The first of 12 new two-car trains — totalling 24 cars — for SkyTrain’s Canada Line is now on its way to Vancouver to provide much-needed overcrowding relief.
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- Short platforms and trains: Is the SkyTrain Canada Line under-built and near capacity?
- Opinion: Canada Line is a model example of a poorly-designed, under-built toy train
Over the weekend, TransLink said the first new train manufactured by Hyundai Rotem was just loaded onto a container ship, and it is expected to arrive in Vancouver within the next few weeks.
The remaining trains will arrive over the course of the year, and they will complete final testing and commissioning before going into service in early 2020.
— Ken Chan (@iamkennethchan) July 21, 2019
With the expansion, the Canada Line fleet will grow from 40 cars to 64 cars, which necessitated an expansion of the storage area of the operations and maintenance centre near Bridgeport Station.
When all trains are in service, scheduled frequencies will be increased to provide the Canada Line with the ability to reach a peak capacity of over 8,000 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) — up from 6,100 pphpd today.
The public transit authority previously stated the new cars are the exact same model as the original Rotem cars from 2009, apart from some relatively minor interior improvements such as stronger air conditioning and retractable seating areas at both ends of the train to increase standing capacity, thereby an increase to overall capacity.
Photos and video of the first train delivery also show that the ends of the new fleet will feature the Canada Line’s distinctive blue, white, and green exterior livery.
TransLink confirmed the $88-million train order in early 2018, with the federal government covering 50% of the cost, the provincial government taking 33%, and TransLink handling the remainder.
This order is separate from the Expo Line and Millennium Line system’s new 56 new Bombardier-built Mark III cars, which are scheduled to fully arrive by the end of 2019.
The Canada Line has been an immense ridership success, with ridership levels now about 60% higher than its first full operating year a decade ago. In 2018, it recorded 147,700 average daily weekday boardings — up by 5.3% compared to 2017.
Other than new train cars, TransLink is on the receiving end of numerous fleet additions for other various services, including four new electric-battery buses for Route 100 and a new fleet of 32 double-decker buses for longer-haul suburban routes.
The public transit authority will receive over 500 new and additional buses throughout 2019. This includes 238 new buses to replace ageing fleets and 105 new buses for service expansion, as well as 88 new buses from a batch that began arriving in 2018.
Earlier in the year, it received a new additional SeaBus that will allow for new peak hour frequencies of every 10 minutes — up from the existing limit of every 15 minutes.