Editorial Archive

TTC prepared for worst of winter

1/13/17 6:00 AM

The onset of winter brings an annual challenge for the TTC, but one that we are well-equipped to handle.

Over the years, we have developed robust winter plans, and acquired the right equipment and infrastructure with which to implement them.

The key to any successful seasonal plan is preparedness. We keep a close eye on weather forecasts from Environment Canada and, if any ice or snow is forecast, our teams swing into action.

On the subway, heaters are turned on to prevent ice and snow from impeding the movement of switches, and “storm trains” are run to keep the power rail clear of snow and ice buildup. Trains are also sometimes stored in tunnels if freezing rain or ice is forecast. When there is heavy snowfall, special rail vehicles are ready to be sent out to clear snow from exposed sections of the subway.

On the surface network, special equipment is fitted to streetcar poles to break any ice that may form on the overhead wires. We also ensure streetcar switches are kept clear of ice, while the City plows roads and shovels bus stops clear of snow.

A couple of years ago, Boston’s transit system sent a team up to observe TTC best practices. Those practices are continually evolving because we will not allow ourselves to become complacent. Our task is to keep Toronto moving, whatever the challenge.

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