Originally Posted by Wharn
I think any solution to the Richmond/Oxford railway problem will be extremely difficult to implement. First of all, the railway is graded with the street. There's absolutely no embankment to speak of, and no room to build one, which means no easy street subway solution. An overpass would just make a mess of everything and completely wreck the intersection. To build an underpass you'd have to dig up the road and make a huge trench that goes under the railway, with sidewalks on top, kinda like what we have at Richmond and York, which would be very disruptive and very expensive.
Either way you'd also have to create a detour for one of the city's busiest arterials and two of its most heavily used bus routes, which would cause chaos for a couple of months. It's a huge undertaking and not likely to be something city hall is willing to tackle in the near future. Although I agree wholeheartedly with the Adelaide overpass, it really cannot wait any longer.
There is another solution:
- CP could lower the grade of the railway between Talbot Street and Waterloo Street. In theory the track could be lowered to about 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) below Richmond Street, assuming CP Rail used an average grade of 1% downhill heading eastward between Talbot and Richmond and 1% uphill heading eastward between Richmond and Waterloo.
- An overpass would still be required, but far less tall than what would be required right now. If we assume an overpass normally being 20 feet high, an overpass in this scenario could be as low as 8.5 feet (2.6 metres) high. Such an overpass could be built off-site, allowing Richmond to remain open for most of the construction time, and moved into place when it is ready.
- The majority of the disruption in this case would be to CP Rail. They would have to close the railway between the London yard and Windsor for long enough to rip up the railway through the Richmond Street zone, dig a trench and build retaining walls east and west of Richmond Street, and then once the overpass is in place, extend the trench through the overpass and then lay new railroad tracks.
In this case, the intersection of Richmond and Piccadilly would have to be closed, and the crossing on St. George St. would likely have to be closed. From an engineering standpoint this would be very interesting.
With regards to Adelaide St, I would speculate that the intersections of Adelaide and Pall Mall, and Adelaide and the west branch of Central will have to be raised, and the intersection of Adelaide and the east branch of Central will have to be closed.