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Post 9am transit update for Wed Sept 9

Things are quite quiet at City Hall now: the trains are rolling thru much emptier and the lines from the 99 are smaller. Other Canada Line stations are reporting slower traffic now too.
A couple more pics here but I think that’s mostly it from me this morning…


  • By Kyle Yeh, September 9, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

    Does anyone know if they will ever expand the length of the Canada Line train from 2 cars to 3 or 4 cars?

  • By geoff, September 10, 2009 @ 1:47 am

    the answer is… never. the stations aren’t big enough. the only way the system can grow is with more trains. and more trains combined with a single track running to the terminus stations makes the whole design silly and inefficient as you can already see

  • By mike, September 10, 2009 @ 7:43 am

    It’s not really that silly. Waterfront still has two tracks. YVR and Richmond tracks merge about 1 min from the terminus station. ~1 min to arrive at the station + ~1 min at the station + ~1 min to leave the = ~3 min turnaround time at the end of the tracks before the next train can advance to the station. So that means trains can go every 3ish minutes vs. current 8 minutes at the Richmond ends, and every 1.5ish minutes vs 4 minutes under Vancouver. As you can see, the system can at least double capacity with more trains.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 10, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    Kyle: It’s definitely possible to expand the trains to 3 cars — they would insert a middle car into the existing trainset. I haven’t heard of plans to do that in the near future though.

    As Geoff does indicate, extending the trains might certainly require extension of the platform to accommodate. But you can see how it might not too — we would maybe just need some new ways to tell people how to get off the train (ie: the end car would be hanging off the platform, so you’d have to exit through the middle.) But this is just me making a logical extrapolation though — there are no official plans to extend the trains plus the platforms yet, or to implement an alternate exit strategy in the case of train extension.

    And of course, Mike is also right that more trains would help capacity too.

  • By Stefan, September 10, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    Maximum service is currently provided by 40-metre trains every 4 minutes combined. Each train can carry 334 passengers, for a total of 5000 passengers per hour in each direction.

    However, the system has been designed to allow:

    * Frequencies on the single-track spurs as low as every 3 minutes, or 90 seconds on the section north of Bridgeport (as Mike pointed out).

    * Addition of one middle 10- or 20-metre car into existing 40-metre trainsets (as Jhenifer mentioned);

    * And a hidden bonus: 40-metre platforms can be extended to 50 metres. All the stations are apparently built to allow that. You can see false walls at the ends of some platforms that could easily be taken down—without more digging—and some platforms are already 50 metres long.

    (I don’t understand why when almost half the stations already have 50-metre platforms, why the rest were not also built likewise; although it was probably to control costs.)

    Granted, all of these cost money, but just buying more 2-car trains and maxing out the frequency would accomodate 13000 passengers per hour per direction: 2.6 times more than now.

    All 3 improvements combined would allow almost 17000 passengers per hour in each direction: 3.4 times more than now.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 10, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    Very interesting Stefan! Where did you dig all this info up?

  • By Stefan, September 10, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    Well, like Geoff and a lot of other people, I was concerned that the Canada Line wouldn’t be able to carry that many people…the stations do look so small, there are only the single-track spurs at the south ends of the line, and 4-car trains are clearly out of the question.

    But there were a couple of posts and comments on Stephen Rees’ blog mentioning the ability to increase the line’s capacity, so after some more digging around blogs and forums, I was able to put my concerns to rest…except for the small matter of another few million to buy more trains!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 10, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    Aha. Thanks for sharing! And yes, there is always that question of cost in the end :)

  • By mike, September 10, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    90 second frequency is the limit on the combined expo/millennium lines too is it not?

  • By Kyle Yeh, September 10, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    Any reason why Bombardier did win the contract to supply trains for the Canada Line? I assumed seeing as they make the trains for current skytrain system they would do the same on the new line.

  • By ;-), September 10, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    fyi…. Bombardier did NOT win the contract for the Canada Line.

    As a result the Linear Induction technology is not used.

  • By Wupop, September 10, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

    On the bid, Translink decided not to look at the ability to use trains on the Canada Line and the Expo/Mellenium as a benefit…thus Bombardier lost a great advantage…I don’t really know why they did that though, as personally I think they should have used Linear Induction technology, but that’s past.

  • By ;-), September 10, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

    I don’t want to get into a Vista/MAC vs Linix argument. But one person I spoke to said the Canada Line was “open standard” so parts would be cheaper than the proprietary Skytrain technology.

    For me, all that I cared for was an automated grade separated mass transit system. That was the key strength of Skytrain, compared to other mass transit systems I’ve been to around the world.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 11, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    During peak hours, a train currently comes every 108 seconds on the Expo/Millennium Line.

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