Eglinton Crosstown LRT vehicles make their way to the east end for the first time

Metrolinx News continues to bring you the latest developments on the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. Today (May 25), marks the first of several Crosstown vehicle deliveries from the maintenance and storage facility on the west end of the LRT route to Toronto’s east end for testing. Take a look behind the scenes as their journey begins.

Move over station construction, here come the trains.

Up until now, most of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) updates have involved station progress happening along Eglinton Avenue for the future LRT line.

But now, starting today (May 25), the first of six light rail vehicles (LRVs) will be moved from the Eglinton maintenance and storage facility (EMSF) to Rosemount Drive on the at-grade section of the route by transport truck.

The vehicles will be delivered, with a police escort, one at a time this week and next week.

Vehicle delivery will take approximately two to three hours as the vehicle makes its way across the city, down Highway 401, until it reaches its destination at Rosemount Drive. 

The first Crosstown light rail vehicle in transit on the way to start the testing journey. (Metrolinx video)

Vehicle testing and commissioning will continue to take place between June and December, with a focus on the area between Science Centre Station and Kennedy Station.

More info on vehicle testing

The testing includes a few phases, including clearance and static testing where crews conduct a walking inspection with the vehicle running up to 5 km/h between Laird and Kennedy on eastbound and westbound tracks, ensuring vehicles can pass and clear all poles, signals and other infrastructure along the route.

This phase also ensures the overhead catenary system works properly. Crews will make sure the wires interface correctly with the vehicle pantograph (the big arm that comes off the vehicle to contact the wires) and will be manually cranking and clamping switches for the vehicles to crossover at turn back locations to ensure clearances.

Later this summer, more substantial vehicles testing will take place. In July, crews will be testing vehicles under conditions as if they were in service. This means train cars coupled together, increased speed testing, brake tests, and concurrent vehicle testing.

While these are exciting times, Metrolinx officials are reminding  all pedestrians, motorists and cyclists that these are still active construction sites and to continue to exercise caution around these areas.

Keep watching as the other vehicles make their trek to the other side of the LRT route and testing starts along Eglinton in the upcoming months. Watch out for more Crosstown progress on Metrolinx News and follow the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project on social media to get all the scoop.  

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx rapid transit senior advisor