UP Express reaches four year milestone – while customers deserve the praise

Brings back memories of how I was there at 5:30AM to be on the first revenue-service UP Express train. I was second in line and first to have a lost and the found item:

https://twitter.com/chrisjamesdrew/status/607301488373735424

Metrolinx News

No time off for the young Toronto Pearson rail shuttle, as it continues to carve out an iconic place in quick and convenient travels between Canada’s largest airport and the downtown core. But there is a bit of a party going on for riders.

Talk about an old transit soul in a young bloodline.

Today (June 6, 2019) UP Express marks its 4th anniversary, shuttling customers – travellers from near and very far – between Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto’s Union Station.

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And while still a relatively new system, it serves an estimated 11,000 riders each day – departing every 15 minutes for the 25-minute run, each direction.

UP Express began to roll on June 6, 2015, in time for the 2015 Pan American Games.

An UP Express train heads out of the Toronto airport, as the sun shines bright above. An UP Express train leaves Pearson International Airport, heading to Union Station. It’s been on line for four years.

In honour of the…

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On Track – Your first view of Toronto’s Crosstown’s light rail vehicles in motion

Great to see. Look forward to going to the Doors Open event on Saturday and seeing this LRV in person!

Metrolinx News

During our ongoing Crosstown Progress series, looking at every major element of Toronto’s Crosstown light rail transit project, we’ve seen work on the line, but haven’t seen the machines that will run on those rails. That changes today. Our Metrolinx light rail vehicles are being tested, and we can finally show you how they look while on the move.

Bigger than any baby, our next generation of transit vehicle is taking first public steps – and we could not be prouder.

 The giant doors of the Eglinton Crosstown Maintenance Facility, at Toronto’s Mount Dennis station, are swinging open, as Metrolinx unveils our line of new light rail vehicles (LRV). Before today, the tinkering and tightening has largely been far out of sight of the public. Now it’s time to open those bay doors and let our LRVs play – and be tested – outside.

“I had a chance…

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Behind the barriers of Union Station’s new Bay Concourse

Happy to have helped provide pictures for what the old Union Station Bay Concourse looked like before the renovation started.

Metrolinx News

Away from public view, the new section of Union Station is fast taking shape. Come this way to see for yourself.

A quarter inch of plywood. That’s what separates today from tomorrow for an important section of Canada’s most vital transit hub.

For customers and travellers who regularly use Union Station, it’s been impossible not to hear the bangs and clatter coming from beyond the construction walls at the east end of the building.

But today, we can lead you past those walls, to show you where construction on the Bay Concourse is today, and where it will head tomorrow.

A worker walks by a fence with a 'Danger' sign attached. A worker walks by a section of the Bay Concourse on April 30, 2019. (Photo by Matt Llewellyn)

The floors are poured, most of the railings are now being installed and later this year the City of Toronto, and its contractor, will pass over the baton to Metrolinx. At that…

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Hurontario LRT engineers innovative ‘Hwy. 403 flyover’

Great to see progress on the Hurontario LRT.

Metrolinx News

A busy interchange along the future Hurontario LRT route had the potential to create major congestion. Here’s how engineers resolved the complicated obstacle, ensuring traffic flow for both the LRT and your family’s SUV.

Actually, we can get you here from there.

Rathburn Road West is home to one of Mississauga’s largest transit hubs. On any given day, 1,800 MiWay buses pass through the City Centre Transit Terminal. Meanwhile more than 630 GO buses deliver travellers to one of the region’s busiest stations just down the street. It only makes sense the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT) line connects with the same stop.

Beyond transit, this bustling area also plays host to one of the largest shopping malls in the country, as well as Sheridan College’s Hazel McCallion campus.

The team working on the Hurontario LRT project faced a significant challenge – how to get commuters from Hurontario Street onto…

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The story of Toronto’s streetcar “bull’s eyes”

If you see a “bull’s eye” light on one of Toronto’s old streetcars still operating and want to know the history of them, here’s a great post by Sean Marshall.

Marshall's Musings

7566316174_524a59174e_o.jpgReplica of Toronto Railway Company streetcar #327 operates at the Halton County Radial Railway museum, with the unique glass bulbs visible below the metal “Belt Line” sign. Photo taken June 2012

In 1891, the Toronto Railway Company (TRC) was created, taking over the city’s streetcar system from its predecessor, the Toronto Street Railway. The TRC quickly began electrifying Toronto’s transit network, operating fifteen routes across the city. Electric streetcars were faster than horse-drawn trams, and passengers had difficulties figuring out which streetcar was theirs at night.

This was a problem as many streetcar routes overlapped. For example, Dupont and Avenue Road streetcars operated on Yonge Street south of Bloor, and Belt Line and Yonge streetcars both ran on Front Street. While the TRC had metal signs on the top and sides of each streetcar to denote the route, they weren’t illuminated. With electric light still in its infancy — arc…

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Can you make the grade as a GO train conductor? Take our exclusive quiz.

Happy to report I scored 10/10

Metrolinx News

Not a fair comparison to how well commuter train operators know their stuff, we’ve created a small test to give you a hint at how well trained they are.

If you thought learning the rules of the road was tough – remember how much the ‘merge’ sign terrified you – try becoming a GO Train conductor.

A set of three signal stands loom over rail lines, and a level crossing, on the Lakeshore East line. Signal lights wait to guide trains along the Lakeshore East line. (Photo by Hung Duc Hin)

According to Paul Robinson, manager of the training department at Bombardier, on top of spending countless hours learning every route, the conductors (officially known as GO commuter train operators) also need to memorize more than 100 possible signal combinations. To pass the test, they have to get 100 per cent – leaving no margin for error.

Signals are similar to the traffic lights you might see on the road. They tell the conductor what to do at the current signal and how to approach the…

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LRT Mythbusting: The Facts on Light Rail Transit

Metrolinx News

Many people think LRTs are the same as streetcars but that’s not quite the case. 

It’s like being mistaken for your twice-removed cousin.

Yes, you both pronounce ‘bagel’ oddly and are both allergic to black, wool socks, but that’s really where the similarities end.

 As Metrolinx works on expansive and remarkable light rail transit (LRT) projects – including in Mississauga, Hamilton and Toronto (Finch West and Eglinton Crosstown) – we often find ourselves answering the same question – “Isn’t an LRT just another streetcar?”

We have nothing against streetcars, but the two vehicles are more rail cousins than transit twins.

One of the biggest differences between an LRT and streetcars is that LRTs are run on their own dedicated right of way and have priority signaling at intersections. LRT is rapid transit, and won’t get stuck in traffic or compete for space with cars.

An LRT…

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