GRT LFLRV 507 On King Street by KatesFriendOpen full image in new tab
No, this is not King Street in Toronto. This is King Street in Waterloo (Ontario). LRV 507 is heading north just past Union Street and the municipal border with the City of Kitchener. A little further down the track is Allen Street station - most iON platforms are in between the tracks. Beyond that you can make out the southbound tracks swinging away to the west. And just over a kilometre into the background, is the downtown of the City of Waterloo. Though the city refers to it as the 'Uptown Loop'. The streets of downtown are too narrow for the two way ROW - seen under the tram. So the tracks are split along the sides of two parallel roads in 'The Loop' - King Street (northbound) and Caroline Street (southbound). Finally, I happened to be on King Street just as one of these beauties was undergoing testing. Of coarse, this is becoming easier since as many as four (4) LRVs are out on the system for testing and training each weekday. The last time I reported from Waterloo, about ten (10) months ago, the Region had only two non-enabled vehicles undergoing track, overhead and platform testing while being towed by an external vehicle. Now the catenary is powered and LRVs are making regular trips from one end of the nineteen (19) kilometre double tracked line to the other. Soon I expect there will be more trams testing at once to ensure power supplies are able to support the load when opening day arrives. Though, that opening has been pushed back thrice already. Now an unspecified day in mid-December is the goal. But in spite of the delays, I like what I see. Unlike Toronto streetcars, the FLEXITY LRV is double ended - driven from both ends. They don't use loops to turn around, they use cross overs to transfer to the opposite track. There upon the driver walks to the other end of the vehicle and trundles off in the opposite direction. Each end is labeled, in this case the southbound end is designated 507A with 507B being the northbound cabin at the far end. For iON trams it appears the standard will be A representing southbound and B representing northbound. Although technically in Kitchener it becomes A for eastbound and B for westbound. Waterloo Region has a twisty geographic history that is reflected in the bendy/flexy nature of the road system. Here, there exists a singular King Street with all four North, South, East and West divisions. Admittedly, not my best shot. But I really wanted to get a photo of the new trams on King Street. Until December 1946, streetcar service run by the City of Kitchener (formerly the KWSR) used to travel on this stretch of road between the two communities - in mixed traffic not ROW. Sadly there are only a few photos online of the old service and a couple of maps. So I am unsure how much of this section was indeed double tracked back then. Photos of downtown Waterloo from the 1930's show only a single track in the middle of the road. I suppose history is repeating itself, as mentioned above, King Street in 'The Loop' still has but a single track running along it. Obviously, not the same design but that's a cool symmetry nevertheless. I took several photos of LFLRV 507 as it passed that hazy afternoon. This is the only one without a car blocking the view. Indeed, you can just catch the nose of one of those pesky autos in the lower left of the picture. Soon it will be ruining my next shot. But you have to remember, that's a positive for this project. Private traffic flows almost as freely as the trams without one interfering with the other. That's due to the transit ROW and those swanky transit signals now complimenting the familiar traffic lights just ahead of the tram. The white vertical bar means go. A horizontal bar would mean stop. Except for emergency vehicles, iON vehicles have priority over other traffic at intersections. The separate transit control signals are there for that purpose. Notes: GRT: Grand River Transit LRV: Light Rail Vehicle LFLRV: Low Floor Light Rail Vehicle iON: Official Name for Waterloo Region's Rapid Transit Service (Light Rail and Rapid Buses) FLEXITY: Brand Name for iON LRVs ROW: Right Of Way KWSR: Kitchener-Waterloo Street Railway
eekdog 11:58AM | Sat, 22 September 2018
I think it's a great shot Clayton. Great info also. Cool transportation.
2Loose2Trek 12:48PM | Sat, 22 September 2018
Darn those pesky autos always trying to photobomb one's best efforts! Superb shot KatesFriend!
goldie 2:33PM | Sat, 22 September 2018
Glad to see the rest of the world continues to move forward while the US desperately clings to miserable antiquated modes of transportation. I remember seeing the vestiges of the trolley tracks of Manhattan when my Pop would take me into NYC on weekends.. Now "the City" is so congested with vehicular traffic. Anyway, your wonderful photo and info are much appreciated--hope someday I can get a trip in to Canada before I get too-falling-apart old :)
rhol_figament 8:41PM | Sat, 22 September 2018
I like the design, has a futuristic feel, I just picture a Blade Runner city, lol. Let us know how it does in the winter, maybe you could take a shot in a snowstorm eh...
blinkings 4:12PM | Sun, 23 September 2018
We have a King Street here in OZ too. (complete with trams!)
RodS Online Now! 5:13PM | Sun, 23 September 2018
Great shot of this cool LR system, my friend! I'm with Goldie - we need more of these in the USA.
There are a growing number of live rail cams on YT where you can see some amazing LR systems in action. This one is in the Netherlands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lhu5kk_KoI