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TTC's automatic train control system
operating on Line 1 north of Dupont Station

As of this morning, the TTC’s subway trains on Line 1 Yonge - University between Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and Dupont stations are operating with the new automatic train control (ATC) system.

TTC crews finished upgrading and testing the system during this past weekend’s subway closure, with the system going live before subway service started at 6 a.m. today, Monday, December 3. According to a TTC news release, “This milestone means fewer delays associated with the older fixed-block signalling system along this 19-kilometre section of Line 1.”

The crews spent 11 months installing the communications system and 323 kilometres of cable. They dedicated two of those months to improving how the TTC manages trains entering and exiting Wilson Yard, using the new connection tunnel.

This video (from 2017) explains how the new signaling system works and the benefits it brings:

While ATC decreases the number of signal-related delays, the TTC says, it also increases safety, improves travel times and lowers operating costs.

Once fully installed, the system will allow the TTC to operate trains closer together during the busiest times of day, improving capacity and relieving crowding. As it continues to install ATC elsewhere on Line 1, it will also continue to shut down parts of the line weekends.

The news release explains that ATC is proven technology that serves more than 100 subway systems world-wide, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, London and Paris. Since December, when the TTC extended line 1 between Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and Sheppard West stations, TTC trains have already been operating with the ATC system. Today, they extended ATC to include stops between Sheppard West and Dupont.