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TTC: Sheppard Subway Extension (Proposed)

Since I’m not familiar enough with riding boundaries… could an extension beyond McCowan be a political play? It’d be easy to infer right now that the continuous study area/line is not meant to be continuous (
this is the direction i'd like to see take shape if they are going to expand Line 4 at all.

a true orbital line would be even better.

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this is veering towards complete fantasy, but an orbital line like this would have connections to every TTC & GO line (excluding Lakesore East) and that would be immensely beneficial to the entire system in my opinion.
realign the western bit to the 427 and you have what’s actually planned as heavy rail minus Pearson-Downsview. And imho, that short link will get proposed at some point, although the prerequisite lines will have to built first. Id run it via the Kitchener rail corridor and Wilson, so basically what you’ve shown, but with a different approach to Sheppard West via a new Wilson GO. The Triangle transfer will create better coverage for the site and reduce capacity issues down the road.

Something I wanted to bring up earlier is that I interpret the study section east of McCowan in one of two ways:

First, this ends up being part of the Eglinton East LRT as planned, and it just needs to show up on the map because it’s relevant to “Sheppard Rapid Transit”. It certainly won’t get built at the same time in this scenario.

Second, this is actually going to all be one long line all the way past Malvern. Now conceivably that could be mixed-grade LRT, but Sheppard will almost certainly be a metro. So, that’s only possible if we go elevated in the east- believable since the costs of at-grade vs elevated are closing on one another. Now does this make sense? Maybe not, but given the premises, we’d only need to find the governments reason. Is there a particular political incentive to bring heavy rail that far east? Open question to everyone.
 
this is the direction i'd like to see take shape if they are going to expand Line 4 at all.

a true orbital line would be even better.

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this is veering towards complete fantasy, but an orbital line like this would have connections to every TTC & GO line (excluding Lakesore East) and that would be immensely beneficial to the entire system in my
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I think that an orbital line would be better located along the 427/407 corridors (and is probably being planned along there). Would hit more development nodes (Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, and Pickering), intersect with all GO Lines + Yonge University twice.
 

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I think that an orbital line would be better located along the 427/407 corridors (and is probably being planned along there). Would hit more development nodes (Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, and Pickering), intersect with all GO Lines + Yonge University twice.

this works too of course. this would be similar to the Suburban Rail Loop plan in Melbourne I guess, but where would it intersect with Line 4?

do you envision this line to be a new GO line, a light metro or LRT?
 
this works too of course. this would be similar to the Suburban Rail Loop plan in Melbourne I guess, but where would it intersect with Line 4?
I don't think it intersects with Line 4. Which is fine, the orbital Line doesn't have to intersect with every line.
do you envision this line to be a new GO line, a light metro or LRT?

It would probably be some kind of Light Metro in my opinion, but owned and operated by Metrolinx. There's no benefit for a low-floor train b/c we're running this in its own ROW most of the time, and a heavy GO bilevel train is overkill / cumbersome for the kind of ducking and weaving this line will have to do to avoid the highways and overpasses.
 
Conversion to LRT seems like a non-starter.
Politically maybe, but I think the case could be made in terms of connectivity with the Finch West LRT at the west end at the Eglinton East LRT at the east end.
I agree that interlining, particularly through core sections, seems like bad idea, especially while we exist in a world of open platforms that are one looney tune short of shutting down the whole system. If we had PSDs and the ability to bypass stations with security incidents, maybe. But then any security incident on a train that leads to that train stopping shuts down the whole system.
This proposal though would create two entirely operationally independent subway routes in Downtown Toronto. Even in Midtown, operational issues on the Yonge Line would have no impact on the Spadina Line. Also, if you have perpendicular routes interlined (Yonge and Bloor-Danforth), if there is a problem on one you could temporarily revert to segregated operations to avoid a cascading issue. For example, in a theoretical Yonge-Bloor interline, you would have 1 Yonge-Bloor, 2 Bloor-Danforth, 3 Yonge-Danforth. Should there be an issue, 1 and 3 could be truncated at St. George and Bay respectively, with service increased on 2 to make up for the frequency shortfall.

Option 2 is preferable, as the future new sections can be added for less. A smaller footprint and the ability to handle steeper grades and sharper turns will result in better routing options.

But Metrolinx will probably select option 1, build from Sheppard West to McCowan, and won't care about making any future extensions easier or cheaper.
This really does need to be looked at from a network perspective. The Yonge extension to Richmond Hill isn't going to make congestion on the Yonge Line any better, and a straight shot, operationally-independent Sheppard Line is going to dump even more people onto Yonge. If the subway option is chosen, interlining at least gives people a transfer-less option to get downtown that avoids Yonge.

To me though, the utility of the Ontario Line is the ability to be able to branch as it gets further away from downtown. The technology choice for the OL will allow for ridiculously high frequencies on the trunk portion of the line, so even having 2-3 branches in suburban areas will still give you pretty good frequencies on each of them. By having the eastern leg split when it reaches Sheppard & Victoria Park, you are in effect giving the entire Sheppard corridor a direct-to-downtown ride that avoids the Yonge Line completely.

The technology choice also gives you much greater flexibility when trying to squeeze into existing rail corridors as compared with TTC Subway heavy rail, which makes lower cost extensions along rail corridors further into suburbia a realistic proposition. It's also more politically feasible to elevate as compared with TTC Subway heavy rail, which means even if you do want to run it along a major avenue instead of a path of less resistance like a rail corridor, you have far more options.

I think if LRT was chosen high floor would make a lot more sense, would mean less significant construction needed on the U/G section - really just platform extensions. Would also make a future conversion to full subway possible.
In isolation yes, absolutely. But as soon as you go high floor you lose interoperability with Finch West and Eglinton East, which I think would be the biggest selling point for that plan.
 
In no way shape or form would this line be converted. I'm just gonna assume it's gonna be a subway extension, I do agree, some of this route section should be elevated, as much as possible. Also I don't agree that it should divert to STC, it should remain on Sheppard so it can be a true crosstown line
 
Also I don't agree that it should divert to STC, it should remain on Sheppard so it can be a true crosstown line
This might sound like a stupid idea, but purely hypothetically they could build both branches, one diverting to STC and the other staying on Sheppard, to settle the debate. Same thing with the YNSE: one branch staying on Yonge, another diverting to the RH corridor. Unfortunately, this is most likely a non-starter in a city like Toronto.
 
This might sound like a stupid idea, but purely hypothetically they could build both branches, one diverting to STC and the other staying on Sheppard, to settle the debate. Same thing with the YNSE: one branch staying on Yonge, another diverting to the RH corridor. Unfortunately, this is most likely a non-starter in a city like Toronto.
Reminds me of Viva Purple. :p
 
This might sound like a stupid idea, but purely hypothetically they could build both branches, one diverting to STC and the other staying on Sheppard, to settle the debate. Same thing with the YNSE: one branch staying on Yonge, another diverting to the RH corridor. Unfortunately, this is most likely a non-starter in a city like Toronto.
That sounds like a lot of added work just to bypass 1 single stop,
 
In no way shape or form would this line be converted. I'm just gonna assume it's gonna be a subway extension, I do agree, some of this route section should be elevated, as much as possible. Also I don't agree that it should divert to STC, it should remain on Sheppard so it can be a true crosstown line
How does diversion to STC make it not cross-town? It links it directly with the Durham Scarborough BRT, which has an E/W cross-town function and which will eventually be upgraded. Extending on Sheppard beyond McCowan serves little point as there is not much development on the north side of the 401 around the Zoo. Whatever N/S bus lines there are, such as Morningside, can use Line 2 McCowan station as a terminal. If Line 4 is extended eastwards toward Pickering, along Ellesmere makes far more sense than Sheppard and the 401.
 
More to the point, why are we even building the DSBRT along Ellesmere if Sheppard is the designated 'crosstown' ROW. The BRT should deliver people to a major interchange. If Line 4 goes to McCowan, then 'crosstown' trips will have to use the BRT to STC, transfer on Line 2, go north one stop and transfer to Line 4. Some cross-town solution we're building, with 10 minutes of wasted transfer time!

Is the response that Sheppard E beyond McCowan has very little on it, while Ellesmere has a major university campus and hospital? You don't say. Perhaps Ellesmere would be more relevant for cross-town, regional trips.
 
This really does need to be looked at from a network perspective. The Yonge extension to Richmond Hill isn't going to make congestion on the Yonge Line any better, and a straight shot, operationally-independent Sheppard Line is going to dump even more people onto Yonge. If the subway option is chosen, interlining at least gives people a transfer-less option to get downtown that avoids Yonge.

Yes, that would have some relieving impact on Yonge. Sheppard subway riders from the east, whose destination is somewhere west of Yonge, will happily avoid the Yonge line altogether. They will stay on their Sheppard train as it continues south down the Allen Road tracks, and then transfer to Line 2 or to a surface route.

To me though, the utility of the Ontario Line is the ability to be able to branch as it gets further away from downtown. The technology choice for the OL will allow for ridiculously high frequencies on the trunk portion of the line, so even having 2-3 branches in suburban areas will still give you pretty good frequencies on each of them. By having the eastern leg split when it reaches Sheppard & Victoria Park, you are in effect giving the entire Sheppard corridor a direct-to-downtown ride that avoids the Yonge Line completely.

Ah, interlining Ontario Line and the converted Sheppard? I didn't think of that initially, only thought about the fleet sharing and carhouse. But yes, that's an option; say half of the OL trains reach Sheppard and then continue along Sheppard to the eastern terminus.

The technology choice also gives you much greater flexibility when trying to squeeze into existing rail corridors as compared with TTC Subway heavy rail, which makes lower cost extensions along rail corridors further into suburbia a realistic proposition. It's also more politically feasible to elevate as compared with TTC Subway heavy rail, which means even if you do want to run it along a major avenue instead of a path of less resistance like a rail corridor, you have far more options.

If the Sheppard line is expected to continue west past Dufferin, and/or east past McCowan, then it is likely that the convertion to light metro is the cheaper option overall. Easier to go elevated, easier to squeeze through tight spaces, make sharp turns etc.

Unfortunately, I expect Metrolinx to optimize Phase 1; whatever it is but probably Dufferin to Yonge plus Don Mills to McCowan. Once the goal is set like that, keeping the existing technology is probably cheaper and definitely comes with fewer surprises at the construction time.

Thus, we get the heavy-rail subway from Dufferin all the way to McCowan. And then we will have to forget about convertion.
 

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