Scarborough Rapid Transit Derailment: Failed Bolts Mark the End of the Line
Bolts Failure: The Culprit Behind the Derailment
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has identified the failure of reaction rail anchor bolts as the cause of the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) derailment on July 24. The incident resulted in minor injuries to five passengers and led to the permanent closure of the Scarborough line. This mishap was traced back to broken or loose reaction rail anchor bolts, responsible for securing the power rails in place. The incident occurred when a rear car of a four-car train separated from the rest of the train after departing from the Ellesmere station and heading towards the Lawrence East station.
Due to the unique design of the SRT system, these fractured bolts wouldn’t have been visible during regular visual inspections, as they were encased in concrete. The decision to permanently shut down the SRT system was made to eliminate any possibility of a similar incident occurring elsewhere.
The Impact and Consequences of SRT Closure
The closure of the SRT has led to increased reliance on bus service, with express bus lanes being implemented on Kennedy, Ellesmere, and Midland roads. The TTC is currently designing a busway to fully replace the Scarborough RT service. TTC CEO Rick Leary asserted that the closure of Line 3 was the right decision for passenger safety.
Political Unwillingness Contributing to the Transit Crisis
TTC board member Councillor Josh Matlow emphasized that a lack of political will to improve Scarborough’s transit system over the years also contributed to the situation. He referred to a seven-stop Light Rail Transit (LRT) that could have been built in 2015 had politicians not hindered progress. At the time of the derailment, the Scarborough RT was already a decade beyond its design life, revealing the dire need for improvements in the transit system.
Sharing Findings and Looking Ahead
The TTC plans to share its findings with transit systems in Vancouver and Detroit, which also utilize reaction rail systems, to prevent similar incidents. Line 3, a 6.4-kilometer rapid transit line with six stations that opened in 1985, was permanently closed in August 2021. While this marks the end of an era for the Scarborough RT, it also triggers the necessity for more efficient, safe, and reliable transit systems.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.