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Canada Line photos: Yaletown Station construction

Yaletown Station: an illustration of what it will look like when complete! [1]

Yaletown Station: an illustration of what it will look like when complete!

I’ve been noticing some interest in posts about the Canada Line lately, so this here will be the first of three posts on Canada Line station construction.

We’ll start with a look at Yaletown Station. Some of you may recognize these pictures from the Canada Line website [2], except I’ve got some detailed comments on the photos from John Walker, senior technician from the Canada Line project. (We’ll look at Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront Stations in the next few days.)

A brief overview: John took all these photos of the stations on Nov. 26. The heavy construction is mostly done on the stations, and they are now mainly focused on the finishes in the stations and the electrical and mechanical systems. I know that testing has also started with train cars on the Vancouver portion of the line. That’s all underground, so unfortunately you can’t see those trains in action.

Click on each photo for much, much larger versions.

An escalator inside Yaletown Station. [3]

An escalator inside Yaletown Station.

This photo is taken at the platform level. Looking at this photo, my first question to John was “What is that big plastic wrapped thing in the middle?” Turns out it’s an escalator. John says it’s wrapped in plastic because they are very expensive and they want to protect the brushed stainless steel finishes. When are they going to take the plastic wrap off? John says probably at the last possible moment, to prevent any damage.

Facing south, looking down the inbound train tunnel. [4]

Facing south, looking down the inbound train tunnel.

Here we are in the actual guideway. The photo is taken facing south, looking down the inbound train tunnel. John points out the yellow platform edge line can be seen in this photo. The white shrink wrapped escalator can also be seen in the centre of the picture, behind a cement column. The guys on the far right are working on the stairs.

Again, the platform is deep (15m) because Yaletown Station is located in an area with soil that is quite soft. The soil is made up of glacial deposits from False Creek, and as such is much more challenging to build in. Another challenge was that the buildings surrounding it are also much older and much closer to the station’s property line.

Working on the stairs at Yaletown Station. [5]

Working on the stairs at Yaletown Station.

Here’s a closer look at the work being done on the platform stairs, as seen in the last photo. The workers are placing the rebar and reinforcing steel on the staircase. John says that those little shiny studs jutting out of the plywood will hold the stair treads. The stairs are made out of precast concrete.

The stairs leading to the Yaletown Station entrance. [6]

The stairs leading to the Yaletown Station entrance.

This is now one of the upper staircases, which leads to a little landing. At the landing, you get on a second flight of stairs to climb all the way up to the Yaletown Station entrance. (If you haven’t guessed already, that plastic wrapped item on the right is the escalator.)

Let me explain this again, because the next set of photos may be confusing. Two flights of stairs connect the station entrance to the concourse. (The concourse is the central area of the station where the ticket machines and whatnot are located.) Pictured in the photo above is the lower flight of stairs.

Temporary stairs that parallel the stairs in the last photo. [7]

Temporary stairs that parallel the stairs in the last photo.

Okay, this is a temporary staircase that parallels the stairs in the last photo. As you can tell, this is necessary because the stairs from the last photo don’t have any steps. You can also see the top of the escalator poking out at the top there (it’s the thing wrapped in white plastic).

Standing at the top of the temporary stairs. [8]

Standing at the top of the temporary stairs.

Here’s the view once you reach the top of the temporary staircase and are standing on the little landing. At the bottom right is the top of the escalator in plastic again. The next flight of stairs is behind us.

The uppermost set of stairs in Yaletown Station. [9]

The uppermost set of stairs in Yaletown Station.

Okay. This is the set of stairs leading all the way up and out of the station entrance. The hole in the right is where the escalator will go.

Yaletown Station at the uppermost entrance level. [10]

Yaletown Station at the uppermost entrance level.

Here we are now looking at an overview of Yaletown Station. Just left of centre, you can see the stairs from the last photo, with the hole next to it for the escalator. (The Portapotty is right at the head of the stairs.) The rebar (the crossed grid of metal bars at bottom right) is where the glass-walled station house will be built.

Restoring the utilities to Davie Street. [11]

Restoring the utilities to Davie Street.

And last, this photo shows a worker helping reinstate the utilities on Davie Street. John says that this photo shows an electrical duct bank.

So, that’s it from this round! Tomorrow we’ll have a look at Vancouver City Centre station, which is further along in its construction.