Laying tracks is a major step in building the Finch West LRT, a system that will connect with the TTC, York Region and Peel Region transit service. Read on to learn more about how it’s coming along.
How much track needs to be laid for a new light rail transit (LRT) line? The answer is not as straightforward as it might seem.
The Finch West LRT will run along Finch Avenue West in Toronto from Keele Street to Highway 27. The portion along which customers will ride, referred to as the “mainline”, comprises 10.3 kilometres.
The most obvious guess of total track length would therefore be 20.6 kilometres, accounting for the twin tracks that will line the route.
However, beyond just two parallel tracks, there are additional pieces of trackwork that add significantly to this total.
The maintenance and storage facility (MSF) contains 4.4 kilometres of track in both the yard and facility’s interior.
Connecting the MSF to the main line are entrance tracks that run out of the facility and down York Gate Boulevard, adding about 600 metres.
Additionally, in various places along the line, there are crossovers between the westbound and eastbound tracks to add operational flexibility – referred to as special trackwork – that add a notable amount of length.
In the case of the Finch West LRT, there are six single crossovers and one double crossover along the route.
When you add it all together approximately 25.6 kilometres of track will be installed for the Finch West LRT.
So far, Mosaic Transit Group (the builder of the project) has installed approximately 35 per cent of the grand total. This includes approximately four kilometres of track on the main line, all rail at the MSF, and the connection down York Gate Boulevard.
The section currently installed on the mainline between Sentinel Road and the MSF will be used for testing this year. Below is a diagram showing the progress so far:
Throughout 2022 and into 2023, crews will continue to make progress installing track. Expect to see more updates in the coming months.
Story by Alex Iantorno, Metrolinx communications senior advisor