The TTC’s modernized Automatic Train Control (ATC) signalling system is now fully operational on Line 1, bringing with it improved service and reduced operating costs.
“Automatic Train Control is up and running on Line 1. This is a big milestone for the TTC and our efforts to modernize our current transit system. This technology will ensure subway trains can travel faster and more reliably which will result in us being able to move more people across the line as quickly and efficiently as we can. I want to thank commuters for their patience while we implemented this new technology and I want to applaud TTC employees for their work on completing this major project,” said Mayor John Tory.
“The successful completion of this project is a significant milestone for the TTC and the entire City of Toronto. Transit riders can look forward to faster, more reliable service when travelling on Line 1. On behalf of the TTC Board, I’d like to congratulate the TTC employees and contractors who worked tirelessly to make this transformative project a reality,” said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.
“The completion of ATC installation on Line 1 is a major accomplishment for us, and will have significant benefits for our customers,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “This system will improve existing service, and ensure that we can accommodate expected additional transit growth. I want to thank our customers, local businesses, and the public, for their patience and understanding as we worked towards this milestone. I also want to express my appreciation to the TTC employees who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to complete this project.”
Portions of the TTC’s previous signalling system dated back to the 1950s, when the subway first opened. This included a “fixed block” signalling system where trains needed to have large gaps between them as they entered and exited each “block”. With ATC, train speed and separation between trains is controlled automatically, through a computerized “moving block” system. Train location can be monitored more accurately, allowing more trains to operate closer together. This means more frequent and reliable service for customers, and fewer signal-related delays.
The completion of ATC on Line 1 also means that trains can use electricity more efficiently, leading to lower operating costs for the TTC. In addition, it will allow for more service flexibility if there is an operational issue on the line, with additional turn-back locations now available.
The project was completed on schedule according to the updated plan approved by the TTC’s Board in April 2019.
Due to the scale of the project, the installation and testing process for ATC could only be done during non-revenue service hours, and was completed during weekend and early weeknight closures.
Crews performed special track work in the tunnels, installing thousands of pieces of trackside signalling and radio equipment. This includes two thousand beacons, two hundred and fifty-six signals, and more than one million feet of cable.
This past weekend, crews completed testing and commissioning, and the system went live during the subway closure on Saturday.