Can you hear me now? Radio mast pops up for Crosstown’s communications

Things are looking up for Crosstown. A new, vast mast has found a home at the central maintenance and storage facility. How tall is that, you ask?

The Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) project needs more than transit connection.

The Toronto project also requires a powerful communications network, to keep the system moving efficiently and safely. Recently, crews put up a 40-metre-tall radio mast at Crosstown’s Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility.

Because we like to put things into perspective, that’s around the same height as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, when you include the base, or how far most of PEI’s Confederation Bridge looms over the water.

The new tower mast will be a central radio system, responsible for keeping tabs on a light rail system that stretches across a busy, and at times loud, urban landscape.

Workers direct cranes raisiing a tower.

Part of the tower is raised into place. (Metrolinx photo)

It will allow for communication between operators and maintenance personnel, including dispatchers, mobile staff, and vehicle drivers.

There will be four radio sites along the alignment: EMSF and Kennedy Station will have 40 metre tall masts, Forest Hill Station and Laird Station will have roof-mounted masts that only rise 15 metres above ground level. Together, these sites will provide an effective coverage blanket across the Eglinton corridor.

And here’s an interesting fact about the colour – the mast at the EMSF site will be painted gray with two flashing red lights on top, in accordance with Navigations Canada requirements.

*Editor’s Note: the story was updated on Aug 25 to indicate only the communication mast at the EMSF site will have flashing red lights on top due to the proximity to Toronto Pearson Airport*

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx senior advisor, Rapid Transit