Hamilton's LRT in 21 pictures: How the engineers imagine it will look

Years of planning have produced thousands of pages of LRT studies and plans. Here is pictorial ride along Hamilton's LRT plans thanks to a collection of concept art.

We've collected the artists drawings from years of planning to show you stops, and bridges and tracks

This rendering imagines how LRT will run heading east to Kenilworth Avenue. (Metrolinx)

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

This model shows what Hamilton's LRT system would look like. (Metrolinx)
Conceptual image of the LRT system in Hamilton. (Metrolinx)
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.

This model shows a typical centre stop platform. (Metrolinx)
This model shows side-running LRT will work. (Metrolinx)

With files from Samantha Craggs & Kelly Bennett