Editorial Archive

How the TTC changed 20 years ago this week

8/14/15 6:00 AM

Tuesday of this week marked the 20th anniversary of the worst accident in the history of TTC’s subway, which opened in 1954.

On Aug. 11, 1995, three passengers were tragically killed and more than 30 people were injured when a train collided with a stationary train south of St Clair West Station on Line 1. The subsequent Coroner’s Inquest found that human error and a design flaw in a mechanical safety device were the primary causes and 18 recommendations were made to prevent a recurrence.

The TTC has addressed each of these recommendations and has prioritized a state-of-good-repair program ever since.

In simple terms, maintaining the network in a state-of-good-repair means undertaking regular maintenance and investment to ensure that systems, infrastructure and vehicles are in a safe and reliable condition. This includes critical parts of our infrastructure such as track, drainage, signalling and ventilation – assets that never make the news unless they fail, but that must be kept in a good state of repair to ensure safety of our operations.

While high-profile subway expansion projects garner headlines and attention, maintaining a state of good repair in all parts of our network is, and always will be, our No. 1 priority at the TTC. After all, there is no point in building a shiny new extension if the rest of the system is unable to be operated due to unsafe conditions.

Upgrading an existing system is never easy. It’s why we sometimes close sections of the subway on weekends to progressively renew track and signals, and why we need those precious few hours at night when trains aren’t running to undertake maintenance and safety inspections.

It’s all part of modernizing the TTC and keeping you safe.

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