Check out this new track – Toronto’s Finch West LRT installs first rails at critical transit facility

It’s always a big deal when the first stretches of rail are put down along any section of a new transit line. So there’s reason to boast, when crews working on the Finch West Light Rail Transit system recently installed the first tracks at the Maintenance and Storage Facility. Here’s how it looked.

Think of it as ‘track one’.

Crews working on the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) route recently installed the first piece of track at the system’s Maintenance and Storage Facility. That site, located at 50 York Gate Blvd. in Toronto, will be a main centre for parking and working on the light rail vehicles.

Before laying the tracks, a crew spreads a layer of ballast (small rocks) on the ground for the concrete ties to sit on.

Image shows crews working on placing rail down.
Crews work on the first turnout section of rail. (Metrolinx photo)

The process called “ballasting” involves placing the ballast below and around the ties to create a solid base. The shape of the ballast helps rainwater to drain quickly from the tracks, even in the worse rainstorms. Once the rails are laid on the concrete ties, they are fastened in place using butterfly clips.

The 10,000 sq. metre facility will be able to hold 26 vehicles, and will include tracks running both eastbound and westbound.

Image shows a line of new rails on concrete support.
The first stretch of rail at the important Finch Ave. LRT facility. (Metrolinx photo)

Which is why the first tracks are a bit special – even though, in the end, there will be 11 kilometres of new rapid transit running along Finch Ave. West, starting at Keele St. and moving to Humber College, at Humber College Blvd. and Highway 27.

So more tracks to come – but for the Maintenance and Storage Facility, a great opening number.

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