New technology means faster trips for Eglinton Crosstown LRT
Learn how automatic train control will help make future riders trip times shorter and safer.
Nov 23, 2023
The light rail vehicles that will carry passengers along the Eglinton Crosstown LRT route will do so with some of the latest technology.
Similar to other train systems in the region (TTC subways and GO Trains), the Crosstown LRT requires a signaling system to make sure trains can travel safely and efficiently up and down Eglinton.
For the Crosstown project in particular, the vehicles will be controlled using a state-of-the-art technology known as automatic train control (ATC).
This technology is already being used successfully in Japan, Europe, and in Toronto on the TTC’s Line 1.
ATC benefits riders in a few ways:
- Increased service frequency: trains can run more often and more closely together which means less waiting around for the next one
- Increased safety: train speed and braking adjustments can be made in real-time to ensure everyone gets where they need to go quickly and safely
- Faster trip times: Trains can be controlled autonomously while underground, travelling at faster speeds, which means a shorter commute
These are major improvements to older generation technology which required large gaps between trains to travel safely – which meant fewer and less frequent trains.
So how does ATC work?
All Crosstown LRT vehicles are equipped with onboard controller technology which transmits speed, braking distance and other important data back to the project control centre in real-time.
As the trains travel up and down the route, they pass over unique track markers called norming points and are continually monitored in the control centre with data collected from the train’s onboard computer and trackside equipment.
Inside the control centre, operators know the location of each train and can authorize train movements, speed, and braking based on the data coming in from the trains to maintain train frequency and spacing.
Crosstown work continues
Crosslinx (the project constructor) continues to ensure the project progresses successfully through the testing and commissioning phase.
This is a key phase of every transit project where experts ensure everything was designed, developed, and installed correctly before the project can open safely to customers.
Crews are currently testing everything from the running trains, station announcements to automatic control of track switches and ventilation systems in the tunnels.
by Scott Money Metrolinx editorial content manager