Eglinton Crosstown on track for major milestone

Crews will have installed 10 kilometres of track on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project by December 2018

Laying the track for the Eglinton Crosstown’s future success isn’t easy. Just ask those behind the largest transit expansion in Toronto’s history.

Florin Merauta, chief of railway systems for Metrolinx, said it is a major undertaking involving 47 kilometres of track that will take about three years to complete.

“It’s not the installation that is a challenge,” Merauta said. “It is a matter of the co-ordination work.”

Eglinton Crosstown crews first started laying track on the $5.3 billion dollar project in August 2017. They went underground with their track work later that year.

The Eglinton Crosstown is a light rail transit (LRT) line that will run along Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis and Kennedy station. The 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive.

CTS_Track Infographic

By December 2018, crews are expected to reach the milestone of 10 kilometres of underground track installed. Track will need to be doubled along the entire 19-kilometre corridor to allow for trains to run in both directions.

The LRT route will have up to 25 stations and stops. It will link to 54 bus routes, three subway stations and various GO Transit lines.

By spring 2019, crews will face a new challenge when special track work begins.

Merauta says that’s when crews will move from their straight-line work to installing switches and crossover pieces.

“They are custom built for the alignment,” he said. “It’s not like laying a piece of railway in a straight line… those are more complicated installations.”

By late 2020, all 47 kilometres of track is scheduled to be installed and test trains will begin running the route.

The Eglinton Crosstown is scheduled to open in 2021.