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Translink Buzzer Blog

I Love Transit Week: paper buses and trains!

Well, who are these guys? They are miniature paper versions of a TransLink bus and SkyTrain, the two transit cutouts that I’ll have at I Love Transit Night on Thursday. (I hope you can make it – here’s the details!)

Making paper transit vehicles is in fact quite a popular activity. There’s quite a few transit enthusiasts who make and share models: you can find many links from Paper Bus Connection, including Ryan’s TTC Paperbuses, which even has several models based on the TransLink vehicles.

As well, for I Love Transit Week, I have a special treat to share from transit enthusiast Jason Vanderhill: paper historical trolleys!

A detail from one of Jason Vanderhill's historical trolley papercrafts.

A detail from one of Jason Vanderhill's historical trolley papercrafts.

Jason has built foldable models of two 1908 historic trolleys, based on technical sketches by David E. Reuss from 1999. He did them for the City Reflections project, which preserved and enhanced a film done on a Vancouver streetcar in 1907.

So, download this PDF I’ve created with Jason’s images, resized for printing on letter-sized paper. (If you have it, card stock would work well for the models, giving them a bit more structure.)

And if you find the PDF doesn’t suit your purposes, you can try working with Jason’s original GIF images: here’s the red trolley, and here’s the green trolley.

If you fold these trolleys, send me a picture – I’d love to see where they end up! And if you have any paper bus tips or recommendations, please do share with us in the comments.

Thanks again to Jason for sharing your papercrafts with us!


  • By Jason Vanderhill, February 25, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

    This is so awesome! More papercrafts! Thanks for all the link love! My dream for a papercraft Community Shuttle is perhaps not so far away!!

  • By Nathaniel, February 26, 2009 @ 12:08 am

    W00t! Now I’ll have a home for all my little paper transit-riders…

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 26, 2009 @ 7:55 am

    Nathaniel: honestly, that was too funny.

    Jason — thank YOU so much for sharing your paper trolleys!

  • By Eugene Wong, February 26, 2009 @ 8:42 am

    Any cereal boxes or tissue boxes could probably be used for paperboard. This will be a slightly more environmentally friendly approach.

    It would be interesting to see if we can convince the companies to put the vehicle image on the inside. This could give the kids some incentive to eat the cereal.

  • By Donald Nguyen, February 26, 2009 @ 9:54 am

    Aw I want one. :( I can’t make it to the meetup though.

  • By CJ Stebbing, February 26, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

    Do you expect us to ride in those when we come? because if so, i can’t do it for the reason that i’m 6′ 7″………..SERIOUSLY!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 26, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

    Yes CJ, I expect you to ride in those buses :)

  • By daniel, February 26, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

    dear jennifer,

    one day i went to translink corporal office at the metro towers and they gave me a stack of skytrain and bus cutouts! but when they first gave them to me, i started to wonder, will translink be redesigning or making new cut outs? cuz it’d be great to hav a model of the new nova buses or one of the b- line buses!

    sincerely, daniel

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 27, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    Hi Daniel,
    Well, glad to hear you have some cutouts to enjoy already! I don’t know of any current plans to make/redesign new cutouts. I don’t think it’s for lack of enthusiasm, as everybody here really likes the paper vehicles — it just seems that one of the limitations is that it’s relatively expensive to print the actual cardboard cutouts with custom perforations. Homegrown cutouts like the ones found at the links above still exist though, so you can do those ones at home, if that helps!

  • By daniel, February 27, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    dear jennifer,

    thanks for your reply on my question but the problem is that i don’t really have a big printer and i dont have cardstock. so thats why i was wonder if they could redesign the cutouts.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 2, 2009 @ 9:44 am

    If we put them online, the cutouts will be optimized for letter-sized paper, so you will be able to print them out.

  • By Ryan Flores, March 3, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    Hello there.

    I’m the webmaster of the website “Ryan’s TTC Photos”. I just came by to say thanks for the link. My most recent update to the Paperbuses section included some Vancouver Translink buses and BC Transit buses, if your interested.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 3, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    Thanks for the update Ryan! I’ll pop over to check them out :)

  • By daniel, March 6, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

    dear jen,

    thanks for the reply. right now i’ve been turning the bus cutouts into electric trolleys and articulated buses.

  • By mary-kaye, March 30, 2009 @ 7:30 am

    Where can we order this paper bus/lrt with our own design?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 30, 2009 @ 9:22 am

    Hi Mary-Kaye, at TransLink we only have paper versions of the bus and SkyTrain car as pictured in the post. So if you want to custom make a version with your own design, you’ll have to make one for yourself. Sadly I’m not much help on paper crafts, but you could perhaps contact one of the paper bus websites listed above, such as Ryan’s TTC Photos, to see if they have any advice.

  • By mary-kaye, March 31, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    Thanks jhen. Also, I’m looking for a bus made with cardboard or something. We are planning to hand this to elementary students for earth day. If you have any idea or sugestions in regards to this send me an email at Thank you!

  • By ???, April 11, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    Some of the paper buses on the recommended websites are very hard to fold and glue.

  • By jmv, June 2, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

    To respond to the comment about difficulties with folding and gluing, depending on the size of the artwork, you might want to make bigger tabs than printed…simple! Then, to make perfect folds, score the lines with a knife/scissors and ruler; makes for perfect folds every time!

  • By KJ Conde, October 14, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    I like Vancouver Translink paper model.I like a Canada Line Skytrain cut out and bus cut out,Skytrain cutout.because i like it now.
    next time i like Trolleybus cut out.

  • By kj conde, October 16, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    This is Video Canada Line The next train arrival time is for yvr airport.
    the next train arrival time is for waterfront.
    the next train arrival time is for Richmond Bridge House.This train is for Richmond Bridhouse.

  • By kj conde, October 16, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

    But all 639 Trolleybuses are making stopping.Yes Is Broken This Cable but we have to get out of the Bus.This Power in the TrolleyBus was shut down.We have to use SkyTrain Station to Millennium Line or Expo Line.On June 2008 Where building the Canada Line Skytrain 3.But this bus was burn the cables but we have to get out of the Bus okay.

  • By KJ Conde, October 17, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    today where watching Citytv Vancouver.But the Canada Line Skytrain 3 was from Vancouver International Airport.All 52 Children got on the Train.

  • By Swift, October 25, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

    Hey, I really gotta ask, is there anywhere I could get some of those paper Sky Train models, or can I order some? And along time ago, my mum had some models of the old MK-I vehicles, anyone know where I could get those too?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 26, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    Swift: Well, we do bring them out to our public consultations, so if you ever go to one of those, there you go. We don’t really have them available to order though. And they are pretty big so they’re kind of a hassle (and relatively expensive) to mail out. However, I can get a couple to you if you come down to our head office during office hours on weekdays (16th floor Metrotower II in Burnaby). Or send me an email and we can sort out a better time/place for you.

    Btw we don’t have any models of the MK Is, though! It’s very likely those came out when the Expo Line debuted, and we don’t have any around anymore.

  • By Swift, February 7, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    That would be great, if the offer is still up!
    When are office hours?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 8, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Swift: the offer is still on, but you will have to wait till the Olympic period is done (roughly March 3), since I will be working out of office most days and won’t be able to get the models to you!

  • By Swift, March 5, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    That’s great, thanks so much!!

  • By Swift, May 24, 2010 @ 10:57 am

    I think I can finally get the models in the next couple weeks. When exactly are office hours?

    And I made some models of the Mark I cars, since I couldn’t find any others online.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 25, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    We’re open 8am – 4pm! Address & details here:

    You’ll just need to tell me when you’re going to come by so I can make sure to leave the cutouts there.

    I really like the Mark I models btw. Can I make a post about them so other people can try them out?

  • By Swift, May 25, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

    Yeah, of course! And I am not quite done them yet, I plan to add more details, so if you can think of anything they are missing, tell me

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 26, 2010 @ 5:03 pm



  • By Micheal, December 5, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

    why is the skytrain the wrong color

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, December 6, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    Micheal: I’m not sure what you’re referring to—could you clarify? The papercraft model is a Mk II SkyTrain from 2001, and it is the same colour scheme as the existing 2001 Mk II trains on the system.

  • By Swift, December 6, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    Well, I know it has been over a year since I first asked, but if it is alright, could I drop by Wednesday the 8th to get a MK II model? If you are there, I have a surprise! One of those MK I models I originally asked about! A dedicated transit fan I found with some extra models of them very very kindly let me have one, so I thought you might be interested to see it.

  • By Swift, December 8, 2010 @ 5:17 am

    Scratch the 8th, but perhaps sometime next week?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, December 8, 2010 @ 10:18 am

    Swift: Sure, whenever you like! I will leave the cutout with reception in case I am not around when you arrive.

  • By Ben, January 7, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    Can you give me the link for skytrain cut out? i cant find it

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 10, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    Ben: we don’t have a link to the cutouts online, sorry! If you like I can arrange for some to be left at the front desk at our main office at Metrotower II in Burnaby though (8am – 4pm weekdays). Let me know when you might drop by and I can put some down there.

  • By Carrie, November 9, 2017 @ 9:40 pm

    Are there model skytrains available for purchase anywhere? If not, do you still give out skytrain cutouts?

  • By William, June 11, 2018 @ 10:03 pm

    Do you guys have a complete set of different flyers/models of paper buses? Like the different types of flyers of buses on the roads in BC?

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » A SkyTrain cake! — September 22, 2009 @ 9:00 am

  2. The Buzzer blog » Paper models of the SkyTrain Mark I cars — June 16, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

  3. The Buzzer blog » Visit the TransLink booths on Canada Day for bus cutouts and more — June 30, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  4. The Buzzer blog » Papercraft B-Lines from Jason Vanderhill! — January 4, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  5. natural remedies for panic attacks — May 9, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  6. Hello all... - — April 15, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

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