Service changes in the event of an ice storm
The weather forecast for the City of Toronto and surrounding area this weekend is calling for freezing rain with the possibility of an accumulation of ice.
TTC staff have put a plan together to ensure the TTC is prepared if there is a severe weather event.
We have been applying anti-freeze to the overhead network to keep ice free from the wires so streetcars can collect energy and operate. To prevent significant ice build-up, we have also applied “sliders” to trolley poles on every fifth streetcar that knock ice off the overhead, should it accumulate.
Overhead crews are on standby and will be positioned around the city in the event of power loss or overhead wires coming down.
The same anti-freeze used on the overheard has been applied to all switches across the network. Storm cars will run on all routes, keeping switches free of any ice build-up that the anti-freeze was unable to successfully prevent.
On St. Clair, because of its distance from the downtown core and the ability for crews to get to the route quickly in the event of an issue, buses will replace streetcars on the route starting Saturday at 8 a.m. Customer Service Agents, A-frame signs, supervisors and all of our traditional communications channels will be used to get the message out that customers need to wait at the curb and not the ROW along St. Clair.
On the 501 Queen streetcar route, buses will operate in the east end from Kingston Rd. to Neville Park so we can keep more streetcars in the downtown core, which will help keep switches and overhead wires clear of ice.
Storm trains will operate Friday night and Saturday night to keep the power rail clear of ice. Trains with an anti-freeze agent are on the line now and the agent will be deployed once it begins to rain. The same process occurs on Line 3 Scarborough.
Crews will keep switches clear in yards using switch heaters, but will also manually ensure that the heaters are working effectively and take action if they are not. Workcars will act as storm trains in the yards to keep the third rails clear of ice.
There is a closure planned for Line 2 from Kipling to Jane this weekend. That work is mostly underground allowing the closure to continue as scheduled.
The TTC relies on City Transportation to keep all roads clear of ice. We have adequate buses available in the event of a major power outage that knocks out our ability to operate streetcars. If the subway is affected by a power outage, shuttle buses will be deployed.
The Transit Control Centre will issues e-alerts, tweets and other communications as the weekend progresses. Customers will be alerted to any service changes because of power outages, route diversions or other disruptions caused by the weather. Media relations staff will keep media apprised of service changes and Customer Service (@TTChelps) will help answer customer questions and provide alternative transit options online and on the telephone.