TransLink buys 27-acre site near Braid Station for new SkyTrain maintenance centre

Mar 11 2021, 11:37 pm

TransLink has acquired a significant 27-acre site at the southern edge of Coquitlam for a major operations and maintenance centre (OMC) for SkyTrain.

The property is located at 225 North Road, a large industrial site with warehouse structures constructed in 1957.

This site is just south of the Expo Line guideway in the area, and just northwest of Braid Station.

Property records retrieved by Daily Hive Urbanized show an entity acquired the site for $82.5 million on March 11, 2020. According to CBRE, this property was bought by TransLink.

A spokesperson for TransLink confirmed with Daily Hive Urbanized that this property was indeed purchased for its redevelopment into the new additional OMC for the growing SkyTrain network.

225 North Road Coquitlam SkyTrain OMC

The future site of the new SkyTrain OMC at 225 North Road in Coquitlam. (Google Maps)

225 North Road Coquitlam SkyTrain OMC

The future site of the new SkyTrain OMC at 225 North Road in Coquitlam. (Google Maps)

Earlier this week, it was reported that the construction cost of the facility is about $300 million, and the public transit authority is pursuing federal funding to cover the cost of building this critical infrastructure.

The sprawling facility will have train car storage yards and maintenance facilities serving both the Expo and Millennium lines. It is right on Coquitlam’s border with New Westminster and the Brunette River, and just north of a Amazon distribution centre, which could be redeveloped into a major multi-tower, mixed-use redevelopment with up to 4.2 million sq ft of residential uses, 1.5 million sq ft of office uses, and 150,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant uses.

This expansion OMC facility is necessary to serve the 205 new and additional replacement SkyTrain cars (41 five-car trains) ordered by TransLink to fulfill the capacity needs of both the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and Expo Line Surrey-Langley Extension, and overall systemwide capacity increase needs.

A completion of the OMC is anticipated towards the middle of this decade to accommodate the surge in the new generation of longer trains, and the opening of the Broadway Extension to Arbutus, which is expected in 2025. All of the new train cars will arrive by 2027.

skytrain mark iii train 2020s generation f

December 2020 artistic rendering of the new Bombardier Metro 300 (Mark III) trains for TransLink’s new SkyTrain car order. (TransLink)

new skytrain control centre omc2

Artistic rendering of the new SkyTrain Operation Control Centre addition on the existing parking lot of OMC2. (TransLink)

This new Coquitlam OMC is in addition to the new major OMC planned in eastern Surrey or Langley for the second stage of the Expo Line extension to those communities. The south of Fraser OMC will specifically serve the capacity needs of the Expo Line.

Capacity and technology upgrades are also being made to the existing Edmonds OMC facilities to handle the longer trains, including the construction of a new $110 million, state-of-the-art SkyTrain control centre building.

Last year, TransLink completed a minor expansion of this OMC to the west of the existing facility at a cost of $21 million, increasing its storage capacity by up to approximately 30 cars.

Edmonds OMC

Aerial view of Edmonds OMC in Burnaby. (Google Maps)

SkyTrain OMC

A Mark III SkyTrain car inside the Edmonds OMC. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

TransLink has received $1.47 billion from the federal and provincial governments to cover the cost of the new trains, which includes replacements of all aging 150 Mark I cars, as well as the upgrades to the existing OMCs, and train control and operating systems. But this does not cover the planned new Coquitlam OMC.

The public transit authority is also seeking funding from senior governments to cover the $1.5 billion cost of the second stage of the Expo Line Surrey-Langley Extension from Fleetwood to Langley Centre, including the south of Fraser OMC. The first stage from King George Station to Fleetwood will use $1.6 billion in cancelled LRT funding, but senior governments have yet to provide final approval.

SkyTrain Edmonds OMC

Exterior of Edmonds OMC in Burnaby. (Google Maps)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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