New flyover video shows how far Finch West LRT project has come this year

The Finch West LRT project continues to move forward. Underground stations are being dug out, surface stops are coming along, and vehicles are being tested. Read about the construction progress as this new transit route comes into focus.

Talking about construction progress is one thing, seeing it with your own eyes is a whole other thing.

Despite plenty of wind, sleet, and snow, the Finch West light rail transit (LRT) team is making lots of progress in the first quarter of 2022.

This year marks the beginning of big visual changes across the line, but don’t take our word for it, check out the new flyover video of the LRT route for yourself.

Stations update

Bookending the Finch West LRT are two major underground stations, Humber College Station on the west, and Finch West Station on the east. Both stations have reached major milestones, including excavation completion in March. Here are the stats:

Finch West Station:
– 20 metres deep  
– 65,000 m3 of soil – enough to fill 26 Olympic-sized pools
Humber College Station:
– 8 metres deep  
– 200,000 m3 of soil – enough to fill 3150 shipping containers

With excavation complete at both stations, teams have started installing rebar and pouring concrete for the internal structures, including walls and concourse slabs.

Expect to see lots of progress shots and videos from these stations throughout 2022.

Guideway progress

Between these two stations, construction work to complete 11 km of guideway – the dedicated rail median running down the centre of Finch Avenue West – as well as 16 surface stops, is well underway.

Major progress this year will take place between Weston Road and Martin Grove Road, including guideway construction, track installation, stop construction, overhead catenary system construction and cabling.

To date, more than two kilometers of track have been installed and approximately 30 per cent of the guideway’s concrete slab has been poured, primarily between Romfield Lane and York Gate Boulevard.

Teams are currently focusing on the area extending from York Gate Boulevard to Norfinch Drive and completing pours between Islington Avenue, Albion Drive, and John Garland Boulevard. As soon as the concrete sets, track installation will start.

Concrete and structural work for 11 of the 16 surface stops will be complete this year, with the five remaining stops scheduled for completion in 2023.

Work on architectural elements like shelters and benches, as well as safety features like traffic barriers and communications systems, will continue into 2023.

Image shows a large construction area.
A look at Finch West station. (Metrolinx photo)

Maintenance facility and LRV testing

Just northwest of Jane Street and Finch Avenue, you’ll find the operations centre of the Finch West LRT – the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF).

Here, light rail vehicles (LRVs) will be housed, repaired, cleaned, and tested.

With its exterior structure complete, focus is shifting to technical work on the interior, including the installation of a state-of-the-art control centre where LRT operations will be monitored in real-time.

Preliminary testing work took place in February, with an LRV travelling 700 metres down York Gate Boulevard and onto Finch Avenue West for the first time.

The team is reviewing critical data gathered from this test, with plans to begin performing longer tests at increased speeds in the coming months. Throughout this year, the MSF will serve as the headquarters for vehicle testing work, as LRVs venture onto the mainline tracks for testing milestones that will allow for safe and reliable operation.

two LRVs in the yard being tested with snow on the ground
A look at the LRV testing that was happening earlier this year. (Metrolinx photo)

Electrification

No LRT line is complete without power.

This summer, the final two (of nine total) traction power substations (TPSS) will be delivered to their sites at Stevenson Road and the intersection of Pearldale Avenue and Ardwick Boulevard.

A TPSS converts power from the grid into a current and voltage usable to power the LRT.

Once all nine TPSS’ are in place, a period of rigorous safety reviews and testing will start. Following approval, the switch will be flipped and current will be able to flow along all installed overhead electrical cables.

2022 is shaping up to be a big year for the Finch West LRT project. Interested in learning more about the project? Go here.

Keep your eyes peeled to Metrolinx News and the Finch West Twitter page for more exciting updates throughout the year.

Story by Alex Iantorno, Metrolinx communications senior advisor