Construction on new $300 million SkyTrain maintenance centre to begin this year

Apr 22 2021, 4:56 pm

With 205 new SkyTrain cars arriving in Metro Vancouver starting in 2023, TransLink is pushing forward with the construction of a new additional operations and maintenance (OMC) facility to store the influx of new five-car Mark III trains from Alstom’s Bombardier.

TransLink staff recently presented their plan to Coquitlam City Council to redevelop the 27-acre industrial property at 225 North Road it acquired for the purpose of this “OMC 4” facility.

As reported earlier this year, the site is located just northwest of Braid Station — south of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Expo Line guideway.

Early works construction is expected to begin June 2021, while major construction activities will begin in March 2022 with the flyover track connection between the Expo Line and the train yard on the east side of the facility. By October 2022, construction will begin on the main yard.

OMC 4 is expected to become operational starting in early 2026, just in time for the storage capacity increase needed to accommodate the new fleet of trains. The final train is scheduled to arrive in September 2027.

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 4

Proposed layout of SkyTrain’s OMC 4 at 225 North Road, Coquitlam. (TransLink)

TransLink states SkyTrain currently has a total fleet size of 294 cars equivalent to the length of the Mark II model. By 2027, the fleet will be expanded to 397 cars to support both the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and overall systemwide ridership growth.

As the new trains arrive for replacements and expansion, the entire fleet of old Mark I trains from the 1980s and early 1990s will be retired, making space for the new trains in the existing OMC facilities at Edmonds in Burnaby (OMC 1) and Falcon Drive in Coquitlam (OMC 3).

The new OMC 4 facility will have an initial storage and maintenance capacity of 145 cars, which can be expanded to an ultimate capacity of 170 cars.

OMC 1 and OMC 3 combined currently have a total storage capacity of 228 cars, and this will increase to 240 cars in 2022.

The construction cost for OMC 4 is approximately $300 million. TransLink spent $82.5 million to acquire the site in March 2020.

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)

The public transit authority is also building a new state-of-the-art control centre and data facility for the Expo and Millennium lines within a new four-storey building at OMC 2 in Edmonds, located just across from OMC 1. Construction on this critical $110-million hub is scheduled to begin this year for an opening in 2024, ahead of the opening of the Broadway Extension in 2025.

As part of the Expo Line Surrey-Langley Extension project, TransLink has plans to construct an additional operations centre (OMC 5) near the Langley end of the extension for the added storage capacity required and to reduce the distance Expo Line trains have to travel to return to their home base.

The Canada Line’s OMC in Bridgeport is separate from the mainline system, and for the time being it is operated separately by ProTrans BC, a division of SNC-Lavalin.

new skytrain control centre omc2

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

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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