Metro Madness – Does TransLink Understand The Issue Of Subway Maintenance?

Subway maintenance costs are an issue that TransLink and the regional mayors have not even considered.

As subways age, they cost a lot to maintain. The TTC has put the cost just to operate and maintain 5 km of subway, at $40 million annually and just gives a hint of maintenance costs to come for TransLink.

If costs are deferred, like many transit operators do, the problems are compounded until so bad that the subway line has to be closed down altogether for repairs.

Vancouver already has the Canada Line subway, but as it ages, much money must be spent to maintain it, but in the future, how will those costs affect the rest of the transit system.

The Broadway subway, if built, will be another maintenance time-bomb for TransLink, yet subway maintenance costs have been completely ignored by all.

Memo to John Horgan; Claire Travena; and David Eby; not only is the Broadway subway a “FastFerry” project on steroids, the huge maintenance costs of this “White Elephant” project will haunt the NDP forever!

Line repair on a TTC subway line.


Md. shuts down entire subway system for emergency repairs

Posted on February 12, 2018

As sections of the Metro SubwayLink are repaired and made available for use, MDOT MTA will evaluate a partial reopening of the system.

As sections of the Metro SubwayLink are repaired and made available for use, MDOT MTA will evaluate a partial reopening of the system.<br />
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<p>Following a thorough inspection completed this weekend of the entire Metro SubwayLink, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) Administrator Kevin Quinn determined the entire system will need to remain closed for up to four weeks, through March 11, to ensure the safety of all customers.</p>
<p>After working with bus contractors since Friday morningai??i??s rail closure, the Hogan Administration announced $2.2 million in emergency funding to run shuttle bus bridges to transport riders along the Metro SubwayLink route. These shuttle buses are in addition to the existing BaltimoreLink bus options at each station provided by CityLink and LocalLink routes. The weekend inspection of the entire system was conducted after routine inspections last week determined the elevated track from Owings Mills to West Cold Spring would be closed for several weeks to replace track in advance of the planned summer replacement project. As sections of the Metro SubwayLink are repaired and made available for use, MDOT MTA will evaluate a partial reopening of the system.</p>
<p>RELATED: <a href=Anatomy of a Rail System Shutdown, Reconstruction

ai???Safety is our top priority,ai??? said Quinn. ai???With bus bridges, we will be able to do the necessary rail repairs to reopen our system as quickly as possible while still providing our customers with critical access to work, school, medical facilities, and leisure

“On behalf of our citizens who rely daily on the Metro SubwayLink system for their transport needs, I want to express our gratitude to the Hogan Administration for this emergency funding we requested to provide dedicated buses that will travel the Metro SubwayLink route,ai??? said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. ai???It is important that we do everything possible to mitigate the inconvenience of prolonged disruption of the Metro SubwayLink


4 Responses to “Metro Madness – Does TransLink Understand The Issue Of Subway Maintenance?”
  1. Subway for Van says:

    The first tunnel in Vancouver is 100 years old and built by the CPR to move steam trains from false creek to waterfront station. Now this is tunnel is used by Skytrain. You don’t mention this tunnel and mention Canada line tunnel.

    Zwei replies: The problems with the Dunsmuir tunnel will hit TransLink very soon. It does have very high maintenance and operational costs.

  2. Haveacow says:

    The Dunsmuir Tunnel had big water leak issues that had to be dealt with during the construction of the Expo Line in the 1980’s. I would guess that eventually those same problems will appear again at some future point in the next few years. This is assuming that these same water leak issues haven’t already come back. Most transit agencies are not to open about divulging these issues publically. So a 100 year old railway tunnel that was seriously modified 33-35 years ago, may have to be worked on again in the next few years. My point being is that, no one is publically talking about several infrastructure ageing issues on the Expo Line at all. These issues need a big public airing out. Instead of worrying about new extensions to UBC or Langley, why not try to look at what it’s going to cost to keep the existing SkyTrain system running. That’s not even begining to deal with increasing its small passenger carrying capacity and those big costs.

  3. Haveacow says:

    Just so you know Zwei, just because 5km costs $40 Million to maintain, it doesn’t mean that 10 km costs $80 million. The amount claimed by the TTC was for the stand alone Sheppard Subway which must have many of its own maintenance and operations equipment. Due to its isolated location on the Toronto Subway network it can’t share resources, equipment and people from the rest of the system, without causing huge time related problems. This cost was then applied to the Bloor-Danforth line extension to Scarborough Centre Station which is in a great position to actually share resources with the rest of the existing line. I’m not against your position but this figure was incorrect and used by the people who are against the extension. Just thought you should know.

    That being said as much as I was for the original 3-4 station extension to through Scarborough Centre to Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Avenue, this one station extension to Scarborough Centre Station is becoming dangerously expensive for what it would actually do. Especially since the project no longer includes an extension to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT east to U of T’s Scarborough College.

    Zwei replies: What I was trying to say is that the subway will cost TransLink around $40 million more in operational and maintenance costs. This important when the CEO of TransLink is claiming the old saw that SkyTrain pays its operational costs and letters to local papers claim SkyTrain costs next to nothing to operate.

  4. Surrey says:

    All subways require maintenance.

    Zwei replies: of course and maintenance is extremely costly.

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