Oren’s Reading List: A Visit to the TTC Control Centre

I’ve had the opportunity to visit some areas of transit systems that are typically off limits to the public and have been able to take photographs that you can find on this website.  There are also times that I have had access to non-public parts of a transit system where photography is forbidden or I am asked not to share my photos online, and I abide by those requests out of respect for those who make them.  In 2007, I had the opportunity to visit the TTC Control Centre, the location from which the Toronto Transit Commission keeps the largest transit system in Canada and the third largest transit system in North America running smoothly.  On my visit, photography was not permitted.  The National Post obtained access and permission to photograph and write about what goes on in the control centre, also referred to as the TTC’s war room.  This is a scene that plays out behind the scenes of every transit agency as it attempts to keep trains and their passengers moving while constantly handling unexpected circumstances such as malfunctioning doors and emergency alarms.  And while you may not believe it, it might be a “net positive” to offload your train in the midst of a transit delay in order to keep everyone else moving.

Curious to have a glimpse behind the scenes at the TTC’s control centre?  Click here to read the National Post’s article.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: Riding an entire system in a day

The Vancouver Sun reports that today, a man named Stephen Quinlan intends to ride the entire Vancouver SkyTrain system in about 3 hours, in order to set the Guinness World Record for achieving the feat.  You can read about his preparations here.  I made no effort to set a record while doing so, but I did ride the entire Skytrain in a single day on August 7, 2007, back when it only had two lines and fewer stations.  It isn’t the first system I rode in an entire day, either.  The largest system I rode in a single day is the Washington, DC Metrorail (in 2002, when it only had 83 stations), but I have also explored the entire TTC Subway (2007), San Juan Tren Urbano (2016), Glasgow Underground (2005), Rome Metro (2008), Jerusalem Light Rail (on opening day in 2011) and Haifa Carmelit (2007) in a single day, and did the Tren Urbano, Jerusalem Light Rail, and Carmelit on a single fare.  Needless to say, it is a much easier feat to achieve on a smaller system such as Haifa’s (the smallest subway in the world) as opposed to a city such as London or New York, but that is to be expected.  

Have you ever tried to ride an entire system in one day?  Were you successful?  Were you trying to set any records?  Feel free to post your answers in the comments below!

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Rail Photo of the Month: July 2016

CLRV 4016


Location: Spadina Avenue at King Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Operator of Vehicle: Toronto Transit Commission
Date of Photo: March 11, 2007

Seeing as today is Canada Day, it seemed appropriate to select a Canadian photo to be the rail photo of the month for July.  The Toronto streetcar network is the largest streetcar network in North and South America in terms of track miles, fleet size, and ridership.  Like in many European cities, the streetcars are the primary surface transit in the city center.  However, unlike many other North American cities, proposals to eliminate the streetcar network in the 1960s did not gain traction.  A few lines were abandoned, but beginning in 1989, the TTC began to introduce new routes once again.  The Toronto streetcar’s 21st century revival is the renewal of rolling stock, as the aging CLRV and ALRV are being replaced by modern Bombardier Flexity Outlook trams, similar to those in many European cities.

For more photos of Toronto’s streetcars, please click here.