Sunday, July 20, 2014

Service Change: Toronto, Part 2 - The Scarborough RT and the Bloor-Danforth Subway

So what does RT stand for? The other lines are all referred to as "subways," so the Scarborough RT must be different. RT must stand for rapid transit, right? What else could it be? But all the other lines are rapid transit, too...

Anyway, the Scarborough RT is essentially an extension of the Bloor Line from Kennedy to Scarborough. Looking at the map, I was wondering why they didn't just extend the Bloor Line, but we'll talk about that later.

The 190 dropped us off at Scarborough Town Centre (named after a mall, of all things), which is the penultimate stop on the line. If this had been an actual transit race, we would've ran to McCowen (the last stop), but we just took the train there. And I have to say, the train was really cute. The cars were pretty tiny, and we had one to ourselves. The only real problem I had with it was that there was no screen to compliment the announcements; the train was pretty noisy so the announcements were hard to hear.
The dingy busway.
And the also dingy...mudroom? I don't really know what to call it.
A nice map of the route.
And the station platform.
The train coming in...
...And the train stopped.
The camera doesn't capture it very well at all. Well, these cars were tiny, let me tell you.
A brief look at McCowan Station.
You could see into the driver's area! This was the middle of the train so nobody was in there.
Don't mistake it for stop request tape.
We then headed back to Scarborough Town Centre and onward to Midland. Views on this portion were mostly of some truly huge apartment buildings and some truly huge parking lots. It was on the section after Midland that we found out why they didn't just extend the Bloor Line: leaving the station, the train dipped down into a short tunnel, then made a really sharp turn, screeching the whole time. The full sized trains on the Bloor Line could never make such a turn.

Ellesmere Station was right after the sharp turn, then the views mostly consisted of industrial wasteland. After Lawrence East, the next stop, we went under some pylons and then through a planned housing area where all the houses are the same. Finally, we crossed under a bridge and onto one of our own, then made one final super sharp turn into Kennedy. Our short ride was done.

This is only a small fraction of the massive parking lot for Scarborough Town Centre (the mall, that is).
Some huge apartment buildings.
Lovely view. Lovely.
The train at Kennedy.
Can you see how sharp that turn is?
I had to crop this one a bit due to my finger getting into the picture.
The train again.
The trains apparently used to loop around at Kennedy, but now it's just a single track.
The mezzanine at Kennedy.
The busway.
So then we went on our way to the Bloor Line. This one runs east to west, and uses the same older trains used on the Sheppard Line. I was disappointed to find out that Kennedy is an underground station for the Bloor Line - I got a bit worried that the whole thing would be underground.

The walkway to the Bloor Line.
The next train sign at this platform is very convenient.
It was indeed underground, but we came up just before Warden Station, the next one. The section after that went through Warden Woods (presumably the namesake of the station), so it felt pretty rural. Right before Victoria Park we passed pretty close to a playground. I'm sure I would've loved it as a little kid. After Victoria Park, we went...back below ground. But we were only above for, like, two stops! There was then a flurry of generic underground stations. We only used one of them, Pape, because it's in a cool Greek neighborhood called Greektown.

A train leaving the station.
The generic platform.
Though I didn't really understand this artwork, it was pretty cool.
Ew.
That's a bit nicer.
Sometimes I end up capturing really weird things accidentally. I have no idea what's going on here.
We went through a few more stations, then suddenly shot up above ground. The line goes over a huge viaduct over the Don Valley, and it's a beautiful view. It's really high up, and looking down at the many trees of the valley is amazing. It's a shame the view is so short, though: after about 15 seconds the train goes back underground.

In no way does this capture the view at all.
We went through the amusingly titled Castle Frank Station, then the hard to pronounce Sherbourne Station, and arrived at Bloor-Yonge. Between the eastern and western arms of the Yonge Line, there's one station on the Bloor Line: Bay. It's a bit of a pain in the butt when riding the entire system without any plan, and we had to go there then wait for a train going back the way we came.

The platform at Bay.
A train leaving the station.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned before that my parents are total theater fanatics. Well, they are, and Bathurst Station is very close to a big theater district so we used that station a few times. It's the first station after the two interchanges with the Yonge Line on its western arm, but it still has that same white tile design on most of the Bloor Stations. Boring!

You can see a streetcar peeking in on the left.
The bright and airy lobby.
The hallway to the train.
The platform.
And the train coming in.
The Bloor Line has very closely spaced stations, so we passed through a flurry of them before Dundas West, the next one we used. We got off here coming back from Kipling (the last stop) so we could take the Dundas Streetcar which goes right by our hotel. But guess what? It was a generic white tiled station! Hooray!

A train leaving.
You can see where it goes above ground. Don't get too excited.
The mezzanine.
You can see in the second photo of the above trio that the train goes above ground after Dundas. You see the backs of some apartments for about three seconds, then the train arrives at Keele. Then it goes back underground. Aw!

High Park is the next station, and it's also underground. But then the train rises to the surface again after that, and you can see the back of a UPS store for another three seconds...then it goes under again. After a few more underground stations, it comes back up to go over the Humber River. But the river's tiny, and once again the train goes back into its tunnel. This was, for some reason, my father's favorite view on the system, saying that the awesome viaduct was "too short." The Humber River is literally a two second view!

I somehow managed to get a picture.
The station after, Old Mill, is kind of cool because it's half underground and half overground. The underground portion is just more white tiles, but the overground part has a pretty cool design on its glass windows.

I got a picture from the train.
We went above ground again after the next station, Royal York, but it was only for about a femtosecond. We did go back up after Islington, the station after, for what would be the last time. Kipling is the next and last stop, and it's a Quincy Center sort of station (where it feels a bit like a subway station but it's effectively above ground). The western part of the Bloor Line is a fickle thing.

Lovely view of some train tracks.
A look at Kipling, but we just stayed on the train.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...