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Translink Buzzer Blog

The first of the new SkyTrain cars has arrived!!

The first of 48 new SkyTrain cars has arrived at SkyTrain headquarters! I took a video because a photo couldn’t quite capture the whole train — beware, you can hear me talking in it.

Bet you didn’t expect it to be grey and blue, did you? The cars are painted to match the new livery on the bus fleet. It’s so different from the white SkyTrain cars, but you might see them mixed and matched in the future—the new cars, which are all Mark II cars, can be attached to the older white Mark II cars.

Two of the 48 cars have actually arrived: you can see one in front of the other in the video and the photos later in this post. They will be paired into a single train with that grey accordion bit in the middle. (For those that don’t know, the Mark II cars are the newer looking cars with the grey accordion gangway in the middle. Mark Is are the classic cars from the 80s.)

The new cars are currently being un-shrink-wrapped and getting some parts installed, and will then undergo testing and commissioning before starting service later this year. They also have awesome new interiors with exciting features — but I can’t share them all with you until we do an official launch in a month or so! Be patient though: I’ll be all over that when the official launch happens :)

And as promised, I’ve got more photos of the new cars after the jump! Click each photo for much, much larger versions.

The new SkyTrain!

The new SkyTrain!

The old and new SkyTrains.

The old and new SkyTrains.

Another angle of the old and new trains together.

Another angle of the old and new trains together.

Yes, another angle of the old and new SkyTrain cars.

Yes, another angle of the old and new SkyTrain cars.

The side of the new SkyTrain cars.

The side of the new SkyTrain cars.

The new SkyTrain car from the front.

The new SkyTrain car from the front.


  • By Trevor Harrison, January 14, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

    WOW those look amazing. Just one thought, is it me, or does the “Redesign” ivory kind of look like the original Mark II color scheme unveiled back in 1998 (unable to find photo of that color scheme).

  • By Paul Hillsdon, January 14, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

    WOW! Now this is why the Buzzer blog exists! Thanks Jhenifer for this first look behind-the-scenes! Awesome design – sure beats the Canada Line trains!

    I see two new features:

    1) New curved handle bars on the back of the seats, like fancy commuter buses in London and HK.

    2) A front-end display sign, presumably to tell which Line each train set is.

  • By rbo, January 14, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

    Looks pretty sweet to me:
    – single seats, more room for standing a plus
    – is that an LED screen in the front window? No more needing to look at the station LED to see whether the train is headed for Expo or Millenium?
    – please tell me the route maps above the doors will light up to show the station progression and current location! :)

  • By Donald Nguyen, January 14, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

    Horizontal standing bars! Proper horizontal standing bars! Can you say hallelujah lol.

    Plus they look sweet with the new Translink livery… can’t wait to see these trains in service!

  • By Coffee Barista, January 14, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    Nice, nice… looking very Stylish there, Translink.

    Are these going to be added to the system or are they going to replace the current ones? Emmm… the Millennium line, the one I take every day, could use a few more units :)

    And, does the new units being longer mean that the extra-long-two-in-one Skytrain cars used in rush hour will no longer be possible? Those double-cars are great, two of the new ones would be even greater!


  • By Bryan, January 14, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

    That’s a slick train… hey i don’t live to far from the depot… so i hope you guys make the unveiling public… or at least drop of a few flier’s at the schools in area… although i thought the skytrain was getting middle cars..

  • By Dennis, January 14, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    Yeah the paint scheme is very nice. I too hope the unveiling will be public. I would like to attend :)

  • By C.Cassidy, January 14, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

    I must admit Jhenifer this made me scream like a little kid, and I don’t do that often :D

    Just when I was loosing hope in Skytrain this reinstates it all, and more!

  • By R, January 14, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    Why so many different paint schemes? Are they all going to this colour and when?

  • By Shane, January 14, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    What a great surprise on this visit to the BuzzerBlog! Sexy paint job. Jhenifer, you sure know how to build the anticipation. Can you tell SkyTrain that your blog people want a public unveiling?

    And – that is some serious attention to the photos

  • By C.Cassidy, January 14, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

    I think after all of this Jhenifer needs some sort of reward for bringing this glory to our eyes!

  • By Michael, January 15, 2009 @ 12:39 am

    Are all the older buses and trains going to end up painted like this before 2010?

  • By Gordon Harris, January 15, 2009 @ 2:10 am

    First of all… nice to hear your voice at last! :)

    Second, I’m a bit surprised to see the new SkyTrain cars arriving already. I didn’t even realise that we had the tester set (for the new traction motors) back yet…

    Third, I must be about the only one on here who doesn’t like the new version of the TransLink “sweep” livery – or at least, not as a universal fleet livery. I think they should have used it for the new trolleybuses (to promote the trolleybus network as something special) and kept the older scheme for everything else. Either that, or if you’re insistent on using it for the entire fleet, then phase it in for the entire fleet as vehicles are repainted. But then again, neither of us is responsible for such decisions, are we?

  • By ;-), January 15, 2009 @ 8:39 am

    Oh kewel “Skytrain porn”!

    How soon will the new vehicles be running? When can we go see what they look like inside? I’m curious to see what they’ve done for capacity, as well as making ingress/egress easier as everyone likes to stand/block the train door entranceway. The Mark 1 trains were wider in the centre to allow more movement between the doors.

    I understand the Canada Line was going to have cars with “common areas” where seating is minimal to allow more people to stand, as well as store their large luggage. Perhaps some of the Skytrain cars should be built with no seats as well.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 15, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    Wow — you guys are amazing! Thanks for the abundance of comments: as always, it is great to hear from all you, and everybody here is really happy to see you like the new colours :)

    I’ll start here by responding to all the comments I know the answers to already — the rest will have to wait a little while I dig up some responses.

    And my apologies in advance, I’ve got to be coy on a number of the answers because we really don’t want to announce the new features until the launch. That’s when all the new bits will be actually installed and working, and we can show them to you properly!

    Paul H:
    Good eye on the two new features there! There is a front-end display sign, and uh, no comment on the interiors, although the video/photos probably say much more than I can :)

    The first two of your comments are on the ball. The third… you’ll have to wait and see ;)

    Yep, the horizontal bars run down the centre of the trains. That I can tell you because the Province already put that in the paper alongside their SkyTrain picture, so it’s fair game for everybody!

    Coffee Barista:
    The new SkyTrain cars will be expanding the fleet, not replacing any cars. So, once the 48 cars arrive, we’ll jump from 210 to 258 cars in total.

    I don’t actually think the new SkyTrain cars are longer — I’m pretty sure the white Mark II is just sitting a bit back from where the grey one is. But I think I’ll double check that just in case.

  • By David, January 15, 2009 @ 10:23 am

    Thanks Jhenifer,

    Those pictures are awesome. Looks like there’s an LED destination display in the front window and I assume there’ll be one inside too.

    I like the look of the new livery, but I’m concerned that Translink is going to have an identity crisis. It would be nice for Translink to adopt a livery for it’s trains and apply it consistently. As it stands now, there will be three different liveries on SkyTrain plus the Canada Line livery.

    Still, nice to see the new trains

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 15, 2009 @ 11:21 am

    Coffee Barista:
    Just confirmed — the trains are the same length asthe old MK IIs, not longer.

    Just asked, and no common areas are planned for these MK IIs.

    I’ve asked and while there is an official launch for the media and such, there aren’t any plans for a public unveiling right now. Basically, when the new SkyTrain goes on the system, the public will be able to get up close and personal with it. Plus I’m sure you’d rather have the car in service as soon as possible, instead of us leaving it static somewhere for public viewings :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 15, 2009 @ 11:36 am

    Ahh, I’m so sorry to disappoint. While I’d love to get the public all up in the new SkyTrain asap, there aren’t any plans for it. Again, SkyTrain is just going to get the new train into service as soon as they can, so that’s when the public will get to see it it. I will see if I can keep an eye on when it will actually go into service though. Maybe I can give you all the heads up.

  • By Robert, January 15, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

    Hopefully not too off topic, but since color schemes were mentioned, are the Seabuses going to be painted in the dark grey/blue scheme as well? I would think the Seabuses would be more visible in the present primarily-white scheme. Thanks for your good work, Jhenifer.

  • By Alex, January 15, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

    Robert makes a good point regarding the SeaBus colours. The boats would be difficult to see in the dark if they ever get repainted in the dark grey/blue scheme. That would be inviting a collision with a tugboat or other sea-going vessel on the Burrard Inlet.

  • By David, January 15, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

    Responding to Alex re: SeaBus colours. The paint colour of any vessel has nothing to do with visibility in the day or at night. Consistent with the Federal Collision Regulations, all ships have navigation running lights (red, green and white) and these tell other boats where they are in relation to the other vessel day and night. By looking at the colour combination, you know if the boat is approach you head on, going off to the right or left, or if you are following it. The lights also tell you if the boat is under power or under sails. So no need to worry about colour of the vessels.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 15, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    David – thanks for the enlightening comments on ship safety! I certainly learned something there. TransLink would have never repainted the boats an unsafe colour anyway — safety as always is #1 for any transport agency.

    For Robert — good guess! The new SeaBus will indeed feature the grey livery too :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 15, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    So, update. The new vehicles will tentatively be out on the system in late March/April. There is LOTS of parts installation, testing, and commissioning to be done so we can ensure the vehicle is safe and functional. I am told, however, that the testing/commissioning usually takes the longest with the first vehicles. After the first round, SkyTrain will have identified most of the issues to look out for and the next cars to arrive generally take shorter to test & commission. Of course, testing & commissioning also depends on the condition of the SkyTrains after transport and such, so you never know, the later rounds of testing/commissioning might take longer in the end. But that’s the general wisdom I’ve heard.

  • By David, January 15, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

    There’s an active thread on this over at Skyscraper Page – I’ve provided a link to the Buzzer Blog on the forum – hope you don’t mind.

    Also, Jhenifer, will the existing Mark II skytrain cars be refurbished to add the new features – such as destination signs and some of the interior modifications?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 15, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

    No problem: linkage is always great. And sadly, I haven’t heard anything about the existing Mark II cars being refurbished. I hope they don’t get jealous of the new Mark IIs.

  • By David K, January 15, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

    How do they transport these cars to Skytrain control and get them onto the tracks?

  • By Kenneth T, January 15, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

    Quote from RBO
    – please tell me the route maps above the doors will light up to show the station progression and current location! :)

    this reminds me of the time when I went to Hong Kong and rode on their transit system.
    If you have ever seen and/or been on one, you’ll know that:
    it has the front-end LED display for the route name.
    inside, it also has LED display above for ads, info (Time, Date) and ‘the next station’.
    Just Above all the doors of the train, there is the entire system map, with the current station glowing (when arrived at station), next station flashing (when moving to next station) and 2 lights that tells you which side the doors open at the station so that passengers will be prepared to leave the station. I’m trying to find an image of what i just said above.

    As for the speakers, when you are near the station, it says the next station, but also tells you which doors will open (‘Next station _____, Doors will open on the (left/right)). Before the doors close, instead of the chime u hear in our skytrain, the Hong Kong ones says (Please stand back from the doors) then beep a few times while doors close. They say the announcements in 3 languages-Chinese, Mandarin, English-because it’s their language.

    Summarizing what i said above–yes, I know I wrote a lot: Hong Kong trains-
    -have the entire route maps displayed above the doors, with the current station lighted when flashing, and next station flashing when moving out of station. Signals for doors to tell people which side the doors will open.

    -LED Display within trains to show ads, information, and ‘next station info’

    -Speakers tell people what station is coming up next, which doors will open, warning before doors close and beeps when doors closing–all in their language.

    Maybe in a few years, Translink would take some of Hong Kong transit ways and merge it with our current system…that would make the system more easier to navigate within.

  • By Paul Hillsdon, January 16, 2009 @ 1:59 am


    Speaking of the SeaBus, any estimate on when the third vessel is set to be built, and when it will go into service? Will the refurbished Otter and Beaver sport new livery and other enhanced features perhaps? ;)

  • By Eugene Wong, January 16, 2009 @ 3:55 am

    Hi Jhenifer! I hope that you had a good holiday.

    I appreciate you showing us these photos. They’re great stuff. I’m so glad to read about various improvements around the system.

    The horizontal handlebars are great. I hope that they won’t encourage vandalism. I remember being told that the horizontal handlebars were deliberately left out, because of vandalism.

    Thank you, Translink! Thank you, government! Thank you, tax payer.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 16, 2009 @ 9:06 am

    David K:
    These cars were transported by truck from Bombardier’s facility in Mexico.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 16, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    I don’t know what shipbuilding timelines are, but the third SeaBus should be arriving in fall 2009. If you’re curious, it is being built by Washington Marine Group in their Victoria shipyards–that info comes from the press release regarding the purchase of the new SeaBus.

    Our current SeaBus friends, the Otter & Beaver, will get to have some extensive work done after the new SeaBus arrives, and yes, that work does include a facelift to match the new look and features of the new SeaBus. I can’t tell you what those new features will be yet though!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 16, 2009 @ 11:09 am

    R, Michael, Gordon, David:

    Let’s talk livery.

    So, the new grey/blue livery has been in place for about two years. The reason it was put in place was to provide integration and consistency across the whole fleet.

    Previously, each of our services was branded differently with its own livery, such as the 99 B-Lines and HandyDART. A lot of TransLink buses also had the white/blue/yellow scheme going on. And the older vehicles still wore the BC Transit colours of red & white.

    So, for the future, we are ordering new vehicles in the new livery, and on an ongoing basis that livery will begin to spread throughout the fleet.

    As for the past vehicles… well. There are some I’m sure about and some I don’t know. The SeaBuses will all definitely get repainted into the same livery. With the buses, some of the older buses are being decommissioned and will not be repainted. I’m not sure if the rest of the fleet will get an upgrade or not. And there are no immediate plans to repaint the older SkyTrain vehicles.

    Before you all yell “Why not!!!” at me though, I think the repainting all depends on funding, timing, and service. Each of the older SeaBuses are able to get the paint job because they’re going to be pulled out of service for a major overhaul anyway, once the third SeaBus arrives to relieve their shifts. I imagine that the fleets from SkyTrain or CMBC don’t necessarily have the time/funding for a new paint job when demand for their service is high.

  • By Gladys, January 16, 2009 @ 11:26 am

    Are you also going to revisit the new TV screens that have been installed in the Waterfront Station?

    Right now, when you come down the escalators from Waterfront Station, you can’t see where the car that’s currently in the station is going, because the (formerly useful) destination sign blocked by the (useless, advertising-loaded) TV screen.

    This is really annoying for people who are looking for the Expo Line Skytrain and trying to decide whether to run for that car or not.

  • By ;-), January 16, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    Also about that point on TV screens @ Waterfront… How about a countdown timer so we know if we need to hustle or not.

    They do this for BART riders in San Francisco.

  • By Don, January 16, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

    Umm… if the old Mark I trains are not replaced, at least refurbish the suspension! On the Expo line from Broadway to Main St. The tracks are either very warped, or the Mark I trains are getting very wobbly tossing left and right. Does Translink even roadtest these tracks like what they do in Japan for the bullet trains? They have special instruments that measure the tracks for ride comfort/safety… granted our Skytrain doesn’t get anywhere close to those speeds, but it’s very hard to keep balance in a fully loaded train during rush hour trying not to fall on your neighbour.

  • By Don, January 16, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

    Oh… on more thing about livery… who really cares, just paint a base colour, and wrap them all with ads and earn money to subsidize the transit system.

    As long as you keep the 3M wrap on, there’s no need to worry about repainting because it a protective coating in itself.

  • By Dave2, January 16, 2009 @ 11:54 pm

    Hi Jhenifer, if you can stand one more question in this long thread, how long is it anticpated it will take for the remaining 23 sets (of 2) cars to enter service once they start ariving in March or April? One a month? Two a month? Personally I can’t wait; those 2 car MK-II sets can be brutal in rush hour, not counting the Broadway short turn of course.

  • By Donald, January 17, 2009 @ 9:04 am

    So much hate for the Mark-I trains! I’m happy they’ll be refurbishing them to keep them in service for another 30 years. I’ll be sad to see them go just like the old trolleys. Compared to the wonderful Mark-IIs they’re small, loud, old, smelly, and they don’t have A/C, but they’re chalk full of nostalgia.

  • By ;-), January 17, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    I’m the opposite. I love the 20 year old Mark 1. There’s more standing room between the doors in the aisles and wheelchairs can roll up to the sides. The Mark 2 has this stupid piece of glass that becomes an obstacle course to get to the flip seats. As the population ages, I expect more wheelchairs just park and block the already narrow doorways, especially with bikes on board.

  • By Ken C., January 18, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    I love these trains.

    It would also be nice if we could get more SkyTrain system maps at both stations and inside the trains. Asian metro systems, such as Hong Kong’s MTR, do this beautifully by having line maps above the platform and noting which station the passenger is at and which direction the train is heading:

    It would also be great if we could have “Please stand back from the doors” automated announcements before the doors close as some people insist on holding the doors open onto trains.

    One last thing, it was recently announced that SkyTrain would test out playing music at stations….this is definitely a great feature, but something I would also like to see happen is automated train arrival announcements at the stations: “The Expo Line train to Waterfront is now arriving. Please let passengers exit the trains first.”

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 19, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    I always have time for questions :)

    Basically the cars should enter service as soon as we can get them in. But we don’t really have an exact, hard timeline for the arrivals of each of the new cars, mostly because you never know what can happen with manufacturing or transport delays. We do, however, expect them all to trickle in before the end of the year.

    To be honest, I think the best bet is to stay tuned here to the Buzzer and I’ll do my best to keep you informed as the new cars arrive. And as I mentioned in another response, the first cars are usually the longest to put into service after testing & commissioning — the later shipments should have an easier time getting into the system, since key issues are usually identified in the testing & commissioning of the first cars. Usually, anyway.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 19, 2009 @ 9:40 am

    Ken C:

    Thanks for your recommendations — I’ve passed them along to SkyTrain.

    With regard to the SkyTrain maps—we are actually working on improving the wayfinding throughout the system (maps, signs, etc). I don’t have much more on the project than that, but we’re definitely thinking about the same things you are :)

  • By Jeff Summers, January 19, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

    Amazing work….it would be awesome if there was a public unveiling…

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 20, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    Thanks very much for your comment regarding that section of rail from Broadway to Main. I sent it over to SkyTrain and they’re investigating the area and will make any repairs as needed. We do know that rail grinding has been done on that area before Christmas — rail grinding is a preventative program of rail polishing to remove noise producing corrugation. Again, they will re-check that area, but so far we have not heard of any serious body sway in that rail section.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 20, 2009 @ 2:56 pm


    I’ve asked around regarding your concern about the TV screens at Waterfront, and here’s the response:

    TransLink, SkyTrain and a number of other groups involved with this project spent a significant amount of time assessing possible locations for these new LCD screens based on a number of factors, including ceiling height, proximity to other operational signage, as well as security camera sight lines. The locations chosen at Waterfront Station were the best possible solution with respect to the above mentioned placement criteria. However we will re-assess the situation with respect the to LCD monitors at Waterfront to see if there are adjustments we can make to either screens to improve access to the information.

  • By JackDaniels, January 20, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

    Hey Jhenifer do you know if they are plans to add a middle car/Trailer cars? So in the future instead of seeing 2 car configuration like the Current Mk2 cars, there would be 1 or 2 cars with the articulated passage ways in between leaving the total length of 2 or 4 cars. If you not sure what im talking about im take a look at how the OTrain in ottawa looks it has 3 cars. Will in the future we see our skytrains look like that?

  • By daniel, January 25, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

    dear jennifer,

    i am looking forward to taking my first ride on the new skytrains, but i am hearing ppl sayin stuff about the mk 1 trains always being noisy and shaky. is skytrain gonna sort that problem out or wat are they gonna do?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 2, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Hi Daniel,

    Sorry for the delay in this response. I’ve heard back from SkyTrain, and while the Mark I trains are older, there shouldn’t be a significant difference in the ride quality when compared to a Mark II train. Trains will likely shake if the rails are uneven and require adjustments or repairs.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 2, 2009 @ 4:56 pm


    I’ve spoken to SkyTrain, and they’ve said longer trains are in consideration for the future, but there are no confirmed plans at this time.

  • By James Ferdano, February 13, 2009 @ 12:37 am

    Oh my gosh! These new skytrains look like the other Mark II. The seats are different the way they are seated than the other white ones. And the design of this train is just like the bus which is on the fleet currently.

  • By Jackdaniels, February 21, 2009 @ 5:17 am

    Thank you for answering my last question. What are the Length and width of the Mk2 trains set?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 24, 2009 @ 9:09 am

    MK II length = 16.7m
    MK I & MK II width = 2.4m

  • By Andrew Joyce, March 3, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

    I managed to luck out today as I happened to go by the maintenance yard when one of the new trains was sitting alongside the mainline. The cars were numbers 307 and 308 which means that at least 2 more of the new cars have been delivered since the first two were 305 and 306.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 4, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    Lovely! Glad to hear that more have arrived.

  • By Julian, March 24, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    I cannot understand Skytrain’s paint scheme. Some cars are white with blue and yellow. Some are red and white. The new ones are grey, blue and yellow, but there’s no rhyme nor reason.

    Why doesn’t Skytrain do things logically like most cities and paint the cars different colours according to what line they’re on? That makes it so much easier to know where the train is going. Blue for the Expo Line, Yellow for the Millennium line and Red for the Canada Line. Simple.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 26, 2009 @ 10:55 am

    Hi Julian,

    I’ve asked SkyTrain about the paint schemes. Basically, we can’t paint the trains the same colour based on the route lines simply because we do not have specific trains solely dedicated for each line. Trains are given assignments or scheduled runs daily and depending on the location of that train, it could be assigned to an Expo or a Millennium Line.

    I’m also told that there is a significant cost to repaint the trains. SkyTrain is also holding back on painting the trains because most of them will be covered with ad wraps anyway, especially during the Olympics.

  • By Julian, March 26, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

    I don’t agree with Skytrain’s we-can’t-do-it-because-we-don’t way of thinking, but I appreciate your time and thank you for a quick response.

  • By Andrew Joyce, April 7, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

    I spotted 4 more cars in the Skytrain yard on Saturday afternoon wrapped in black plastic.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 7, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

    Thanks Andrew! Guess they’re just rolling in now. I’m told testing and commissioning is still not yet complete though, so I suppose we’ve all just got to keep waiting until everything is ready to go…

  • By Alex, April 28, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

    It’s almost May,Where are the trains??? Are They Ready in May?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 29, 2009 @ 8:48 am

    Hi Alex, I’m told end of May is when we’ll start seeing them in service. Testing and commissioning has taken longer than expected!

  • By Shane, May 4, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

    Hi Jhenifer.

    Can we have an update on the new Mark II trains? When will the first one be in service (you mentioned late April earlier). And, how many train-sets have been delivered now?


  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 5, 2009 @ 8:57 am

    Good timing Shane: I will actually have an update on the Mk IIs for you tomorrow! I’ll make sure to get the number of trains delivered. End of May is the current service date as of now.

  • By John Brydle, May 6, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

    What technical improvements have been made?
    Some areas which could use improvement is a better suspension system to deliver a smooth ride, also better insulation to cut down on running, rail noise. Has this increase in capacity come at the expense of comfortable seating?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 8, 2009 @ 10:23 am

    Hi John,

    Here’s a partial answer — not sure about the seating question yet.

    The suspension system on SkyTrain is very limited due to the relatively low height of the car floor above the rail. This gives very little room for suspension components so the suspension is very rigid and consists of rubber blocks. This contributes to a relatively firm ride and transmission of noise into the car body. By contrast, the Canada Line cars ride much higher above the rail, allowing for a better suspension system (including air springs) that provides a smoother and quieter ride.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 8, 2009 @ 10:24 am

    Wait, I do have the answer. The wider aisle has reduced seat numbers from 43 to 33 (including the flip-down hostler seat that faces the end windscreen).

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 12, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

    And a further update to the answer for John Brydle’s question:

    Improvements have been made to the interior (stanchions, flooring, seats, destination signs, electronic route maps, cameras, seat layout, interior and exterior colours) and to the sub-systems (Health Monitor, Propulsion, APU, floor heating, serial bus etc.).

    Any major upgrade in truck suspension would require adding air to the car, significantly impacting maintenance costs. The MK II ride is already good compared to older MK I cars. Considering the typical short trip on SkyTrain, it is more than adequate by industry standards.

    As for seats, the new seat design is state-of-the-art from a major supplier, intended for good ergonomics, an attractive appearance and a comfortable ride for the passenger. It resulted from a 2-year development program for a better transit seat.

  • By Julian, June 8, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

    I’ve noticed that there is a bus loop at Marine Drive station and new trolley wires from Main Street to Granville along Marine Drive. I find it very strange that I have seen nothing and can find no information about what will happen to bus lines in Vancouver once the Canada Line opens. Which routes will change to go directly to Canada Line stations? Will the B-Line be cancelled? Will the extremely useless and poorly planned airport bus (I’ve never understood why people with suitcases have to transfer in the middle of nowhere to another bus to get downtown from the airport and vice versa. Who dreamed that up?) be cancelled?

    Thank you for your time.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 9, 2009 @ 10:57 am

    Hi Julian,

    In fact, we held several open houses in 2008 and 2009 to discuss the bus changes related to the Canada Line. Check out the public consultation area of the TransLink website — the information from the open houses we held earlier this year is posted there (here’s a direct link).

    But to answer your questions, yes, the 10, 15, 17, and 3 trolley routes will be extended to
    Marine Station on the Canada Line. And sadly, the 98 B-Line will be cancelled as will be the 424 Airport bus. It’s a matter of having a finite number of buses and high transit demand in other areas. Articulated buses freed up by the 98 will be going to launch an express bus service in Surrey!

  • By jackdaniels, June 14, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

    Would a train that’s 3 meters wide fit on the sky train tracks? reason I ask is because I hear that the skytrain tracks are standard gauge and I hear that airtrain in new york use same technology as us,but their train is wider. so im just curious too know if their 3.2 meter wide train could fit on our tracks. although I doubt they would be able run smoothly with the guide way being narrow or the stations

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 14, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    Probably not. SkyTrain does have standard gauge tracks, so if the train isn’t standard gauge width, it’s going to have a hard time fitting! Also, I’ve just looked it up, and it looks like standard gauge is ~1.4m wide, so a 3m wide train would cross over into the adjacent track… which is pretty much impossible to work with.

  • By JackDaniels, June 16, 2009 @ 10:42 am

    the Canadaline has the same track guage, I was under the impression that the track guage was that the distance of how far apart the rails were apart from each other and if that were the case i thought that a much wider train could fit… i want to try and make a minature model trains and tracks and try it out.

  • By Bryan, July 2, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

    So just out of curiosity what’s going on with the fleet numbering system for the Canada Line Trains because I’ve seen one train where you have car 110 coupled with 210? If you want you could make a blog post dedicated to the Canada Line Trains.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 3, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

    Hmm… I’ll pass it along and see what the Canada Line peeps have to say.

  • By Jackdaniels, July 5, 2009 @ 12:04 am

    Hey Jhenifer i saw the the tracks on the canada line open house and I see what you mean about wider track gauges, also I forgot about how deep the tracks/platform height for subway height were, but wow is it ever deep.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 10, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

    Bryan: here’s the answer from Canada Line!

    The fleet numbering system may seem a bit confusing but it’s fairly straightforward. The answer to the question below is:

    110 is the car and train number — so car #1 of train 10. So, 210 is car
    #2 of train 10 and so on. Another example would be 101 and 201. 101 is car #1 of train 1……201 is car #2 of train 1.

    This method gives us lots of flexibility if we add trains to the system
    in the future.

  • By Max, July 12, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    So when will these new trains be entering service?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 13, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    It’s tough to give you a specific date, since it depends on the results of the testing & commissioning. If the trains pass everything right, it probably won’t be long until we see them in full service — but if they fail then it might be a while longer while things are getting fixed.

  • By Andrew S, July 20, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

    Hi Jhenifer, on your June 9th post, you said that the 10, 17, 15, and 03 trolley routes will be extended, but 15 Cambie isn’t a trolley route anymore.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 21, 2009 @ 9:29 am

    It was a trolley route before though! The 15 will still be extended to Marine.

  • By JackDaniels, July 26, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

    Is 2.4 meter wide trains the max that can fit on the tracks and guide ways? DO you think in the future we would expand to get our trains to be at least 2.6 meters wide?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 31, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    Jack: Sadly, we are limited by the platform widths. We would have to make significant changes to the system if we were to move to wider trains: so I don’t think wider trains are coming in the future.

  • By Derek, July 31, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

    I just rode on one today, and really, their features should’ve been introduced 10 years ago, on the original Mark II. But then, our system is always behind others. The Mark I’s don’t even have AC, whereas most other systems in North America have had AC for decades.

    Still, it’s nice that we’re finally getting some additions. Now all we need is an extension into Newton and Guildford, and maybe further into Richmond.

  • By JackDaniels, August 2, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

    Ok fair enought Jhenifer. I just can’t understand why we desided to go with such small trains in terms of width;was it because it was cheaper, or that UTDC was limited to making it that size because of technology?

    I heard that Linear induction motors are that efficient compaired to linear synchronous motor which has 98% efficiency. Whats your take on that?

  • By Susan B., August 20, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    I was told by someone that the new Canada Line trains will not run on the older Expo and Milennium lines is this ture????? Seems very silly to me that they would do something such as that!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 20, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

    Susan: Yes, it’s true. The new Canada Line doesn’t use the same technology as the Expo and Millennium Line. The new cars do have their own advantages though: for example, the ride is smoother owing to the difference in technology.

  • By Den, September 16, 2009 @ 5:37 am

    Does anybody know what the 2009&2010 MKII’s fleet numbers will be?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 16, 2009 @ 11:47 am

    The fleet numbers for the new Mark IIs are 301-348.

  • By Den, September 17, 2009 @ 9:41 am

    Jhenifer, thanks a lot

  • By Jackdaniels, December 25, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

    Can we please use this kind of seating arragement. It’s a comprimise of what I want and what you want plus it addresses what your concerns about sudden train stoppage,Armrests. heres the link

  • By Jackdaniels, January 14, 2010 @ 5:08 am

    why exactly was my last post deleted?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 14, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    It got caught in the spam queue since there was a link in it. Never fear, it’s back.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 14, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    OK, I’ll pass your suggestion on to SkyTrain staff: they’ll hang on to it for the future.

  • By Jackdaniels, January 15, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

    thank you.

  • By jacky l, January 18, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    I saw the latetest new markIIs number 347 and 348 just doing a test run jan 17 it stopped at all staions and all doors opened but the sigh when the doors open say test train dont board at lougheed station and also saw the same train at stadium too

  • By skytrainboy22, March 25, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    Are the older trains going to be repainted? It would be actually cool if they were. :D

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 29, 2010 @ 11:10 am

    skytrainboy22: Nope, no plans for repainting the old trains in the new colours!

  • By josh, March 31, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    what kind of insalation does it use?

  • By josh, March 31, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    do you know how it uses heat?
    convertes heat?
    elimenate heat?
    and creats heat other than kinetec friction?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 15, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Josh, I’ve passed your questions on to SkyTrain but they are confused about what you are looking for. Would you mind restating your questions with a bit more detail?

  • By Larry Wartur, August 16, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    On the JFK airtrain, I read that the first digit of the car # indicates the number of manual controls for the car
    Thus 101 would have one set at one end only & 201 would have 2 sets, one at each end. Since the car numbering system of the skytrain, which is basically the same system as the airtrain, seems to be the same, the reason for the #1 or #2 as the 1st number would be the same. True ?


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