Latest streetcar derailment still a mystery

The TTC cannot determine why a handful of streetcars have left the tracks while turning right from Queen Street onto Broadview Avenue. That includes a derailment that occurred Monday evening.

About 5:35 p.m., a 506 Carleton streetcar heading west on Queen derailed while turning right onto Broadview.The streetcar had just been serviced and was returning to its route.

The front truck on the streetcar made a sharp left turn back toward the centre of the road. Police on the scene said the car slightly struck the side of an eastbound 501 Queen streetcar travelling through the intersection. No one was injured in the accident.

TTC Superintendent of Transportation (Roncesvalles Division) John Chamberlain said the Commission would investigate what he said was an ongoing problem.

“This is the fifth derailment we have had over the last 15 months,” Chamberlain said. “They haven’t drawn complete conclusions. That’s why we haven’t completed track repairs.”

However, Chamberlain said statistically the collision rate is relatively low – fewer than 0.1 per cent of streetcars making this turn have derailed.

“At the same time, any number of derailments are unacceptable,” Chamberlain said.

A TTC safety crew at the scene attempted to recreate the accident in order to determine the cause. The crew also checked the track switch and investigated the possibility that foreign objects on the road played a role.

Police redirecting traffic were also investigating. According to Staff Sgt. Ian Moyer a streetcar is not classified as a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act. Therefore, the police will not investigate any further.

Jessica Martin, the communications officer for the TTC, said the commission has a few theories about the derailment, but has drawn no conclusions.

“(The TTC) thinks something environmental may have caused the tracks to widen in that area,” Martin said.

Chamberlain said the problem does not involve the track switch itself, but suggested the problem may come from the way the cars roll through the turn at that intersection. As a precaution, Chamberlain said, the TTC has posted a slow order requiring a reduced speed in the area.

Chamberlain said the streetcar that derailed Monday was travelling between four and seven kilometres per hour making the turn, well within the reduced speed limit. The operator immediately applied the brakes after the derailment, minimizing the impact.

The investigation continues. No repairs to the Queen and Broadview intersection will be made until a cause has been determined.

About this article

By: Aileen Donnelly
Posted: Mar 23 2010 4:57 pm
Filed under: News

3 Comments on "Latest streetcar derailment still a mystery"

  1. Joey Cycles | March 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm |

    it says the car had just been serviced at the nearby location and was returning to it’s normal route. That is why it was there.

  2. Oops… Looks like I mis-read the article. I was refering to the right turn south on Broadview onto Queen Street.

    Better yet… What was a 506 car doing there anyway? Queen and Broadview isn’t part of their official routing.

  3. Thanks for following through on this story and discovering that there is a pattern of incidents at this location.

    (PS: Note common switcheroo: breaks instead of brakes)

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