Hamilton's LRT project has produced thousands of pages of studies and plans over the past five years.

Tucked amid the details and charts and maps have been many concept images of what the system will look like at various places.

They include the tracks, the stops, the,bridges, the platforms. Here is pictorial ride along Hamilton's LRT project, thanks to a collection of that concept art, to help you understand what all the debate is about.

Most of these images are taken from an updated project design that went before councillors earlier this week.

LRT artist rendition

An artist rendition of Hamilton's LRT system. (Metrolinx)

They debated LRT for 13 hours Tuesday and heard pro and con arguments from dozens of citizens before delaying approving major changes.

Councillors were going to vote Tuesday on an update to a 2011 environmental assessment— essentially an updated plan — for the $1 billion system, which runs from McMaster University to the Queenston traffic circle.

That vote would have OK'd some major changes, including stopping the route at the traffic circle rather than Eastgate Square, a new maintenance and storage facility in the west end and making King Street — a major one-way downtown thoroughfare — two way in most places. 

Now the report will come back on April 19. When councillors vote, it will be whether to submit the update to the province.

Here's an image-by-image tour of what the project is about, and what the people planning it imagine it will look like.

14 stops from McMaster: LRT-only bridge over 403

In addition to the terminus at McMaster there would be 13 on-street stops.

From McMaster, the line proceeds east along Main Street W. over Highway 403 on a yet-to-be-designed bridge over to King St. W. to go into downtown. 

Here's what the proposed layout of a LRT-only bridge over the 403.

LRT-only bridge over 403 #2

Another rendition of what a LRT-only bridge over the 403. (Metrolinx)

LRT-only bridge over 403

This model shows what the LRT-only bridge over the 403 would look like. (Metrolinx)

West end stop

The image below shows what a stop would look like, on King St. W. at Dundurn, near the Fortino's plaza.

Hamilton LRT rendering Fortino's

What an LRT stop would look like on King Street W. and Dundurn St. (Steer Davies Gleave)

James Street and the Gore

The main downtown stop will be at King and James. Here are three views of that stop, including one during a snowstorm.

Gore park stop

This model shows the Gore Park LRT stop. (Metrolinx)

LRT Aerial view of James stop (Gore Park)

This model shows an aerial view of a stop at James Street near Gore Park. (Metrolinx)

LRT artist conception

Artist conception of LRT moving through Hamilton. (Metrolinx)

GO Connection 

The province wants to see a connection to GO Transit. The spur line the province proposed for James N is gone, but it still wants to see a pedestrian connection south from King along Hughson to the Hamilton GO Centre on Hunter street. This overhead image shows a concept for that connection. The GO station is at the top of the picture.

LRT streetscape design approach

This model shows the proposed streetscape design approach for the LRT. (Metrolinx)

King St. E., International Village

These plans invoke memories of the dramatic arguments over the now-defunct bus lane, but take it up a level: 

The road would be closed to cars between Catharine St. and Wellington St. The plans call for redirecting traffic from westbound to eastbound between Catharine St. and Mary St. so people can drive into the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Effort Square parking structure.

LRT Downtown International Village closed to traffic

International Village between Catharine and Wellington streets would be closed to car traffic under the city's plan for LRT. (Steer Davies Gleave)


Side-running cross-section King Street East International Village

This model shows a side-running cross-section at King Street East, International Village. (Metrolinx)

Wellington St. stop

Just past the International Village is a stop for Wellington Street. These two images give a different perspective on a stop, from almost eye level.

LRT Wellington stop

This model shows the Wellington stop for the LRT. (Metrolinx)

Wellington LRT stop

An artist rendering of an LRT stop at Wellington Street. (Metrolinx)

King St. and Main St. 

Past downtown, the line would continue on King St. E. until the delta at Main St. E., when it would switch over and follow Main Street to the Queenston traffic circle. The new design shifts more of the system to a centre-running one. You'll notice that most of the new images include the overhead wires, which were absent from many of the initial images circulated.

The permanence of LRT is expected to inspire development along the corridor, and could prove especially influential along the eastern portion of the line. 

Main St. E. Hamilton LRT

The line picks up on Main Street E. after Queenston Road. (Steer Davies Gleave)

LRT centre-running cross-section King & Main

This model shows a centre-running cross-section at King and Main St. E. with one lane in each direction. (Metrolinx)

CP Rail crossing

As the line moves east, an issue to be resolved was the CP tracks that cross the line just east of Gage Avenue.  The LRT system will have to go underneath the tracks and here is a concept of how that might look.

LRT CP rail crossing

This model shows the LRT CP rail crossing. (Metrolinx)

LRT generic concept art

Here are some generic images that are hard to place as being at a specific spot in the city.

LRT artist concept

This model shows what Hamilton's LRT system would look like. (Metrolinx)

Artist LRT rendition #2

Conceptual image of the LRT system in Hamilton. (Metrolinx)

LRT concept art

Concept art shows how the LRT system might look. (Metrolinx)

How some LRT stops would be laid out

The new design means most of the stops will be a central platform, shown below.

LRT typical centre stop platform

This model shows a typical centre stop platform. (Metrolinx)

Side-running LRT

This model shows side-running LRT will work. (Metrolinx)

With files from Samantha Craggs & Kelly Bennett