Saturday, November 5, 2011

Old Trams, Modern Times

  Trams are widely popular in Toronto. In spite of the fact the travel mode is rather slow trams make it possible to reach the center of the city for quite a short period of time. Today we'll visit one of the local tramway depots called TTC Roncesvalles Carthouse.

Roncesvalles Carthouse is the oldest tramway depot in Toronto which has been put into operation since 1895. Today it deals with the major part of tramway routes in Toronto and can be called the most important engineering bundle of the whole  transport system of the city.

Children can't wait for the tram to reach the washing spot while visiting a
maintenance department can be interesting fro adults. 8 sections of the department allow to carry out general work, control and diagnostics, washing and long-term repairing work.

A tram road in miniature can be found in the maintenance department. First models appeared almost 20 years ago. Later houses, cars, people, trees and stations were added to the collection.

It seems that the small town lives its life to the fullest in spite of the fact the employees had to restore the movement periodically.

These small figures live in the last century.

Apart from regular citizens the town is inhabited by rich people who drive cabriolets.

One can see passengers through the windows of trams.

Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (CLRV) were located in the maintenance department. Carriages of this type were constructed specially for the transport system of Toronto. First 6 carriages were assembles in Switzerland, other 190 - in Canada. 195 carriages produced in 1977-1981 are in good condition till now.

Electronic filling is far from being modern. Nevertheless, local citizens are expecting a new tram which will be launched by 2013.

Main administrative building of the depot. It's noisy and crowded inside.

Information about the routes of today.

Room of movement control. About 10 traffic controllers are always next to their monitors observing all the trams online. Every carriage is supplied with GPS-sensor capable of controlling a tram-train at any moment of time. Trams that follow the schedule are marked with green but as soon as they are late for 3 minutes the marker turns into red denoting it's time to take measures.

Toronto tramway system uses the so-called short-turns which enable to stop a tram until it has reached the final station. It is the traffic controller who is responsible for introducing changes into a tram schedule and eliminate arising delays.

A depot initially intended for 75 carriages was reconstructed in 1923 and saw no changes after that. It is natural for the park to have some old trams which are valuable from historical point of view. What seems strange is that the vehicles are still in good condition. For instance, this tram of President's Conference Committee has been produced since 1930 becoming the most popular type of city transport in the world by 1950.

Tram number 4500 was put into operation 60 years ago.

Another antique thing, Peter Witt tram 2766, was manufactured in 1922.

Its peculiarity consisted in the revolutionary method of payment procedure. The tram could be entered through the front door and left through the central one. A fare collector was standing next to the central door. Passengers distributed freely along the tram. Thus, they could pass by the conductor and make a payment at once or stand in the front part of the tram the whole way and pay before leaving the tram.

Soon Witt trams were substituted by more modern ones but were still used during the rush hours. It happened because travelling by new trams presupposed payment right after the entrance and vehicles couldn't always cope with the passenger flow.

Tram washing is the main attraction of the tram depot. Every day vehicles are washed with water and disinfectants. Depending on weather conditions they can also undergo manual external cleaning with mops and cloth.

As the depot is now surrounded by houses the workers are trying to be extremely polite.

Over 100 employees work for TTC Roncesvalles Carthouse. Service repairs are carried out all year round. Every night 149 trams stay on the territory of the depot.

via heck-aitomix


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