Woodlands: The SkyTrain station that never got built

The Millennium Line opening in 2002 added 13 new stations to the SkyTrain network, but there was supposed to be a 14th one—Woodlands Station—between Sapperton and Columbia Station.

That station was to be built at Front Street, where the SkyTrain line emerges from an one-kilometre underground tunnel from Columbia Station before continuing along the Fraser River to Sapperton.  It would have been the first station of the non-interlined portion of the Millennium Line.

However, the construction of the station was contingent on the redevelopment of the 64-acre site formerly occupied by Woodlands School, a hospital for mentally disabled children, at McBride Boulevard and Columbia Street. These plans never materialized and the station was not constructed, but provisions were built into the tracks for a station. Satellite images (pictured) show side platforms were built at the site during Millennium Line construction.

The redevelopment of Woodlands, known as Victoria Hill, has since gotten back on track. The Carlyle, the Grove, the Residences, and Glenbrook developments have been completed by the Onni Group. Parkside, a 22-storey high-rise is currently under construction at the northeast corner of the site.

Despite this, one has to wonder if there is enough justifications for the cash-strapped TransLink to build the station to serve a community of only 1200 homes that is located in an automobile-friendly area. Columbia Station is also reasonably accessible through walking.

The Capstan Way Station is currently the only new SkyTrain station under development. The City of Richmond is collecting  $8,000 from developers for every new dwelling unit built in the Capstan Village area to fund the $25 million cost of constructing a new Canada Line station. Once the entire amount is collected, the money will be transferred to TransLink and the station would be built within 30 months.

It is expected the station will be built within 15 years, but construction can begin as soon as the funds are raised.


Hat tip to What the Helvetica
Photo Credit: Google Maps Screen Capture