As part of the expansion plans for the Trillium OTrain line, a new station is to be inserted at Gladstone Avenue.
Crews showed up this week to bore holes in the ground to identify how much rock and overburden has to be removed, and to determine how to support a station building and platforms.
Because the track there is on a gentle curve, and Ottawa’s specs are for straight platforms only (part of this is subjective safety for users, and some of it is physical safety as regulations now tightly govern the size of the gap between the train body and the platform as straight railcars on a curved platform = variable gaps).
So the cut in which the track lies today will need some realignment. Some of the straightening will come about at the same time as the adjacent Qway overpass is replaced (2018?) by a smaller overpass and earthfilled embankments.
The current EAST side pathway will shift a few meters east; provision for a WEST side pathway underpass will also be made.
The Gladstone CDP, completed but mysteriously held back from going to council for approval, shows this future neighbourhood of highrises with above ground parking garages around the station plaza.
All those highrises, right up to Somerset Street, are on the now-grassy field where the giant red brick warehouse was demolished two years ago. A portion of the field will remain as the pie-shaped park.
The main station building will be on a piazza on the north side of Gladstone. Unfortunately the traffic engineers are insisting on taking out the traffic calming bend in Gladstone in that area, to improve motorist sightlines and safety.
We know, of course, the reduced risk to people who drive motor cars is simply being shifted to more vulnerable people who walk or cycle, who may enjoy the faster cars whizzing by whilst they are still ambulatory. Pickups by emergency vehicles should also be faster, if that is any consolation.
Community input to the station design included asking for staircase entrances on the south side of Gladstone, so that transit users wouldn’t have to cross Gladstone at a signalized intersection (which would, of course, be timed for the benefit of motorists). Alas, it currently appears there will only be entrances from the north side of Gladstone.
This plan is drawn up and approved by Council as part of the city’s intentions / wish list for the station, and as guidance to the bidding consortia, although they are likely to supply something “value engineered”.
When first built, the station will service one train track only, so only the half of the building opening off the plaza on the east side will be constructed. Later, when the Trillium line is double tracked, the second half will be built, on the west side of the cut.
The initial downtown stations for the Confederation Line and Trillium line fairly unique, as they are fitted into a dense downtown environment. As phase 2 of the Confederation and Trillium Lines are built out, the station configuration will become much more standardized.
This cuts costs and facilitates users wayfinding. This is not to say the skins of the buildings covering the stations will all be same, just the inside configurations will be more standard.
The City came up with this somewhat uninspiring Station/Shed. Hopefully RTG will come up with some a tich better.
above: (do not assume that there is a large indoor plaza or lobby above the tracks, this cutaway is through the south wall of the station with the proposed outdoor plaza beyond. Who is to pay for that over-track plaza?)
Earlier in the process, there were some plans to extend the disfunctional passing track just north of the station into the station itself. This would give more operating flexibility to the trains, since they could pass at the station and the dwell time would mask any service delays, instead of the dilly doodling slowness currently experienced at the existing passing track just north. But since the Bayview Station is only single track, and it is cheaper to build this station only on one side of the cut, the city naturally opted for the cheaper version and foregoes operational flexibility and speed of service:
(remember, the above two track station is NOT being built in the next 10-20 years).
The City has launched public consultations on the location, functional design, and access to the Phase 2 stations on the Confederation and Trillium LRT lines. However, they have deemed Gladstone to be already consulted, so no one is invited to look at it.
Purely for nostalgia, here is a picture of our previous light rail vehicles — streetcars — shown here on Preston going under the railway tracks that were about to be “improved” by converting them to a freeway called The Queensway.