Toronto – a city that’s always on the move, with exciting arts, culture, dining, business, and entertainment events that keep the city humming, 365 days a year. With the current global pandemic that pace has slowed somewhat, but throughout the uncertainty of COVID-19, front-line construction workers have continued to work toward a more connected future, advancing the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
In late April the project’s tunnel boring machines re-emerged from below ground, the path was cleared, and a train — or, more specifically, a light rail vehicle (LRV) – entered one of the crosstown tunnels for the very first time. According to Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency in charge of the project, an LRV 6216 travelled from the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility (EMSF), over Black Creek Drive, and into the westbound tunnel, stopping just short of the Keelesdale Station platform before heading back to the EMSF along the same route.
Check out the video of the inaugural journey below:
This marks a milestone in the Eglinton Crosstown LRT progress, the start of a testing and commissioning phase that will ensure the LRVs run smoothly and that the trackwork, overhead power, and communications systems on the new transit line meet stringent quality and performance standards. Before its official opening in 2022, each one of the Crosstown LRT’s 76 light rail vehicles will need to travel 600 kilometres on the test track, the proverbial first step in a journey that will keep people connected for decades to come.
When complete, Line 5 (the Crosstown’s moniker within the TTC) will include 25 stops between Mount Dennis station in the west and Kennedy Station in the east. The route will move people across town up to 60% faster, making it more convenient than ever to commute to work, run errands, grab a bite, or visit friends across the city – great news for anyone who lives near a stop, including future Collecdev residents at 44 Broadway, just two blocks away from Eglinton Station where you can also access the Yonge-University line.
With the Crosstown LRT residents can live in a neighbourhood they love, and remain connected to everything they need to live, work, and play across the city. A few steps and a few stops and you can be dining in the Upper Village or window shopping in the Golden Mile. You can be biting into the flaky golden pastry of a pain au chocolat, a house-made Jamaican patty with a scotch bonnet kick, or a juicy Portuguese chicken dripping with homemade piri piri sauce. The Crosstown LRT will offer a portal into so many different communities, putting the entire city within easy reach.
Representing an ambitious investment of $8.4 billion, the Crosstown LRT project is the largest transit expansion in the history of Toronto, creating thousands of design and construction jobs, and providing lasting economic benefits to the city. Service will run both underground and at street level with dedicated lanes for large parts of the journey, eliminating traffic delays.
With the first tunnel voyage now complete, the LRT is one step closer to uniting communities from east to west, creating a more connected city and a better way to get where you need to go.
The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is scheduled to open in 2022. For the latest construction updates and milestones visit the Crosstown website at thecrosstown.ca.
*Photo Credit: Metrolinx