For months, every inch of progress on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project seemed to dominate headlines, but as the COVID-pandemic took over every aspect of daily life, the often-controversial project has been out of the spotlight.
But since construction has been deemed an essential service, crews have been able to continue working on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project amid the coronavirus pandemic. And while construction is slated to continue until 2022, the project is showing more signs of progress; Metrolinx is now running light rail vehicles (LRVs) through the Eglinton Crosstown LRT tunnels as part of a testing and commissioning phase.
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The provincial transit agency, which is in charge of the project, says an LRV 6216 travelled from the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility (EMSF), over Black Creek Drive on the elevated guideway, and into the westbound tunnel, stopping just short of the Keelesdale Station platform. It then travelled back to the EMSF along the same route.
Metrolinx says the train run was part of a series of clearance checks to make sure the LRVs run smoothly and don’t run into any obstructions. It also is a chance to test all the systems that make up a new transit line – including trackwork, overhead power, and communications.
After completing the clearance checks with the trains, Metrolinx says the drivers took advantage of the opportunity to do a few runs in and out of the tunnel at incremental speeds of up to 25 km/h. Once the tunnel is fully commissioned, the trains will be operating at speeds up to 80 km/h.
You can take a look at the LRV train entering the tunnel for the very first time below.
When completed, the east-west Crosstown will have 25 stations along 19 kilometres between Mount Dennis in the west and Kennedy Station in the east.