Toronto Streetcar Line Gets Upgrade

New synthetic rubber sleeve on street car rails to extend life of system in Toronto

Published: 30-Dec-2003

Bad news first: starting in the spring, the Toronto Transit Commission plans to rip up and replace the entire streetcar line on College Street, all the way from Landsdowne Avenue in the west end, along Carlton Street from Yonge Street to Jarvis Street, and along Gerrard Street East to Coxwell Avenue.

Yes, it will be one unholy mess. But here's the good news: the TTC, in an innovation now copied by transit systems across North America, wraps all its new streetcar rail in a synthetic rubber sleeve, making the rail so shock-resistant the TTC won't have to replace it for at least another 25 years.

"It absorbs energy and allows the stresses to be transmitted without breaking the concrete," explains Jim Teeple, Superintendent -- Streetcar Way, in his office at the Duncan Shops, the streetcar and bus repair yards on Bathurst Street. "The design life is 25 years but we're expecting 35 years."

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