$35 million project to replace 20 km of SkyTrain Expo Line's rails will help reduce noise

May 12 2023, 9:29 pm

An upcoming major phase of TransLink’s rail replacement project for SkyTrain Expo Line over the coming years will be carried out with the financial support of the federal government.

It was announced today the Government of Canada will cover half of the $34.9 million project cost, with TransLink covering the remainder.

This entails replacing about 20.2 km of running rail on SkyTrain Expo Line and approximately 24,000 rail pads over the next four years, starting later in 2023 and ending in 2027.

“The maintenance project announced today will ensure the continued safety and reliability of the Expo line while also helping reduce noise pollution,” said Joyce Murray, the MP for Vancouver Quadra, in a statement.

The project’s primary purpose is to replace the aging railway infrastructure originally built in the 1980s to ensure the Expo Line continues to operate safely and efficiently while also reducing the noise levels of passing trains for areas near the Expo Line.

In recent years, TransLink has been looking to mitigate growing noise issues on SkyTrain through a range of measures and has conducted extensive studies on pilot projects on solutions.

“We pride ourselves in providing a safe and reliable SkyTrain system for this region, and to do that, we require ongoing investment in key areas, such as track maintenance. This important funding package will ensure the Expo SkyTrain lines remain safe and reliable for years to come,” said Kevin Quinn, CEO of TransLink.

Brad West, the mayor of Port Coquitlam and the Chair of TransLink’s Mayors’ Council, added: “The SkyTrain rails being replaced have been around for nearly forty years, with more than two million trains that have run over them in that time frame. I’m pleased that the running rails are getting replaced to keep our infrastructure in good condition and to keep SkyTrain reliable for the people that depend on it every day.”

skytrain rail replacement project

Crews replacing running rails on SkyTrain Expo Line. (TransLink)

This expands TransLink’s ongoing SkyTrain rail replacement project, which began with the 2018 investment plan with the provincial government funding 40% of the initial project costs.

The completed rail replacement projects to date include 4.9 km of rail and 8,400 rail pads between Waterfront and Stadium-Chinatown stations from December 2018 to Spring 2019, 6.7 km of rail and 12,000 rail pads between Stadium-Chinatown and Main Street-Science World stations from Spring 2019 to Spring 2020, and 9.8 km of rail and 17,000 rail pads between 22nd Street and New Westminster stations from December 2019 to March 2021.

Work is currently underway on the replacement project between Commercial-Broadway and Nanaimo stations, where 7.3 km of rail and 10,400 rail pads will be replaced. This work first began in December 2021 and is scheduled to reach completion in Summer or Fall 2023. Expo Line currently runs at lower frequencies during the late night hours on select nights to accommodate this work.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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