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Yonge Express Subway (Y.E.S)

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FOR CONSIDERATION: A YONGE EXPRESS SUBWAY

1) A regional vision of an express subway on Yonge has never been
tested. This would include an express subway on Yonge between Eglinton and Union, duplicating the original 1950's line. The new operation would take
the current service from Lawrence and north, including the extension of the
Yonge line to Richmond Hill. On the southern portion of this Yonge Express
Subway (Y.E.S.) there would be new stations at Eglinton, Bloor, Queen, and
Union, either under, beside, or near their existing counterparts.

2) The balance of the Yonge-University-Spadina (Y-U-S) subway, from old
Eglinton to Downsview, would remain operated as it is now and provide the
local service between Union Station and Eglinton.

3) As a separate operation the Y.E.S. would eliminate concerns about capacity and service reliability on the Yonge line and greatly reduce travel times along an existing activity corridor. The TTC is saying another subway is
needed to divert travel demand away from Yonge, why not another subway
actually on the critical part of Yonge? The higher benefit could cover the
higher cost, one won't know until the two are compared.

4) The TTC has reacted to the Yonge extension to Richmond Hill with many good questions. Why were these points not brought up at the time the RTP was being developed? Nevertheless, there is broad concern that there is
insufficient capacity on the Yonge line as it is, expected to be overloaded by
extending to Richmond Hill and feeding in traffic from other Transit City
and Metrolinx lines, and despite stop-gap investments in new, higher
capacity, cars.

5) The Downtown Relief Line currently being discussed would be about 6km long with perhaps seven stations (Pape/Danforth, Pape/Gerrard, Pape/Queen,
Queen/Broadview, Queen/Parliament, Queen/Yonge, Queen/University). This
involves integration with existing stations at three points. The TTC also
indicates that substantial improvements are needed to Yonge/Bloor station,
along with full implementation of automatic train control (ATC) on the
entire integrated Y-U-S line, to meet Yonge line demands.

6) The southern portion of the Yonge Express Subway would be about 6.5km and include four stations (Eglinton, Bloor, Queen, Union).

7) There does not seem to be a significant difference, at this preliminary
strategic scale, of building either line. One is 6km, 7 stations, with 3
integrated stations plus Yonge/Bloor improvements, and the other 6.5km, 4
stations and 4 integrated stations, one of them Yonge/Bloor.

8) With the Y.E.S. the regional-scale north-south demand identified by
Metrolinx would met with speedy attractive service along a proven activity
corridor. The Metrolinx plan for a regional express train with service
every 15 minutes in the Don Valley could be dropped. Would we really
prefer a train every 7.5 minutes (either direction) in a fenced-off
right-of-way through the Don Valley, with no interchange at Yonge and
Eglinton, or Yonge and Bloor? The cost of a connection from the valley
floor to Castle Frank or Broadview to would be quite high.

9) Other, more minor details. The yard and shop for the Y.E.S. would probably end up in York Region, possibly adjacent to Highway 407, possibly totally enclosed in a shed, possibly built upon. The end-of-the-line terminal at Union provides a starting point for further extensions west and north-west,
as well as through the port lands and further east, and north-east.

10) Finally, and quite secondary to the basic economic evaluation except when it comes to cost estimates and timing, the procurement and operation of the new line would not need to be integrated into the TTC's existing
service. The existing North Yonge and Sheppard subways would need to be
included with the operation of the Y.E.S., but the remainder of the
Yonge-University-Spadina subway from old Eglinton to Downsview would remain operated as it is now.

11) We should evaluate the Y.E.S. before we commit to subway business-as-usual on Yonge Street, or elsewhere downtown.

END
 

jamesbow

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The idea of a Yonge Express subway has come up occasionally, but I think the engineering challenge of putting in something beneath or beside the Yonge line south of Bloor, not to mention the nightmarish challenge of the Bloor/Yonge interchange, would make the line prohibitively expensive, and while it would add capacity to the Yonge line, it wouldn't have the DRL's advantage of adding to the transit network. For me, the benefit of the DRL is that it provides relief to the south Yonge line, as well as providing rapid transit support to the very urban neighbourhoods of Queen East and St. Lawrence, and a gateway to the Portlands.

That being said, it's worth pointing out that the Yonge line south of Eglinton is of a completely different character compared to the Yonge line north of Eglinton. North of Eglinton, the Yonge line is essentially an express, with stations spaced over 1 km apart, and subways able to get up to considerable speed. South of Yonge, station distance compresses dramatically, and while south Yonge provides excellent local service in support of the street, it adds travel time for those heading downtown from points further north.

If only we could split the two lines apart, with trains running from Eglinton south providing local service, and Yonge trains from Finch gaining an express run towards the downtown.

Now, it's important to note that much of the Yonge line north of Bloor was built in open cut, which might make the engineering challenge of getting express tracks south of Eglinton easier. With a redesign of Davisville station to an island platform (not hard), express tracks could operate on either side of the two local tracks. There'd be some tunnelling to do at St. Clair (where the side platforms could become twin island platforms allowing both express and local trains to stop, but the tracks could easily bypass Summerhill and Rosedale stations. Then comes the question of how to get to Bloor.

Back when the Spadina subway was being designed, the mayor of North York (possibly Mel) suggested that the line follow Davenport Road to Yonge street and connect to the Yonge line just south of Rosedale station. A further junction near the Ellis Portal would allow the line to travel to Lower Bay station, and continue onto the University tracks, thus making the Yonge-University subway into a downtown loop that Spadina and Yonge trains could alternate around. The idea was quickly dropped, but I think that if the Yonge express tracks dove underground at the Ellis Portal and curved west, they could access Lower Bay station for an efficient and easily-built connection to the Bloor-Danforth subway.

Then where does the line go from there? The University line is also close to capacity. Do we tunnel beneath that and offer express stops at Osgoode and Union, or go a different route? Something to think about, anyway.

...James
 

GraphicMatt

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These sorts of express line proposals seem to fit better with GO Transit than the TTC to me.

Outside of New York, are there a lot of other subway systems that have express lines?
 

cacruden

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I think it would be better to have the municipalities north of Toronto develop some sort of EW transit (if it does not already exists), which crosses the NS subway lines and the GO lines and integrate those to develop an Express service if needed. I would prefer another NS subway root west of Yonge, and east of Spadina (part of DRL phase II or III) which would take people directly south instead of them all coming to the only NS subway line - that will reduce the load for a long time into the future.
 

Hypnotoad

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These sorts of express line proposals seem to fit better with GO Transit than the TTC to me.

Outside of New York, are there a lot of other subway systems that have express lines?
Why not build an express from Richmond Hill Centre to Leslie/Oriole to Union on the GO line? Instead of the traditional double-decker GO train they could use smaller ones (think an elongated O-train) running every few minutes on dedicated lines. It would probably be cheaper to build and faster. Then commuters can just alight at Union and double back on the the subway to Bloor.
 

golodhendil

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These sorts of express line proposals seem to fit better with GO Transit than the TTC to me.

Outside of New York, are there a lot of other subway systems that have express lines?
Chicago, Philadelphia, London (of course none are as extensive as that in NYC). Some systems like Boston, London and many systems in Japan have a comparable situation, where the metro shares corridors with commuter/mainline rail with the latter running as "express" for the more "local" subway.
 

Disparishun

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Any proposal like this needs to be evaluated against two simple, and related, questions.

1. How much more expensive would it be to build this, than to improve -- physically integrate, electrify, run at express-subway intervals, add a stop at Eglinton, and render similar in all relevant details -- the RH GO line?

2. How many more rides would this attract than would a similarly-outfitted RH GO line (running at similar intervals and speeds and with an Eglinton stop)?

I suspect that the answers to these questions indicate that the RH GO line is the best candidate for a Yonge express line. The key difference is that it is, obviously, more east-end-skewed. However, would any disadvantages that flow from that not be made up for by significant cost savings?

For that matter, would there be such great disadvantages flowing from an east-end skew, in light of the significant density built up and being built up in east North York/west Scarborough, the LRT connections, etc.?

Why not build an express from Richmond Hill Centre to Leslie/Oriole to Union on the GO line? Instead of the traditional double-decker GO train they could use smaller ones (think an elongated O-train) running every few minutes on dedicated lines. It would probably be cheaper to build and faster. Then commuters can just alight at Union and double back on the the subway to Bloor.
Exactly. I think exploring this sort of proposal, along with related necessary retrofits (Leslie/Oriole integrated) is along the right track. I think you'd still want to keep Old Cummer (especially if you built the Stubway Bypass LRT to interconnect with it), though, and even add a stop on Eglinton to interconnect with the Eglinton LRT.

No doubt this would influence DRL alignment, however, as allowing an invigorated north-south express line to interconnect with an east-west subway line would be an important consideration.
 
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Disparishun

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I think it would be better to have the municipalities north of Toronto develop some sort of EW transit (if it does not already exists), which crosses the NS subway lines and the GO lines and integrate those to develop an Express service if needed.
407 Transitway.
 

prosperegal

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Let me get this straight. The YES will stop at every station until Eglinton, which will then skip stations? Will it run on the same track until Lawrence?
 

nfitz

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A great idea ... and a no-brainer if we were building the entire subway from scratch now.

But how much would it cost? I think for the time being (like the next 50 years) the money would be better spent elsewhere. But we should be thinking ahead. Presumably, ultimately, the DRL line will head up Don Mills Road - and I bet it isn't long before York is trying to extend that line to Markham. We should be making sure express tracks are easier to add to that line.
 

Coruscanti Cognoscente

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The benefits of this project I think are far outweighed by the costs. Why so much effort to give people in the north end a fast subway ride to downtown? If they want fast, that's what GO is for. Spending the money on the DRL makes far more sense, and serves new riders and builds a bigger network.
 

Hipster Duck

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These sorts of express line proposals seem to fit better with GO Transit than the TTC to me.

Outside of New York, are there a lot of other subway systems that have express lines?
No, but practically every major city outside of the Americas has electric regional rail service which serves the same purpose as an express subway at a lower cost.
 

prosperegal

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No, but practically every major city outside of the Americas has electric regional rail service which serves the same purpose as an express subway at a lower cost.
Which is exactly why I thought the Transit City proposal which came out a couple of years ago was dumb not to have anything below Bloor. I even made a comment at a TTC event open to the public, and guess what they said?

"It's in the works for 'phase 2'" or something to that extent. I was like "but we need it NOW!"
 

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