For a Better Brisbane

Canada Transit Special: TTC Subway and RT

Video: ‘Toronto Transit’ by Preston Kanak (Vimeo)

Toronto has three main subway lines: The Yonge-University-Spadina subway (yellow) that forms a rough U-shape through the CBD area and the Bloor-Danforth subway that roughly runs East-West. The newest subway, the Sheppard Subway (purple), runs underneath Sheppard Avenue. The Sheppard subway is a feeder line- passengers must change trains at Sheppard-Yonge to continue their journey. The blue line is the Scarborough Rapid Transit or ‘RT’, a subway-like technology that is a story for another time. The Toronto system is comparatively small. Melbourne has over 200 train stations and South East Queensland has over 140 stations, although Toronto separates the long distance trains (GO Transit) from the subway. Australian systems generally run everything (freight/passengers/long and short distance) on the same tracks.

Despite these caveats, Brisbane has 85 train stations within the Brisbane City Council area and 22 busway stations which is more than what Toronto has. Is it really true that poor public transport in Brisbane is due to a lack of stations and lines? Of course, Brisbane has a commuter rail system where trains from all lines mix and there are limitations that come with that. However, Metro Trains Melbourne has recently announced trains every 10 minutes (off-peak) for the Frankston Line, with a long-term view to run their commuter rail system more like a metro (see here). So with a bit of adaptation, enabling infrastructure upgrades and increased frequency around-the-clock, perhaps it may be possible for Brisbane to offer a more ‘metro-like’ train service? Infrastructure is not an end in itself, it is a means to enable service. Service means frequencyreliability and good service outside peak hours, key ingredients in a ‘metro-like’ train operation.

Timetabling plays a key role in moving towards a more metro-style operation and as we add 38 new X’Trapolis trains. For the customer, this style of operation will reduce the reliance on a traditional timetable and allow the focus to be on the frequency of services.

Improvements to our timetabling can only be made if the infrastructure is in place to enable it. We’re delivering new train maintenance facilities, building ‘turnbacks’ to enable trains to make additional runs to and from the city in the peaks, hiring more drivers and enhancing the reliability of network power supplies.

These changes are all part of the step-by-step process to simplify the timetable by segregating lines to improve the reliability of the railway.

Moving to a Metro, Metro Trains Melbourne


Written by .

April 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. UPDATE:
    By co-incidence The Melbourne Urbanist Blog has a post comparing the different sizes of rail networks around the world.


    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: