From Pole to Pan in Toronto

NO, we are not talking ‘pole dancing’ but another kind of ‘pole’ dance happening in Toronto.

The use of panto-graphs or “pans” for the collection of electrical power has been around a long time and now it is Toronto’s turn to switch from the old trolley pole to a modern pan.

Sadly, some of our American friends seem upset at this, as they cherish the old trolley pole. They will light their collective hair on fire if ever an “APS” third rail power collection system is used for trams in American cities!

A thank you to Mr. Cow, for the photo’s.


2 Responses to “From Pole to Pan in Toronto”
  1. eric chris says:

    Trams with pans are the way to go for public transit to move lots of people quickly and inexpensively. Thirty years ago, sci-fi flying taxi-cabs for public transport weren’t in competition with public transit.

    Flying, zero-emission electric, taxi-cabs for public transport are in the here and now and don’t bode well for pricey infrastructure such as the subway line to UBC. Long term planning for the subway to UBC is no term planning for public transit which presently can’t convince drivers, who are stuck in traffic on the roads, to take public transit. Flying taxi-cabs buzzing around overhead aren’t going to make it easier to put people on public transit in the future. Short term planning for the tram line which can begin operation in one to two years and be paid off before the flying taxi-cabs arrive is prudent planning for rail-transit to UBC.

    “The fully electric Volocopter will transform the concept of urban mobility… completely free of direct emissions and on demand.” “Lilium jets require virtually zero infrastructure investments like roads or bridges… there will be less transit traffic and less noise in our cities.”
    “Slow Subway Line Explained”
    Statistically, for most commuters, the time to reach the stop for public transit determines whether the commute is slow or fast. Relative to the tram line, the subway line quadruples the spacing between stations and quadruples the time to reach public transit, also. This makes the commute with the subway line slower than the commute with the tram line.
    “Operating Costs of Subway Line Explained”
    If the tram line is used in Vancouver along Broadway and the same frequency of service is maintained, the existing bus drivers are converted into tram drivers. Drivers make up the bulk of the operating expenses for trams or buses, and operating costs drop with trams using inexpensive electrical power. On the other hand, if the subway line is used along Broadway, the approximately 60 transit buses powered mostly with costly diesel fuel and in current use between Commercial Drive and UBC aren’t going anywhere. In fact, more buses will be added to aid the transfer of passengers to the subway line. Operating costs associated with the subway line can’t possibly be less than those for the tram line. By the way, maintenance costs for the tram line are a fraction of the maintenance costs for the subway line, too.
    “Low Capacity of Subway Line Explained”
    For rail-transit routes with multiple stops along the way, the maximum frequency of service corresponds to the time to travel between stops. This ought to be obvious to the planners at TransLink and doesn’t appear to be. For example, the current Millennium Line which the “planners” at TransLink want to extend five to six kilometres in the subway under Broadway in Vancouver can’t operate trains every 80 seconds to achieve the purported movement of 25,000 passengers hourly or whatever the latest pie in the sky passenger movement claimed might be. It takes at least 120 seconds including dwell time at stations for the trains in the subway to travel between stations spaced thousands of metres apart in distance. If the planners at TransLink try to run trains every 80 seconds to transport 25,000 passengers hourly, trains in the subway will smash into each other and body bags will be necessary.

    From Commercial Drive to UBC and back to Commercial Drive: the tram line recirculating up to about 60 rail-vehicles spaced 400 metres apart quadruples the number of people carried compared to the subway line recirculating up to about 15 rail-vehicles spaced from 1,000 metres to 2,500 metres apart. It just does. Rather than 60 stops with the tram line to prevent crowding, 15 stops with the subway line induce crowding. Sixty trams carrying about 500 passengers each = 60 * 500 = 30,000 potential passengers in trams for the tram line (+/- 20%) compared to 15 trains carrying about 500 passengers each = 15 * 500 = 7,500 potential passengers in trains for the subway line (+/- 20%). Trams with pans obviously carry more people than trains in the subway. How did the planners at TransLink get it so wrong?

  2. eric chris says:

    PS: on the 99 b-line transit route between Commercial Drive and UBC, cutting the spacing between the stops from the roughly 1,000 metres presently to 500 metres not only doubles the number of passengers transported between UBC and Commercial Drive but also solves the current crowding and delays or “pass-ups” on the 99 b-line transit route. Replacing the 99 b-line service with one fast articulated-zero-emission-trolleybus route with stops spaced 500 metres apart doubles the transport of passengers to UBC. It almost looks like the crowding caused by the 99 b-line route having few stops is intentional for the planners at TransLink to propose and build the subway line which of course guarantees more crowding in the future and more funding for TransLink to “battle” the crowding on public transit… etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

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