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Transportation, Urbanized, Weather, News

Cold weather causes major delays and chaos on TTC this morning (PHOTOS)

DH Toronto Staff Jan 21, 2019 8:32 am

If the cold weather wasn’t enough to bring you down on Blue Monday, the commute on the TTC this morning probably was.

A quick search of the three letters “TTC” on Twitter shows a lot of complaints by commuters on Monday morning.

While the TTC did issue a warning of their equipment being impacted by the extreme cold weather, it seemed worse than potentially expected.

Many were delayed on Line 1 and 2, having to wait several trains to get on due to overcrowding, and others waited for streetcars for up to 45 minutes.

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And the TTC has apologized for this morning’s chaos.

“Despite efforts of TTC crews and our extreme weather protocols, it was a slow start to the morning today that impacted service to our customers and for that we apologize,” said Stuart Green, Senior Communications Specialist at the TTC.

Green told Daily Hive that the main challenges the TTC had were with frozen switches at Wilson Yard and Leslie Barns.

“The switch heating mechanisms were operating, but because of the topography around Wilson Yard, the winds and drifting snow compounded the challenges of keeping the switches clear,” he explained, adding that they also had intermittent switch issues elsewhere on the open cut (outdoor) sections of the subway system.

The TTC will be adding extra crews throughout the day today, tonight and into tomorrow morning to monitor and make repairs as needed.

They also have contingency plans in the event that switches start to freeze up again, including applying a de-icing agent to the subway track switches on Monday.

This is a similar way Metrolinx is dealing with the cold weather conditions, although there weren’t any “extreme service disruptions” on their trains or buses this morning.

Metrolinx’s Scott Money said that there were just a variety of weather-related issues making their service slower than normal on all corridors, which is about 10-15 minutes on average.

“With the extreme cold we are experiencing and the icy crystal snow getting whipped up by the wind, it gets jammed in the GO Train doors and switches,” Money said.

And like the TTC, Metrolinx will have extra crews working on de-icing doors to minimize delays.

“Many of our new switches have warmers than helps mitigate the effects of the extreme weather,” said Money.

But in Toronto, de-icing is just for subway track switches, and the older streetcars were pulled out of service.

“On the streetcar side, we grounded the entire legacy streetcar fleet out of caution as they do not like the extreme cold and we couldn’t risk them breaking down in service,” Green said. “We used every available low-floor streetcar and buses to cover all streetcar routes.”

Still… commuters faced this on one of the coldest mornings in Toronto this year.

Green said that the TTC makes every effort to get its service moving, even on such cold mornings.

“On days like today, we make every effort to get service moving as best we can, but when multiple issues arise, it does impact our ability to deploy all our service in a timely manner,” he said.

“But when this happens, we always look to lessons learned and make our best efforts to avoid a recurrence.”

But it’s winter in Toronto, and we get similar temperature drops every year.

Which leaves many with the same question, “Why are there the same problems every winter?”

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