexpected schemes, the like of which even we haven't seriously pondered.
Not sure what will be achieved by Line 4 extension east that could not be done with dedicated BRT ROW. Doesn't seem like a good use of funds to extend it.
 

afransen

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Ugh. I think I’m going to regret saying this, but the BD/Shepard loop has been growing on me. If the plan remains to stay on Shepard, through routing Shepard trains south (to STC) using the slots opened by BD short turns at Kennedy solves a lot of the complaints about connectivity lost by not going south.
Agreed. There is essentially zero chance of it ever being extended east of McCowan, so it would make a lot of sense to connect it to Line 2. Even if the Line 2 Sheppard stop is north of Sheppard, Line 4 could swing north to connect with it.
 

nfitz

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Interchange with Stouffville line will be even more useful. Eastern Markham no longer has to rely solely on Highway 7 to get to Yonge.
These GO Train/TTC transfers pale compared to a typical subway station. The same way that GO route ridership pales compared to TTC ridership.

We make fun of the low Line 4 ridership - but it's still, what, about 15 million a year (pre-Covid). Stouffville line, even with improved service, was only 1.8 million just before COVID. Lakeshore West (the busiest line) is still only 9 million!

A good transfer station for the Stouffville line is GO Kennedy - but the ridership is only 252 a day! Bizarrely, despite very little service, Oriole is 564 a day. Meanwhile the second lowest subway (everything except Line 3) station is Bessarion with 3,290 a day. The lowest Line 1/2/4 station is now Downsview Park (a GO interchange) at only 3,090 a day in 2019.

Okay you say - they aren't running 15-minute service yet. But Exhibition GO only has 3,500 a day, while Danforth GO is only 1,500! Even Oakville GO only has 5,400 - a decent amount - but compare to TTC Kipling at 51,824 (Kipling GO is a relatively respectable 1,100). TTC Islington is 42,930, and even the relatively quiet TTC Royal York is 21,395. For all the fun we make of Chester station, it's 6,470!
 

44 North

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TTC is an absolute juggernaut for ridership. I too enjoy the comparison game of using its ridership against anything else. Still can't see it working with a Sheppard extension as a 6-car subway tho. The costs are just too high to the point that it won't get off the ground. Waste of time otherwise, as is evident by history. Needs to be something sized and costed realistically (i.e - conversion to smaller scale subway).
 

nfitz

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TTC is an absolute juggernaut for ridership. I too enjoy the comparison game of using its ridership against anything else. Still can't see it working with a Sheppard extension as a 6-car subway tho.
I just can't see them not doing full-length stations, with the current stations already being full length - unless they completely change the technology of the current line.

I wouldn't be surprised if they leave the extra space in the new stations a lot less finished than the original stations though.
 

44 North

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I just can't see them not doing full-length stations, with the current stations already being full length - unless they completely change the technology of the current line.

I wouldn't be surprised if they leave the extra space in the new stations a lot less finished than the original stations though.

Change the tech, or make full length 75m - which is beyond sufficient. Otherwise nothing will be built.
 

steviej1

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I hope the Ford government announces something about Sheppard soon, else I fear that it will never get built. I don't think they've even given a timeline and I doubt they are doing anything at all. All I've heard is 'Advanced Planning' in some PDF file but Doug Ford is definitely no Rob Ford.
 

sunnyside

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I hope the Ford government announces something about Sheppard soon, else I fear that it will never get built. I don't think they've even given a timeline and I doubt they are doing anything at all. All I've heard is 'Advanced Planning' in some PDF file but Doug Ford is definitely no Rob Ford.
I know it’d be very Toronto-like, but I wouldn’t mind just seeing some reports on the Sheppard extension to give Ford’s government something to work off of. Ie, what is the cost & feasibility of extending it as a traditional 6-car subway, converting it to light metro before extending it (and perhaps elevating it) and so on. As far as I know these don’t exist, hence why we have all debated what the extension(s) will look like. Some of these things likely exist internally, but if we can get the ball rolling then committing funding becomes a lot easier. From there, some of that “get it done” attitude would really come in handy from Doug. Barring that, at least creating the framework for expansion beyond lines on a 2041 RTP would be great.

Anywho, it appears with Toronto’s motion to inquire about a western extension and the (imo) more obvious eastern extension, a “full buildout” sheppard from Sheppard west to McCowan seems to be the end goal. West is probably easier to do first because it requires less unique engineering solutions to make it viable and might be required for the east to work (yard access). If we go west first, would that possibly make a technology switch more difficult? I could see it being seen as tedious after we just extended line 4 traditionally to the west, making the amount we’d have to regage and retrofit for light metro be longer than right now.
 

Northern Light

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I know it’d be very Toronto-like, but I wouldn’t mind just seeing some reports on the Sheppard extension to give Ford’s government something to work off of. Ie, what is the cost & feasibility of extending it as a traditional 6-car subway, converting it to light metro before extending it (and perhaps elevating it) and so on. As far as I know these don’t exist, hence why we have all debated what the extension(s) will look like. Some of these things likely exist internally

Yes, they do. Also, the province is already looking over high concept info for Sheppard.

West is probably easier to do first because it requires less unique engineering solutions to make it viable

What unique engineering solutions do envision for the eastern extension? The west side does have the not entirely small matter of crossing over/under the West Don River (Earl Bales Park)

and might be required for the east to work (yard access).

I would say yes........but there are discussions about inline storage. But that comes w/hassles; the trains still cleaning and light maintenance; even w/o the yards. What is certainly not practical is nightly moves from Wilson via Line 1

If we go west first, would that possibly make a technology switch more difficult? I could see it being seen as tedious after we just extended line 4 traditionally to the west, making the amount we’d have to regage and retrofit for light metro be longer than right now.

There will not be a technology change.
 

sunnyside

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Yes, they do. Also, the province is already looking over high concept info for Sheppard.



What unique engineering solutions do envision for the eastern extension? The west side does have the not entirely small matter of crossing over/under the West Don River (Earl Bales Park)



I would say yes........but there are discussions about inline storage. But that comes w/hassles; the trains still cleaning and light maintenance; even w/o the yards. What is certainly not practical is nightly moves from Wilson via Line 1



There will not be a technology change.
By engineering challenges I meant going elevated to make the business case work better, which goes hand in hand with switching to light metro. Crossing the don in the west will be a challenge, but we have experience doing that and it’s still less of a headache than attempting something like elevating the line (for Toronto). Of course, you mentioned switching tech is likely off the table- I don’t see why, but this has been discussed ad nauseum before so if there isn’t a concrete reason besides the added upfront cost, then it’s not worth delving into.

I’m not as familiar with yard issues and how storage works in general, I’m not that far into railfanning over the TTC (yet). I just know Wilson yard access is a factor in why we would want to connect to YUS. In line storage seems like it’d set the precedent we don’t plan on ever running 24-hour service anywhere. While it makes sense for the TTC as is, I don’t see it as being a valid thing to plan for on what is most likely a 20 year time frame.

On the topic of tech change, I don’t necessarily envision full Ontario line-style conversion anymore. While perhaps ideal, realistically operating shorter trains can provide the same utility, no? The end goal is to make the eastern construction (and western if we so desire) cheaper with shorter stations and trains that can take steeper inclines. The hurdle would be to overturn the status quo platform lengths we build, which are quite long (especially for sheppard).

What I’m trying to get at is we should pursue whatever tech can provide continuous service from sheppard west to mccowan as affordably as possible, without sacrificing service quality. I don’t think train/platform length would compromise that even in a high-demand scenario.
 

11th

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These GO Train/TTC transfers pale compared to a typical subway station. The same way that GO route ridership pales compared to TTC ridership.

We make fun of the low Line 4 ridership - but it's still, what, about 15 million a year (pre-Covid). Stouffville line, even with improved service, was only 1.8 million just before COVID. Lakeshore West (the busiest line) is still only 9 million!

A good transfer station for the Stouffville line is GO Kennedy - but the ridership is only 252 a day! Bizarrely, despite very little service, Oriole is 564 a day. Meanwhile the second lowest subway (everything except Line 3) station is Bessarion with 3,290 a day. The lowest Line 1/2/4 station is now Downsview Park (a GO interchange) at only 3,090 a day in 2019.

Okay you say - they aren't running 15-minute service yet. But Exhibition GO only has 3,500 a day, while Danforth GO is only 1,500! Even Oakville GO only has 5,400 - a decent amount - but compare to TTC Kipling at 51,824 (Kipling GO is a relatively respectable 1,100). TTC Islington is 42,930, and even the relatively quiet TTC Royal York is 21,395. For all the fun we make of Chester station, it's 6,470!
This goes back to the fare integration situation. Combined with increased service, ridership of those GO lines will jump if the last leg of a trip doesn't cost another $3.20.
 

Northern Light

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I’m not as familiar with yard issues and how storage works in general, I’m not that far into railfanning over the TTC (yet). I just know Wilson yard access is a factor in why we would want to connect to YUS. In line storage seems like it’d set the precedent we don’t plan on ever running 24-hour service anywhere. While it makes sense for the TTC as is, I don’t see it as being a valid thing to plan for on what is most likely a 20 year time frame.

Inline storage is not being considered in the way you think, there is no contemplation of parking trains in stations or on mainline track. Consideration is being given to parking in tail tracks and pocket tracks.

On the topic of tech change, I don’t necessarily envision full Ontario line-style conversion anymore. While perhaps ideal, realistically operating shorter trains can provide the same utility, no?

The TTC /Province are looking at extending the length of Sheppard trains to six cars. Shorter rolling stock than existing is not under consideration.

The end goal is to make the eastern construction (and western if we so desire) cheaper with shorter stations and trains that can take steeper inclines. The hurdle would be to overturn the status quo platform lengths we build, which are quite long (especially for sheppard).

That is not on the table at this time.

What I’m trying to get at is we should pursue whatever tech can provide continuous service from sheppard west to mccowan as affordably as possible, without sacrificing service quality. I don’t think train/platform length would compromise that even in a high-demand scenario.

A fair point, potentially, but not the most likely path right now. But things can always change, we're a long way from an EA never mind a tendering.
 

sunnyside

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Inline storage is not being considered in the way you think, there is no contemplation of parking trains in stations or on mainline track. Consideration is being given to parking in tail tracks and pocket tracks.



The TTC /Province are looking at extending the length of Sheppard trains to six cars. Shorter rolling stock than existing is not under consideration.



That is not on the table at this time.



A fair point, potentially, but not the most likely path right now. But things can always change, we're a long way from an EA never mind a tendering.
I see what you mean about storage now. Are the rail tracks which exist now not used for storing trains?

I see why shorter trains aren’t under consideration. I presume elevated in general isn’t something the ttc is seriously considering network wide? much less going from a bored tunnel on line 4.

Broadly, sounds to me like the only way line 4 will be extended east OR west is the same way we have been building subways in Toronto for decades. Bored and with large stations. Is there anything in your opinion that can be done to value engineer this to make it a more palatable (quicker to fund) project?
 

Northern Light

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I see what you mean about storage now. Are the rail tracks which exist now not used for storing trains?

@smallspy would likely know more than I; but I don't believe there's any overnight storage on Line 1 or 2; I recall the idea was toyed w/implemented partially on Line 4, I think.

I see why shorter trains aren’t under consideration. I presume elevated in general isn’t something the ttc is seriously considering network wide? much less going from a bored tunnel on line 4.

Any new lines will generally be Mx-led projects; they will have a significant say; but in the case of Sheppard, or any other extension of an existing subway, the nature of the rolling stock used makes it a bit less likely, particularly on any narrower ROW street.

Sheppard has a wide enough cross-section to support elevated, if that were desired; but I'd be surprised to see it happen; at the very least, the existing elevations dictated that any eastern extension will be underground to about Victoria Park, as it must clear the 404/DVP underground before any rise could be considered.

Broadly, sounds to me like the only way line 4 will be extended east OR west is the same way we have been building subways in Toronto for decades. Bored and with large stations. Is there anything in your opinion that can be done to value engineer this to make it a more palatable (quicker to fund) project?

I don't know about VE per se; but the province and TTC would save money over time, and would be better able to amortize costs with a continuous-build model.

By which I mean, build out 1-2 stations, open them and keep going opening 1-2 stations every 1-2 years until you're done. This brings in revenue sooner and allows for continuous process improvement.

Instead we try to build 5-15 station segments/lines all at once.

****

The biggest single savings the province could ever achieve on a subway project is to debt-finance it, itself. Because we use a P3 model in which the bidder takes the debt on their books, the bidder
pays commercial interest rates, that are at least 3% above what the government would pay, if not 4, 5 or 6% higher.

Imagine a 5B principle, and you realize that an extra point of interest is equal to 50M extra in costs in the 1st year alone.

And will add well over 500M over the life of a project. (til the debt is paid off)...........So its not hard math to see what the impact of 3 or 4 extra points of interest is......
 

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