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Running Rail work continues near Metrotown Station on April 10 & 11, 2017

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**UPDATE** Work has finished early on this phase of the Running Rail Replacement Project. There will be no modifications to service on Tuesday April 11th. 

The Running Rail Replacement Project marches on with work taking place on Monday, April 10 and Tuesday, April 11 near Metrotown Station.

The modified service for this work will similar to the current modified service, but the single tracking – when trains travel on the same track in alternating directions – will happen at Royal Oak and Edmonds stations.

Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront to King George Station. Please be aware that during this work, there will be no Expo Line trains to Production Way–University.

There will be a shuttle train operating between New Westminster and VCC–Clark. You can change trains to this service at New Westminster and Columbia stations.

If you are travelling on the Expo Line, please allow for 15-20 minutes extra travel time. Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.

Know before you go!
For more information on what this means for your commute, visit translink.ca/alerts.
Find details on the Rail Replacement Project at translink.ca/rail replacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Running Rail work continues on the Expo Line

The Running Rail Replacement Project continues with work near Main Street–Science World Station is starting April 2. Work will not be done on Fridays and Saturdays and is weather dependent.

From 9:30pm until the end of service, Expo Line trains will be single tracking – when trains travel on the same track in alternating directions – between Main Street-Science World and Commercial-Broadway stations.

Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront to King George Station. Please be aware that during this work, there will be no Expo Line trains to Production Way–University.

There will be a shuttle train operating between New Westminster and VCC–Clark. You can change trains to this service at New Westminster and Columbia stations.

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If you are travelling on the Expo Line, please allow for 15-20 minutes extra travel time. Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.

Tips for a faster trip using Special SkyTrain Service

  • If you are travelling from downtown Vancouver and your destination is Sapperton, Braid, Lougheed Town Centre or Production Way–University stations, take an Expo Line train to Commercial–Broadway station and change trains to a VCC–Clark – New Westminster train operating from platform 2.
  • If you are travelling from Commercial–Broadway to Braid, Sapperton, Columbia or New Westminster stations, board a VCC–Clark – New Westminster train operating from platform 2.
  • If you are travelling from New Westminster Station to a destination along the Millennium Line, including Commercial–Broadway Station, take the New Westminster – VCC–Clark train.
  • If you are travelling from Surrey to a destination along the Millennium Line, including Commercial–Broadway Station, ride the Expo Line to Columbia and transfer to a New Westminster – VCC–Clark train.
  • If you are travelling on the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension to New Westminster Station or beyond, transfer at Lougheed Town Centre as you normally would and catch the VCC–Clark – New Westminster train from Platform 2 at Lougheed Town Centre. If required, change to the Expo Line at New Westminster to continue west.

Schedule Adjustments due to events

  • Sunday April 2: Service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30pm, to accommodate the Canucks hockey game.
  • Wednesday April 5: Service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30pm, to accommodate the Canucks hockey game.

Thank you for your patience during this necessary maintenance to our SkyTrain system.

Know before you go!
For more information on what this means for your commute, visit translink.ca/alerts.
Find details on the Rail Replacement Project at translink.ca/rail replacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Running Rail replacement continues near Stadium–Chinatown Station

pattern change

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

The next area of running rail replacement is near Stadium–Chinatown Station and is taking place from today, February 23 to  March 9 16 22. Work will not be done on Fridays and Saturdays and is weather dependent.

Customers can expect modified service between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown stations during the specific work times.

A Special SkyTrain Service shuttle will provide 10 minute service in both directions between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown stations.

Details:

  • From 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, Expo Line trains travelling towards Waterfront will terminate at Stadium–Chinatown station.
  • Expo Line trains travelling towards both King George and Production Way-University will operate normally from Stadium–Chinatown stations.
  • Expo Line passengers connecting at Stadium–Chinatown should allow for 5-10 minutes of extra travel time.
  • Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.
  • Schedule adjustments due to special events:
    • Tuesday, February 28: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Thursday, March 2: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Sunday, Mar. 5: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Whitecaps game.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 7: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Thursday, Mar. 9: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Monday, Mar. 13: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 14: No work will take place on this date.
    • Thursday, Mar. 16: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.

Riders should also be sure to watch destination displays and listen for train destination announcements.

How does this affect your commute? Check out our Alerts Page for pattern changes and upcoming work.
Find more information on the entire project, visit translink.ca/railreplacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Running Rail replacement begins February 5, 2017

2015 Running Rail work

2015 Running Rail work

**UPDATE** Due to snow and ice, this work for February 5 to February 8 is cancelled. Work is set to begin on February 13 if weather permits.

An important part of delivering transit service to the region is keeping our system in a good state of repair.

Sometimes that means rewiring trolley wires, station upgrades, bus refurbishments, rail work or a variety of other necessary maintenance projects.

The Running Rail Replacement Project on the Expo Line will begin on February 5 to February 8 and February 13 to February 15 starting at 9:30 p.m. as part of the SkyTrain Rail Asset State of Good Repair Program.

So far, we’ve replaced 15,013 linear metres of running rail!

  • 800 linear meters west of Main Street Station (1997)
  • 1,575 linear meters between 22nd Street and New Westminster Stations (2001)
  • 1,506 linear meters between Waterfront and Burrard Stations (2001)
  • 1,282 linear meters between Main and Stadium Stations (2003)
  • 1,200 linear meters at the curve west of Broadway Station (2006)
  • 1,400 linear meters at the OMC Gatehouse curve (2008)
  • 1,500 linear meters at the curve west on New West Station (2009)
  • 1,200 linear meters at Edmonds outbound curve and OMC2 inbound curve (2011)
  • 1,650 linear meters at OMC2 outbound curve and Edmonds Station inbound curve (2015)
  • 2,900 linear meters at Broadway Station “S” curve (2015)

During this phase, we will be replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

What to expect

Due to the complex nature of scheduling this required maintenance project, we will complete this work in various phases at each location.

In order to complete this work, single tracking will occur around where the work is being done.

To help customers get where they need to go during this time, SkyTrain will also be slightly modified.

  • From 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, Expo Line trains will be single tracking (trains travel on the same track in alternating directions) at Main Street–Science World and Commercial–Broadway stations.
  • During this time Expo Line trains will only operate between Waterfront and King George stations. There will be no Expo Line trains to Production Way–University.
  • Expo Line trains between Columbia and Production Way–University stations will be temporarily replaced with Special SkyTrain Service trains operating between New Westminster and VCC–Clark stations.
  • Passengers from other stations on the Expo Line can change trains to this service at New Westminster and Columbia stations.
  • Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.

SkyTrain pattern change 1We will provide more specific information on upcoming work and how this may impact your travel as the project continues into June 2017.

**PLEASE NOTE** This work is weather dependent. Please check the Alerts page for updates.

Thank you for your patience as we work to keep the Expo Line safe and reliable for years to come.

For more information on the Running Rail Replacement Project visit On Track.
Updates to single tracking will be posted to Transit Alerts.
Have questions? Ask away!
By phone: 604.953.3333
Online: @TransLink

Author: Adrienne Coling

First phase of running rail replacement work complete!

You may have noticed in the past few months that the Expo Line has been undergoing some major maintenance work!

As part of that maintenance, we have been replacing major sections of rail along the 30 year old track.

The first phase of the work began last August and has just been completed – replacing 4,550 linear metres of rail at three locations.

Here’s what has been replaced so far:

  • 700 linear metres of rail along the outbound curve east of Edmonds Station
  • 950 linear metres of rail along the inbound curve west of Edmonds Station
  • 2,900 linear metres of rail along the S-curve between Commercial–Broadway and Main Street –Science World stations.

We will be continuing the rail replacement work this summer.

This work is critical to keeping our system in a good state of repair.

Thanks for your patience while we complete this necessary maintenance on the SkyTrain system!

Author: Jordan Keim

Running rail replacement continues this Sunday, November 15 2015

This next and final round of rail replacement is a continuation of the work we did this summer.

The final phase of running rail replacement work will begin this Sunday, November 15 and continue until early 2016.

Work has been underway since August to replace 4,550 linear metres of 30-year-old SkyTrain track on the Expo Line.

This work is critical to keeping the system safe and reliable for our riders now and in the years to come.

After months of work, the last 1,450 linear metres of track are set to be completed.

To make this rail replacement less of a headache for our riders we are keeping trains and tracks in service while crews work during non-peak hours.

However, beginning Sunday, November 15 and continuing for several months, customers should expect delays on the Millennium and Expo lines from Sunday through Thursday starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until end of service.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Where is the rail being replaced?

  • In-bound Commercial-Broadway curve

When?

  • Nov.15 to early 2016 – Sunday to Thursday, 9 p.m. to end of service

How will service be impacted?

  • Expo Line service will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations while crews replace rail west of Commercial-Broadway Station.
  • Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only
  • Customers travelling with bicycles should try to travel before 9 p.m. or after 10 p.m. when trains are busiest.
  • Customers should plan for at least 20 minutes of extra travel time while crews are working.
  • Crews will not be working between Dec. 12 and Jan. 2.

Author: Laura Tennant

Rail replacement work continues September 5-7, 2015

Jennifer at Edmonds Station speaking about rail replacement. No, we did not organize the SkyTrain to move past her perfectly timed. It just worked out that way!

Work continues this weekend as TransLink replaces major sections of its 30-year-old SkyTrain track while keeping the service open for customers. Keeping the trains running while this critical work is done during non-peak hours will mean delays for customers taking the Millennium and Expo lines this weekend.

Where is the rail being replaced? 

Last weekend (Aug.28-30) crews replaced approximately 950 linear metres of rail by Edmonds Station. The work was completed on schedule, despite high winds and a downed tree in the area where rail was replaced.

This weekend, crews will replace rail along the S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.

How will service be impacted? 

September 5 to 7, all day (Labour Day weekend)

  • Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced, while crews replace rail west of Commercial-Broadway Station. Trains will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.
  • Millennium Line will operate between VCC-Clark and Columbia stations only.
  • A frequent bus shuttle will operate between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown stations from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Millennium Line customers travelling into or out of downtown Vancouver in the afternoon should consider using this bus service.

To minimize waits, customers are encouraged to consider alternate bus routes to reach their destinations! Thanks for your patience while we complete this necessary work! 

Author: Jennifer Morland

Rail replacement is set to start August 28th!

252_-_SkyTrain_near_Science_World_2

Riders take note! Work to replace running rail on the Expo Line is set to begin August 28th.

TransLink is replacing major sections of its 30-year-old SkyTrain track while keeping the service open for customers. Keeping the trains running while this critical work is done during non-peak hours will mean delays for customers taking the Millennium and Expo lines this weekend and next.

Where is the rail being replaced?

  • Edmonds Stations’ inbound curve west (outbound has already been completed)
  • S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main-Science World Station

When?

  • 11 p.m. Friday Aug. 28 to end of service Sunday, Aug. 30— Inbound curve west of Edmonds Station
  • Labour Day weekend, Sept. 5-7:—S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World Station

How will service be impacted?

11 p.m. Friday Aug. 28 to end of service Sunday, Aug. 30:

o   SkyTrain Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced. Trains will single track at Edmonds and Royal Oak stations.

o   Passengers should allow at least 20 minutes of extra travel time.

o   Millennium Line will operate between VCC-Clark and Columbia stations only.

o   Additional trains will operate from Waterfront to Metrotown stations only. Passengers boarding the Expo Line in Vancouver and travelling to stations east of Metrotown should wait for “King George” trains.

Labour Day weekend, Sept. 5-7

o   SkyTrain Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced. Trains will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.

o   Passengers should allow at least 20 minutes of extra travel time.

o   Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only.

o   A frequent bus shuttle will operate between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown stations. To minimize delays, Millennium Line customers travelling into or out of downtown Vancouver in the afternoon should consider using this bus service.

To minimize waits, customers are encouraged to consider alternate bus routes to reach their destinations!

 

Author: Laura Tennant

Friday fun guest post: A history of monorails in Vancouver, by Michael Taylor-Noonan

The monorail at Expo 86. Photo credit: Colin Rose.

I’m happy to welcome another guest post from Michael Taylor-Noonan, the newsletter editor for the Transit Museum Society! (He previously wrote guest posts about Vancouver bus numbers, and reminiscences of early Vancouver transit.) This time, Michael has kindly contributed a short history of monorails in Vancouver. Read on for more!

Readers old enough to remember EXPO 86 will certainly remember the monorail used for transporting visitors around the worlds’ fair site. That monorail, built by Von Roll of Switzerland, is still providing transportation, but now at Alton Towers theme park in the UK. It was installed there in 1987. During its one summer of operation, it was certainly the closest Vancouverites came to having a monorail as a permanent addition to the transportation network.

The idea of a monorail in Vancouver is certainly not new, though. You may be surprised to learn that there have been two proposals to build a monorail between downtown Vancouver and the airport. The first was in the mid-fifties when YVR (as it’s known today) proposed a growth strategy that reserved the airport for long-haul flights. Service to cities in B.C. such as Victoria, Powell River, and Kelowna would be by helicopter from a downtown heliport. Connecting the two would be a monorail. It would cover the 15km or so in ten minutes, and would include possible freight and mail service.

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APTA Rail 2010: Rail project updates from various agencies

Lillian Hames from Sonoma Marin Area Rail

Lillian Hames from Sonoma Marin Area Rail

(If you haven’t heard by now, TransLink is hosting the 2010 APTA rail conference this week! See the APTA Rail 2010 category for more posts.)

Tuesday morning was the Project Update section of the conference, where 20 agencies presented updates on their latest rail projects in 10 back-to-back 30-minute sessions. A great way to catch up on what other agencies are up to!

I couldn’t see everything, since for each session, two agencies presented updates simultaneously in two separate rooms —but I did manage catch most of the updates from Sonoma County in California, Edmonton Transit, Calgary Transit, AMT in Montreal, TriMet in Portland and Toronto’s TTC.

What follows are my summaries of each presentation. Some overarching thoughts:

a) Once again, rail projects are expensive: the cheapest project I saw was a three-mile $425 million Edmonton Ellerslie LRT extension, and everything else seemed to cost billions.

b) Big events can prompt rail investment: GO Transit’s Air Rail Link is moving due to the Pan-Am Games in 2015; a bid for the World’s Fair in 2017 is helping spur Edmonton’s LRT growth

c) Funding and oversight for rail projects is quite different in the U.S.: the federal government is the key funder and overseer, and it’s currently very keen on public transit – also lots of agencies get funding from local sales tax, which has dropped sharply in the economic recession

By the way, corrections are welcome: I’ve only transcribed what I heard so there may well be a few errors here and there!

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APTA Rail 2010: It Takes a Region: Integrating rail investment in multimodal plans and programs

The multimodal planning discussion.

The multimodal planning discussion.

“It Takes a Region: Integrating rail investment in multimodal plans and programs” had four speakers that included our VP of Planning Mike Shiffer, so I dropped in on the session on Monday.

The speakers were:
– Charles R Goodman, director, office of system planning, FTA, Washington D.C.
– Gregory A. Walker, AICP, Planning and Development Director, Sound Transit, Seattle WA
– Richard F. Clarke, Assistant General Manager Capital Programs, RTD, Denver CO
– Dr Michael Shiffer, VP Planning, Strategy , and Technology, TransLink, Burnaby BC

They each brought a wide variety of perspectives to the table on this topic! Some were more like project updates than explorations of multimodal integration, but that was OK (and still interesting).

Here are my notes from the session. Things I thought were notable include:
a) the cost of rail projects anywhere is always in the billions of dollars,
b) sales tax sources can be quite unstable sources of revenue
c) Seattle has two floating bridges and one is slated for a light rail line
d) Denver’s project motto for their rail project is awesome: BUILD AS MUCH AS WE CAN, AS FAST AS WE CAN, UNTIL IT IS ALL DONE (it was indeed written in all caps)

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Rail Talk #2 with SkyTrain CEO Doug Kelsey

Check out the second series of Rail Talk videos with Doug Kelsey, SkyTrain’s president and CEO.

Rail Talk is a series of candid question and answer sessions that Doug does with members of the TransLink Listens online customer survey portal.

The first series from September 2008 focused on SkyTrain security questions, but this series was open to general questions. Doug answers inquiries about our snowy Christmas service, plans for the Olympics, and more. (By the way, the webcast was recorded before the Olympic Transportation Plan announcement, so that’s why Doug’s answers are not detailed.)

The Rail Talk sessions are originally done as one-hour webcasts, and then split into shorter clips so that everybody can see them on YouTube.

And before you ask, here’s why nobody looks into the camera in this set of clips. Both a webcam and a video camera were set up to record the Rail Talk session—and Doug and Drew Snider from TransLink media relations were focused on just the webcam to connect with the customers participating in the original webcast :)

The first clip above answers the following question:

During the Christmas snow “storms” accomodation was made on the Sky Train to increase the train frequency & hours, as well as some municipalities stepping up to accomodate parking for transit riders. The challenge was for those of us living East of Surrey (i.e.West Langley) who still needed to get into Surrey, and the bus service wasn’t adequate. What plans are in place to improve this situation for Olympic Games time, weather related emergencies, or regular commuting times?

I’ve provided the rest of the questions below, linked to each of the appropriate YouTube clips. But if you’d like to watch the whole webcast continuously, we’ve also created this playlist that goes through all the clips in order.

Read more »

Want the skinny on single tracking? Ian Fisher fills us in…

A new Mark II SkyTrain! Whee!

Ever waited for the SkyTrain during scheduled single track night time service?

If you are a regular rider, chances are you have. Chances are you’ve also asked yourself what exactly is going down during single tracked service.

Well, I’m here to shed some light! Single tracking on the Expo Line has been used accommodate the Power Rail Replacement work currently underway on the SkyTrain.

The project is nearly 80% complete and we thought it would be cool to get the skinny on the power rail replacement as well as how single tracking works.

We checked in with Ian Fisher, Manager of Operations at BCRTC, to learn the ins-and-outs of single tracking.

What is the power rail replacement project that’s underway during single tracking hours? 

For over the last year BCRTC has been accommodating a power rail replacement project that will help maintain and improve system reliability and allow for increased capacity in the future. The new power rail replaces worn power rail installed when the system was new and will support operation of more and longer trains, as well as increase energy efficiency. The power rails are mounted vertically to the side of the track and supply 600 volts DC to the trains (one rail is +300 V and the other -300 V). The need to replace them is due to the same factors that control how many appliances you can plug into an extension cord – too many and the cord will overheat while also increasing its electrical resistance.

What is single tracking and how does it work?

“Single-tracking” is when we run trains in both directions over a single piece of track. It’s like taking a two-lane road down to one lane and having a signal or flag ,person regulating traffic in the remaining lane so it only flows in one direction at a time. Many railways operate this way where they do not have two tracks. We do this when work or an incident on or adjacent to one track requires it to be closed while the other track can remain open for passenger service.

The length of single-tracking will depend on the locations of the track switches where we can transition from normal operation to single-tracking, and vice-versa. This can be short or long. For example, if we have to detour trains around the westbound platform at New Westminster, the length of the single-tracking area is only about 500 metres. At the other extreme, if the eastbound platforms at Main or Broadway are closed, the single tracking area is about 5 km long – from just east of Stadium-Chinatown to west of Nanaimo.

The longer the area, the more time it takes trains to travel through the area and trains operating in one direction may need to wait for trains in the opposite direction to clear the single-track area. In the Nanaimo to Stadium example the travel time between the switches is about 7.5 minutes in each direction. As a result, if trains ran alternately in each direction, we could run a train each way about every 15 minutes – significantly less often than the 5 minute service normally offered in late evenings. This would give a service of 4 trains/hour and so provide capacity for about 2,000 riders per hour in each direction.

We can increase capacity by running trains back-to-back in the same direction through the single-tracking area. This occupies the line for a bit more time for each direction (about 90 seconds each way) but overall the capacity is increased since we can then run two trains each way about every 18 minutes. The result is 6.7 trains per hour in each direction, with a capacity of 3,300 passengers. We have generally found this “two train platoon” approach to be effective at balancing capacity with service frequency and have used it for almost all of the power rail work areas in 2014 and 2015.

In order to better balance the number of passengers on each train, and to provide a more consistent service on the rest of the network, we run the trains a bit further apart outside the single tracking area. So, in the example above, the first westbound train operates about five minutes ahead of the second until it gets to Nanaimo. The first train then waits at the platform until the second train has caught up, then proceeds towards the start of the single-tracking area. With the two westbound trains now running back-to-back, they can enter the single-track section as soon as it is clear of eastbound trains. When leaving a single-track section, we may have the second train wait for a few minutes at the first station after the single-track section to help space the trains out for the same reasons. In this example, this occurs for eastbound trains at Nanaimo.

Why can’t work be done during non-service hours to avoid single tracking?

Doing the power rail work after service ends is not feasible since the time when no trains are running between the last train of the night and the first train the next day is too short for reasonable productivity and a 2-year project with work starting mid-evening would take 10 years or more if all work was after service ends. Consequently, we design single-tracking operations that allow the work to proceed on one track while the other track remains available to trains. This is done for other projects that need extended track access as well, such as repair and replacement of the running rails that the trains operate on, and for some types of work in stations.

How is single tracking monitored to ensure safety?

BCRTC Operations Planning staff develop finely-tuned timetables that aim to squeeze as much capacity as possible out of each single-tracking area. Train timings are carefully worked out to ensure that trains are running pretty much continuously in one direction or the other through the single-tracking area and the operation tested in simulation. While our signalling system would never let two trains collide, staff in the control centre must remain vigilant after delays to ensure that trains operating in opposing directions do not meet in a single-track area – a situation that requires one of the trains to be reversed clear of the single-track area to clear the deadlock.

A variation on single-tracking that we also use at times is to “break” the train operation at a station, such that trains from both directions terminate at a platform alternately but through service is not provided. This effectively creates two shorter single-track sections and thus allows a higher frequency of service to be provided on each, and can be easier to operate. As an example, we may operate trains from VCC-Clark to one of the platforms at Gilmore and back, while other trains operate from the same Gilmore platform to Waterfront and back. Through passengers thus change trains at the same platform – an important consideration on the Millennium Line where most stations have side platforms.

We continuously balance the need to see to work completed with the impact on service and customers. As a result we delay the start of single tracking on game/large concert nights so that additional trains can be operated to clear the crowds. If the event is particularly large, or will end later than 10:30 p.m., we generally cancel the single-tracking that night to provide a higher service level.

Thanks Ian for giving us the lowdown on single tracking! If you want updates about where we are with Power Rail Replacement work, you can check out OnTrack  on our website.

Author: Laura Tennant

TransLink 101: Why can’t SkyTrain run 24 hours?

TransLink 101 blog feature series banner

For February 2013, we’re going back to basics with TransLink 101—explaining TransLink and its work!

SkyTrain at night. Photo by kennymatic from Flickr. (Click the image to go to the original!)

As we’re nearing the end of the TransLink 101 series, we thought we’d talk about something that we get asked quite often: why can’t SkyTrain run 24/7?

We often get this question as SkyTrain is an automated, driverless, light rapid transit system, which provides a lot of flexibility in how we can run our trains.

But even without drivers, there are other key factors that affect how long SkyTrain can run every day. Here’s a quick FAQ!

Read more »

SkyTrain weekend track maintenance starts Saturday, November 7

A heads up that SkyTrain will be replacing sections of running rail in the New Westminster area of the Expo Line over the next three weekends: November 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22.

The work will result in reduced train frequency and some delays east of Edmonds station.

A little background on the work

In the nearly 24 years since opening in 1986, the original Expo Line has seen close to three million trains (more than 10 million SkyTrain cars) travel over the tracks between Waterfront and New Westminster.

Sections of rail in the curve approaching New Westminster station are now due for replacement. Some additional sections will be modified to improve the ride quality in the curves between New Westminster and 22nd Street station. The work requires closure of one track at a time over a full weekend, from the end of service on Friday night, until the start of morning service on Monday.

What this means for you

So on the weekends of November 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22:

  • At 22nd Street station, and on some occasions at New Westminster, trains will operate in both directions from a single platform. SkyTrain staff will be on hand to provide direction.
  • Train frequency in the Edmonds-Columbia section will be reduced to every 16 to 18 minutes. Expo Line trains will wait for up to 7 minutes at one of: Edmonds, New Westminster, or Columbia.
  • Millennium Line trains from VCC-Clark will run every 7 to 9 minutes, and terminate at Columbia. Passengers to/from the Expo Line must change at either Columbia, or Commercial-Broadway.
  • Additional trains will operate between Waterfront and Edmonds, where both tracks remain in service. This will maintain near-normal frequency and capacity in the western half of the Expo Line.
  • Canada Line operation will not be affected.

Passengers travelling within or through the Edmonds – King George section should allow an additional 15 minutes for their trip. We will do our best to minimize delays and inconvenience.

As always, we ask our riders to watch for signs, listen to announcements, and follow the directions of SkyTrain staff. Thanks for your patience and cooperation as we continue to maintain your SkyTrain system!

Reminder: Dunsmuir tunnel maintenance continues until mid-December

And in the meantime, just a reminder that evening maintenance in the Dunsmuir tunnel continues most Monday through Friday evenings, through to December 11.

Service frequency between Waterfront and Stadium stations is reduced to every 12 minutes after about 9:45pm, although some exceptions apply during major events.