Transit tech – How Crosstown will use magnetic detection to track light rail transit vehicles

As part of our continuing series on progress images from the Eglinton Crosstown transit project, we wanted to go small and big today. That includes large cavern work, but also the installation of interesting gizmos that will be an important backup system to help safely track light rail vehicles as they move along the Toronto route.

Crosstown has a certain magnetic quality.

More specifically, that attraction is captured in axle counters that are now being installed onto Eglinton light rail transit (LRT) rails. The devices are part of the automatic train control system that uses magnetic detection to track train wheels passing over top.

Image shows a small white electrical box, attached to the rails.

Here’s an example of the first axle counters being installed on Crosstown rails. (Metrolinx photo)

The magnetic counters are silent watchmen that click off and account for the movement of each light rail vehicle car – even monitoring which direction they are heading in. This way, transit officials know when a section of rail is clear or occupied.

The equipment is grounded in safety for the system – they are actually a backup detection method – and you can see one of the axle counters below.

While we’ve given you a look at a small piece of equipment that will do a big job on Crosstown, let’s go bigger – much bigger – for another recent photo.

This one is a dramatic image from Oakwood station, which is now in the process of installing waterproofing and constructing the final arch for the station cavern.

Image shows a large cavern with crews putting up plastic waterproofing sheets.

Oakwood Station is now undergoing waterproofing and work on the final arch for the station cavern. (Metrolinx photo)

The yellow strips are the waterproofing material.

To really get an understanding of the size of the cavern, take a look at the two Crosslinx Transit Solutions construction members standing toward the upper-middle of the photo.

Size counts – both big and small – on Crosstown.

For other recent Crosstown stories, go here. And keep checking back, as we approach the completion of the first Crosstown station.