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The last of our 48 new SkyTrain cars has arrived!

Car 348! The other half is car 347. This is the last car to arrive in our order of 48 new SkyTrain cars from Bombardier.

Car 348! The other half is car 347. This is the last car to arrive in our order of 48 new SkyTrain cars from Bombardier.

Yay: the last of our 48 new SkyTrain cars arrived in Vancouver recently!

Our new SkyTrain interiors were on the cover of Railway Interiors magazine!

Our new SkyTrain interiors were on the cover of a railway interiors magazine!

A small ceremony was held at VCC-Clark today to mark this milestone by the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (that’s the company who runs Expo/Millennium Line and West Coast Express).

BCRTC CEO Doug Kelsey and Bombardier’s North America president Raymond Bachant said a few words, especially to thank our partners in the federal and provincial governments, and Bombardier presented a gift of a model version of the new SkyTrain car.

You’ve probably already enjoyed these cars out on the system, but the full complement will now boost capacity by 30% on the Expo and Millennium Lines. Just in time for the Olympics!

By the way, did you know the interiors were featured on the cover of Interiors Magazine, the official publication of the Railway Interiors International Expo? Why yes! You can even read the full Interiors article online—it actually provides a lot of insight into how the interiors were put together!

And here’s a few more photos from the event—including the model SkyTrain!

The model SkyTrain! It will be housed at the BCRTC operations and maintenance centre (like the real SkyTrains :)

The model SkyTrain! It will be housed at the BCRTC operations and maintenance centre (like the real SkyTrains :)

The platform was filled with the staff from SkyTrain.

The platform was filled with the staff from SkyTrain.

BCRTC CEO Doug Kelsey.

BCRTC CEO Doug Kelsey.

Bombardier North America CEO Raymond Bachant.

Bombardier North America CEO Raymond Bachant.

The model SkyTrain car, again!

The model SkyTrain car, again!

Note: The model SkyTrain isn’t at VCC-Clark — it was just there for the ceremony. I am pretty sure it is back at the BCRTC operations centre now.


102 Comments

  • By cree, January 20, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

    Excellent. Will that mean we can see the return of the 6-car MK1s (in addition to 4-car MK2(.5)s) full-time?

  • By Daniel, January 20, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

    Wow! I want a skytrain model too (not the paper ones)

  • By skytrainboy22, January 20, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

    that is so cool.

  • By skytrainboy22, January 20, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

    Did u take videos of the event?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 20, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    I didn’t really take many video clips actually. Sorry!

  • By Dan T, January 20, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    I noticed a few 6 car MK1s on the Expo line today – so I guess they’re back… any word on whether these will be temporary for the olympics or if Translink is going to shift all the 4 car MK1 trainsets to 6 car?

  • By skytrainboy22, January 20, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

    I was on my way to school at Metrotown. When i entered the Metrotown entrance by the escalators, I just saw Doug Kelsey. I was like, “Is that the guy in charge of the skytrain?” I was really surprised.

  • By zack, January 20, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

    Now that’s a real model fun to play with forget the paper ones,:) even though I don’t think there’s a 301-302 car that exists.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 20, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

    skytrainboy22: It was very likely him! You could say hi next time. Doug is a very nice guy :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 20, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

    Btw I’m asking about the 6 cars. I think they will be definitely on for the Olympics!

  • By Kin Lo, January 20, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    How long is the model SkyTrain going to be at VCC-Clark?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 20, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    Kin Lo: I think it was taken off to the OMC right away actually! I should make that clear in the post.

  • By ;-), January 20, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    On some recent weekends, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen 8 car Mrk 1’s in operation. A welcomed sight.

  • By Kin Lo, January 20, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

    ;-): I don’t know. wouldn’t it almost break the box grider and/or pillar?

  • By Jeff Summers, January 20, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

    I love the model. Oddly enough almost identical to the one I have of the older Mark II’s (I won it at some draw at the opening of the Millenium line). Only difference seems to be some paint in looking at the models.

  • By Reva, January 20, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    Congratulations on the full fleet! I hope the new Mark IIs have a long, happy, low-maintenance lifespan. :)

  • By Skytrain User, January 20, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

    Now if only it would run 24/7!

  • By John, January 20, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

    Love the new trains…interesting article about the interiors. Got any spare seats lying around that I could fashion into a computer chair? :P

  • By Cliff, January 20, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    While those are very nice trains, I want to see some c-cars!

    I’d hate to think SkyTrain is abandoning them. When the stations get expanded to handle 8 car MKIs, we should be able to handle 6 MK2 w/ c cars

    Another thing I’ve always wondered is, why don’t we run larger trains now and simply keep the end doors closed with the ends hanging off the end of the platform. At stations like Lougheed, Brentwood or Commercial, all the doors could open.

    Or even “express cars” that only open at specific stations, allowing a WCE sleeper style system for longer trips. E.g. Lougheed-Waterfront.

  • By Vitus, January 20, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    I thought we were getting 48 cars/24 trains in 2009, and 24 more cars/12 trains this year… Even if this is the last of them, I’m glad they’re here!

  • By David, January 20, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

    Selective door operation would allow 6 car Mark IIs without all the expense of lengthening the platforms. I don’t think 8 car Mark I trains would be a good idea though because access to the end cars would be poor and without the ability to move between cars like you can with Mark IIs utilization of those cars would be low.

    Speaking of car utilization, SkyTrain already suffers from having variable length trains with varying door locations. That makes it impossible for passengers to guess exactly where to stand and causes everyone to bunch up in the area where the shortest trains stop. It will likely be another 25 years before that issue can be addressed through the retirement of Mark I cars and their replacement with Mark IIs. Of course by then Bombardier may have a Mark III with yet another different car length and door placement. Actually it’s more likely Bombardier will discontinue making ART systems altogether and only pull out the old blue prints when Vancouver needs new cars.

  • By ;-), January 21, 2010 @ 7:00 am

    I agree the “variable door location” is an issue. Especially for seniors or cyclists as everyone does the shuffle back and forth on the platform as the train crawls to a stop. It would be nice on each platform there is at least one door that is consistent to help mobile challenged passengers so this wouldn’t happen.

    On the Canada Line, as all the cars are currently consistent, why not label the platforms like other countries. Especially at YVR or where the luggage doors are going to stop.

    I hope the Mk1 cars can be overhauled and run even longer than 25 additional years.

  • By Donald, January 21, 2010 @ 8:44 am

    Vitus, the order of 24 cars was canceled when we went to the maintain current services budget.

    David, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia is thinking of extending their ALRT line and will need more MKIIs, most of their existing MKIIs are from 1997 (with very MKI like interiors), so they may enjoy some new MKIIs (they are 3.0m wide like the JFK Airtrain). Of course there’s also the EverLine in Yongin, Korea who didn’t order enough MKIIs I think. I don’t think we’ll see MKIIIs in our lifetime, I don’t think Vancouver nor any of the other cities want to even think about any required track and structure upgrades.

  • By Jimbo, January 21, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    What is the plan for the original MkI trains? Are they to be retired at some point?

  • By Gordon, January 21, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    I think the order for the 24 cars arriving this year has been cancelled due to lack of funding.

    the mark 1s will be with us for a while.

    Let’s hope the provincial government will become more of a partner and allow Translimk to bring in some for the funding merchanisms that are required to keep the system growing.

  • By zack, January 21, 2010 @ 10:04 am

    Hey! good news for WCE users, according to the TransLink website, Bombardier will add seven newer rail cars later this year!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 21, 2010 @ 11:57 am

    Vitus, Donald, Gordon:

    Just wanted to clarify — as far as I know, there were just 48 cars originally ordered and slated to arrive during this period (late 2009/early 2010).

    However, we also had an option to buy another 24 cars as part of that order. But as Gordon points out, exercising that option is dependent on funding, which we don’t exactly have a ton of.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 21, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    Cliff:
    Well, I can tell you that our planning department is definitely examining C cars as part of the options to expand capacity on the SkyTrain system. Also, I’m sure SkyTrain’s considered the options to increase capacity too, and I’m guessing they would have done those types of suggestions already if they felt it would help!

    For example, for “sleeper cars” or express cars, I do know those proved to be an issue with the 99 B-Line “school specials.” People wouldn’t fill them up to the max at Commercial-Broadway, since if they just waited another five minutes they could get a seat on the next bus. Which meant a partly full bus would speed by the rest of the stops, and the customers at those remaining stops were mad that they couldn’t board a clearly not-full bus!

    Anyway, I will pass along your notes about the variable door openings too. I think many are very aware of the issue!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 21, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    Jimbo:

    As far as I know the Mark Is are still going strong, and they’re not slated to be retired anytime in the near future!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 21, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    Cree, Dan T: Here is the answer from SkyTrain about the 6-car trains (and whether they will be around post-Olympics too).

    1. Yes, there will be more 6-car Mark I trainsets. We are staying with the same basic operating schedule during peak hours — 55 trains on the combined Expo/Millennium Lines, providing a 108 second headway between Waterfront and Columbia; 2 out of 3 trains continuing to Surrey; 1 out of 3 branching to the Millennium Line. Having increased the number of Mark II trains (and having lengthened most of them to their maximum of 4 cars, except for 2 short trains we are still using to supplement capacity from Commercial-Broadway to Waterfront during the morning peak), we have to reduce the number of Mark I trains from 34 (4-car) to 31, to keep our preferred total of 55 trains; so we will be making up to 6 6-car trains (and 25 4-car trains) to keep using 136 of the 150 Mark I cars for overall passenger capacity. If (or when) another batch of cars is added to the SkyTrain fleet, we will expand the number of 6-car trains further.

    2. Yes, the longer trains will still operate after the Olympics. While the games were an important driver for the delivery of the 48 cars, the fleet expansion is fundamentally here for the everyday Metro Vancouver commuter. With the original 114 Mark I cars (all still in service) averaging nearly 4 million kilometres apiece, we will be trying to reduce their daily operation (they still logged an average of 176,000 kms each in 2009) by operating the 6-car trains mostly during weekday peak hours, with a mix of 4-car Mark II’s and 4-car Mark I’s providing most of the non-peak operation.

  • By David, January 21, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

    Knowing that almost every train will be at least as long as 4 Mark I cars should eventually help spread out the crowds on the platforms, but nothing can be done about the fact that the doors on a 4 car Mark I, 6 car Mark I and 4 car Mark II end up in different locations. The platform shuffle will remain Vancouver’s unofficial dance for the foreseeable future.

  • By Donald, January 21, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Jhen, I’ve noticed that there is little to no need for the Commercial-Broadway to Waterfront shuttle now that there is additional capacity on the regular trains. Compared to last summer when an overcrowded platform was the norm, there is now a one train wait under unusually busy circumstances and normally no waits whatsoever, meanwhile these 2-car shuttles run with plenty of seats to spare. Perhaps it’s time to scrap the shuttles and boost capacity to the entire system? As someone who regularly does the transfer, I won’t mind for the sake of even more 6-car MKIs. :)

  • By Cliff, January 21, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    What I meant by sleeper cars, is having 7/8 car MKIs and having the extra cars hanging off the end of the platform. Then, the sleeper cars would only open at stations like Lougheed or Brentwood where the platform would be long enough to accomodate them. That way, those going downtown from the suburbs would hop on one of these cars, thus freeing up the other cars for the “local crush”.

    The only thing I’m not sure about is what stations would be long enough to accommodate such a setup. The idea is that the town centres and downtown would have these elongated platforms in the short term. Once the the platform upgrades are complete then such a system wouldn’t be needed.

    The idea is to expand capacity during peak times without spending extra money. The only thing that would be needed for such a setup is the programming and advertising the setup so they get used.

  • By cree, January 22, 2010 @ 1:07 am

    in regards to train length to platform and door placement where it stops, I think now where fleet line-ups for the day ahead are close to consistent as it will get, perhaps permanent markings on the platforms themselves indicating where you’ll be standing, for example on a 6-car MK1 or a 4-car MK2.

    Of course this also changes the way incoming train announcements are displayed. remember back before the MK2s arrived, the on platform display would read when a train is arriving, “4-Car (or 6-car) train to King George”

    again, electronic displays will need to be upgraded on both the Expo Line and Millennium Line. So, much like the Jugo Juice Line, it would indicate the next 3 trains, and in addition which number of trains (be it 4 or 6 car). This would decrease the chance of bundling in clusters trying to figure out where the door would open.

    Speaking of the Jugo Juice Line, since it’s always running a 2-car system, it’s already prime for door/platform markings. Stopping procedures are automated so there shouldn’t be a problem. Either that or platform gates.

  • By Mike, January 22, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    In regards to the interiors article, what design would you like Translink to adopt in busses? Go to http://configurator.americanseating.com/transportation/insight/insight.html and configure what you like.

    I like this interior: http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/2244/busj.jpg

  • By zack, January 22, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

    I’ve noticed there was little tweaking done with the new Mark IIs in terms of the acceleration sound which completely differentiated it from the older Mark IIs.

  • By Dave 2, January 22, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    I will have to respectfully disagree with Donald about the usefulness of the morning Broadway short turn trains. They’re a welcome sight when platform crowding and packed trains when you have a wait, or manage to squeeze on an already packed train. When they don’t fill up at Broadway, they provide room to ensure nobody is left behind at Main Street, and I’ve been on a couple already this year that filled up at Broadway, mostly clearing a platform crowd that can be 5-6 people deep.

  • By Ian S., January 23, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

    Did cars 347-348 actually go into service that day, or do they still have to go through commissioning?

  • By skytrainboy22, January 23, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

    The new Mark II Skytrains are better than the older skytrains. 1 question: can the old mark iis link together with the new mark iis?

  • By skytrainboy22, January 23, 2010 @ 11:41 pm

    to make one train?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 26, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    Ian S.: Here’s the answer from BCRTC.

    347-348 were accepted for full Revenue Service (Stage 3) that day. They had completed their commissioning prior (train 348 arrived at the Burnaby Yard before Christmas).

    (This morning 348 is in passenger service on the Millennium Line, running as a 4 car with 308).

    Hrm.. I wasn’t told this before the event! I guess this changes the original post—it should be “The last of the 48 new SkyTrain cars is ready for service” rather than emphasizing their arrival.

  • By skytrainboy22, January 28, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    Is it possible that an old Mark II 2-car skytrain can be coupled up with the new Mark II 2-car skytrain?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 29, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    skytrainboy22: Sorry for the delay in responding — the answer is no, you can’t link up the Mark Is and the Mark IIs.

  • By skytrainboy22, January 29, 2010 @ 9:47 am

    What i was asking is can a white Bombardier Mark II 2-car train can be coupled up with a Black Bombardier Mark II 2-car train?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 29, 2010 @ 9:48 am

    Oh. You know, I don’t think so, but I will just double check.

  • By skytrainboy22, January 29, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

    Because their shape looks the same, how come there are 3 different kinds of UTDC Mark I’s while there are 2 kinds of the Bombardier Mark II’s?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 1, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    skytrainboy22: OK, you’re right! They can be connected. BCRTC is currently working out some details with the electronics to make the white trains couple up with the grey ones. So you will see that on the system eventually!

  • By skytrainboy22, February 4, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    It will actually looked cool when that will happen.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 4, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

    SkyTrain has said that they will keep me posted :)

  • By skytrainboy22, February 4, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    If the white mark ii is connected with the black mark ii, will the Light-Up Maps and the Destination Display still work?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 5, 2010 @ 8:59 am

    Yes. I’m sure they would keep that functioning.

  • By zack, February 7, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    But how is that possible to connect a 2001 mark II and the 2009 mark IIs? They both have different motors, most recently the newer mark II. And are they going to modify the older mark IIs to the specs of the newer ones? e.g. seats and light-up maps?

  • By skytrainboy22, February 7, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    The seats doesn’t matter about how the old mark IIs and the new mark IIs work as one whole train.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 8, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    zack: There’s no plans to modify the older Mark IIs to match the new ones. The connection would just be two trains connected together, not two cars, so it should just be a matter of both trains communicating with each other well.

  • By skytrainboy22, February 8, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    I don’t think the Light-Up Maps and the Destination Display will be working while the New Bombardier Mark II cars is connected to the Old Bombardier Mark II cars because the old bombardier mark II cars don’t have that kind of technology. Well except for the door indicators that work with the doors.

  • By zack, February 10, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    skytrainboy22: The new mark IIs are more high-tech than the older ones. They both have the same exterior shape but communicate differently. (I think.) :\

  • By skytrainboy22, February 12, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    i c

  • By skytrainboy22, February 13, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

    where did each of the Bombardier Mark II cars come from?

  • By Ric, March 6, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

    I hope that the Mark I trains can stay with us forever, CLASSICS MUST STAY. The Mark 1 trains are actually my favourite type of train on the expo/millennium line. I actually find that the Mark 1 trains are faster than the Mark 11 trains. Is it possible that the trains be overhauled like the buses? I hope that the Mark 1 trains can last more then an additional 25 years. A question about 6 car trains though. If the Mark 1 trains can run in 6 car trains why can’t the Mark 11’s run in 6 cars?

  • By ;-), March 6, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

    I too like the Mark 1’s (the bench seats are so much more practical). With regards to 6-car Mark 2’s, I think the issue is the vehicle length.

    Mark 1’s are 12m long, but the Mark 2 is 17m. That extra 5m per car quickly add’s up. 6-Mk 1’s is 72m. 4-Mk 2’s is 68m. As a result, don’t expect longer trains without major platform extensions.

  • By Ric, March 10, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    Can the trains be overhauled like buses? I was on a mark 1 train on Monday and I saw an attendant on the train and I asked them about the life left on the Mark 1’s, and they told me that the Mark 1 trains actually lasted longer than they expected. They told me that any part on the train that goes even the wheels can be replaced, with the exception of the body which they said will likely hardly ever go.

    Does this mean that the trains can be overhauled?

    Does this also mean that the mark 1’s can stay with us forever?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 11, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    Ric: here are the answers sent along by SkyTrain.

    The refurbishments of the Mark I cars are being considered but at this time we don’t have any confirmed details on that project.

    Six car MK II trains would be too long to fit any existing platform.

  • By Ric, March 11, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    Why would 6 car mark 2s be to long to fit any platform? Aren’t all the trains the same length?

  • By ;-), March 12, 2010 @ 7:30 am

    The Mark 2 vehicles are 42% longer.

  • By Ric, March 14, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

    Hmm, I find it quite strange that the Mark 11 trains would be longer than the Mark 1 trains. Why would they be longer? Aren’t the Mark 1’s and Mark 11’s both manufactured by bombardier? Are the mark 1 trains going to stay with us for ever? I hope they would. THE CLASSICS MUST STAY.

  • By ;-), March 14, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

    Boeing makes planes of all sizes. So do car makers to meet demand.

    The Mark 1 has 36 seats, with a standing capacity of 80. The longer Mark 2 has 41 seats, with a standing capacity of 130 (145 for the newer trains). The mixture of train lengths allows Translink to adapt usage based on demand.

    Again, I too like the Mark 1, especially for the bench seating.

  • By skytrainboy22, March 16, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    For any big events that are happenning for example the HSBC Celebration of Light Fireworks, i would rather make all trains longer so that we can carry more passengers to increase capacity rather than just leaving short trains in service on the Expo Line and Millenium Line (2 mark ii cars to 4 mark ii cars, and 4 mark 1 cars to 6 mark i cars).

    For the Canada Line, I would do the same only, put the two middle cars of the train at the platform, and the outer cars will have their doors closed at all times for safety when at the stations. When letting passengers out, I would leave the doors for a minute and 15 seconds so that we let all passengers out. I know it that all stations are small but it will have to be that way. I wish that the Canada Line stations were more larger so that it can carry more passengers than right now. This is why people are kind of complaining about the Canada Line platforms. Especially on big events like the HSBC Celebration of Light Fireworks. I think that the Canada Line platforms should be longer than the size of a 4 car Canada Line train (this kind of train hasn’t been used since the opening day). That is why the Canada Line train has a coupler. Which they are not using. The Waterfront platforms, both sides should be used. One side for the YVR Airport, and the other side for Richmond – Brighouse. This is what i’m concerned about since the opening of the Canada Line.

  • By Ric, March 18, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    Are the Mark 1 and Mark 11 trains both from bombardier?

  • By Paul, March 19, 2010 @ 2:30 am

    Ric

    Bombardier is the only company that makes the MK I and MK II trains.

  • By Ric, March 22, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

    I am a regular passenger on the expo line, and for me being a fan of the classic Mark 1 trains, is it possible that all the Mark 1 trains be used on the expo line only? I like the bench seating much better (not available on the Mark 11s), and the distinctive acoustic acceleration sound heard from these trains. (not available on the Mark 11s either).

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 23, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    Ric:
    I’ve passed your question about the Mk I cars on to SkyTrain but have not yet received an official response. But in general I can say that it is unlikely that the Mark Is can be used on the Expo Line only. All cars are used on both lines so SkyTrain can make the most efficient use of their fleet. If any cars are out of service for repairs, we can replace them with other cars to keep the service moving efficiently.

  • By skytrainboy22, March 24, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

    Ric
    The Mark IIs were made by Bombardier but the Mark Is were made by UTDC.

  • By Ric, March 24, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    What does UTDC stand for?

    Why did they switch to Bombardier and not just stay with UTDC?

    I have to say that I like the Mark 1 trains so much better than the white or black Mark 11s. I have to say the the Mark 1s are so much better than the Mark 11s The mark 11s actually suck and are pieces of junk. I sure hope they go back to UTDC for future train orders.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 25, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    skytrainboy22, Ric:

    UTDC actually is part of Bombardier — Bombardier bought UTDC in 1991. Here’s the Wikipedia page about UTDC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_Transportation_Development_Corporation

  • By James Aldama, April 27, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    So when will the new MK IIs connect to the old Mk IIs? Are they going to make that one train, a test train? I would like to see that.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 17, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    James: here’s what SkyTrain has told me.

    Our position in the compatibility of new and old MKII car is that the technology differences between the 2 generations of cars are impossible to achieve full compatibilities. However, the old and new MKII cars can operate safely together but some of the modern features in the new cars will not show up in the old cars.

    Dependant on situations, the new features typically LED signs may not work properly in the new cars when they are coupled to the old MKII cars. We would have to spend a significant sum of money to upgrade the old MKII cars to the same technology level as the new ones.

    At this time, we see no need to couple and run old and new MKII cars in revenue operation and subject our customers to confusion or dissatisfaction.

    It has been demonstrated that both generations of MKII cars can operate safely and seamlessly together except for the communication sub-systems
    as described above.

  • By Arnie, May 25, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

    A couple of questions about the UTDC trains…

    (1) I know the door buttons were taken out years and years ago now, however – why were they there in in the first place considering SkyTrain took such a high volume of people from day one? During Expo the trains were horribly crowded, especially when the fair would close at night.

    (2) Why was SkyTrain chosen to be driverless? Back in the day, it was like nothing else to see computers do it… were there a lot of problems when they were first running in 1985/86?

    One question about the Expo line in general…

    (1) Since the guideway is designed very differently (and now archaic) than the Canada and Millennium line…

    How can an expansion to Langley from King George happen? Would SkyTrain have to redesign the guideway entirely.. or use the older design in order to create compatibility…?

  • By Charles, June 4, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

    Will there be a future extension on the Expo and Millenuim Lines?

  • By JMS, June 4, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

    Everyone knows the difference between the white MK2’s (201-260) and the new black MK2’s (301-348)
    But why don’t people know the 3 different MK1’s? I mean between the batch of the original 114 cars (001-056,061-118) and the door-less batch from 1991(121-136) and the Mark 1bs (137-156)?

    By the way, how come there are no MK1s numbered 057,058,059,060,118,119

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 10, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    Charles: Regarding Expo and Millennium Line expansion, the Evergreen Line project in the northeast is the next priority. That project is being managed by the Province: http://www.evergreenline.gov.bc.ca/

    We are also exploring rapid transit along the Broadway corridor in Vancouver to UBC — some of the possible alignments connect to the Expo Line (Commercial-Broadway) or Millennium Line (VCC-Clark), or both. You can see all of the suggested alignments here: http://www.translink.ca/en/Get-Involved/Be-Part-of-the-Plan/Alternatives.aspx

    The UBC project is still in its study phase, and the spring phase of its public consultation is complete. More specific designs will be brought back in the fall for more public input.

    Rapid transit for Surrey is also being studied simultaneously, and it will be open for its first phase of public consultation in the fall too. Suggested alignments there will likely connect to the Expo and Millennium Lines. See the public consultation site for more info.
    http://www.translink.ca/en/Get-Involved/Public-Consultations/Surrey-Rapid-Transit-Study.aspx

  • By Anonymous, June 14, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    You know, for a bilingual country… SkyTrain should offer signage in French as well. That’s my only complaint. We hosted the olympics with bilingual services everywhere except for public transit itself. A lack of french in a public service technically violates the official languages act….

  • By Paul C, June 19, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    @Arnie

    I’ll see if I can answer a few of your questions

    “(1) I know the door buttons were taken out years and years ago now, however – why were they there in in the first place considering SkyTrain took such a high volume of people from day one? During Expo the trains were horribly crowded, especially when the fair would close at night.”

    Well they didn’t expect the high ridership to continue after Expo. So the idea of the buttons was if no one on the train pushed the button. When the train entered the station it would stop and if no on on the platform pushed the button. Then the train would just sit for a couple of seconds and then carry on. Remember this was an automated train. So the train had no way of knowing if someone wanted to get on or off. Thus the pushing of the buttons. Of course it got to be pointless as someone wanted to get on and off at almost every station. So the buttons were removed and the trains defaulted to stopped and dwelling at each station.

    “(2) Why was SkyTrain chosen to be driverless? Back in the day, it was like nothing else to see computers do it… were there a lot of problems when they were first running in 1985/86?”

    My guess at choosing automated trains was the idea of the lower operational costs. Also maybe something different and new to try.

    One question about the Expo line in general…

    “(1) Since the guideway is designed very differently (and now archaic) than the Canada and Millennium line…

    How can an expansion to Langley from King George happen? Would SkyTrain have to redesign the guideway entirely.. or use the older design in order to create compatibility…?”

    The Millenium line guide is the same as the expo line. Which is why all MKI and MKII trains can run on both. So there will be no problem extending the line out to Langley.

  • By Charles, June 25, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    Can the old white/blue/yellow Bombardiers Mark II be coupled with the new black/gray/blue/yellow Bombardier Mark II trains?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 25, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    Charles: The trains you mention can be coupled, but there isn’t any operational advantage — the differences in technology also mean that some functionality is lost.

    Here’s the full response from SkyTrain — I’ve answered this in another thread before, so apologies to those who have seen this already.

    Our position in the compatibility of new and old MKII car is that the technology differences between the 2 generations of cars are impossible to achieve full compatibilities. However, the old and new MKII cars can operate safely together but some of the modern features in the new cars will not show up in the old cars.

    Dependant on situations, the new features typically LED signs may not work properly in the new cars when they are coupled to the old MKII cars. We would have to spend significant sum of money to upgrade the old MKII cars to the same technology level as the new ones.

    At this time, we see no need to couple and run old and new MKII cars in revenue operation and subject our customers to confusion or
    dissatisfaction.

    It has been demonstrated that both generations of MKII cars can operate safely and seamlessly together except for the communication sub-systems as described above.

  • By James Aldama, June 25, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    @Jhennifer: That would be me especially.
    @Charles: I asked a similar question to yours so yeah.

  • By James Aldama, June 27, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    Jhennifer,
    Do you know the lights for the doors, the lights outside of the SkyTrain cars (red & orange). I know what the red light tell us but what does the orange light tell us? I’m so interested about those lights outside of the SkyTrain cars. I was thinking of asking that to one of the SkyTrain attendants but i was thinking of asking you, to see if you know. :D

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 29, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    James, I’m passing this on to SkyTrain. May be a little while before we get the answer back though, as my central point of contact is on vacation for a little bit.

  • By Charles, July 1, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    When will the Evergreen Line open?

  • By James Aldama, July 2, 2010 @ 7:25 am

    @Charles
    I think the Evergreen Line will open in 2014. As far as I know, there are not too much announcements about the Evergreen Line. You’ll know more about it later.

  • By ???, July 2, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    Yes, at this time the tri-cities have focussed their infrastructure spending on road and bridge expansion.

  • By Anonymous, July 2, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    to anonymous, from another anonymous:

    I agree, this is a bilingual country, SkyTrain should uphold French and English signage and service laws as it is a constitutional right.

  • By ???, July 4, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    It’s mentioned here that Coquitlam changed their minds on going with Light Rail, forcing additional funding requirements and more delays to accommodate their needs.

    http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/index.html?releasePID=wXxzEpWjcsPYnyDW0r9uONab36A5fixG

  • By James Aldama, July 4, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    ???(Anonymous perons),

    From what I saw from the link is that the Evergreen Line is really behind well for only 6 months behind, but still to me, it is a big critism. I think that the Evergreen Line will use the SkyTrain technology for this particular project. That’s why there is a third platform at Lougheed Town Centre (the tracks are not built at the platform at the station yet, but I see that the Evergreen Line will start from Lougheed Town Centre at the third platform.

    I can’t believe that the Evergreen Line is really behind schedule. I totally agree with some people in Burnaby that the line is being delayed too much. When the Prime Minister came to Burnaby at the Operational Maintenance Centre in February last year and announced that the Evergreen Line will be built by 2014, I thought that they already announced about the Evergreen Line before and they announce it again repetitively? Wow, what such delay! They should be more responsible of their project schedules. How come the Canada Line was built? – Because it was properly announced, and it was well scheduled. Compaired to the Evergreen Line, it is not well scheduled, and was repetitively announced. They should check their project schedule and schedule projects properly so that the projects would be built as soon as possible. I’m not really that impressed about the Evergreen Line behind schedule. Sorry about the critical speeches but I totally agree with the link that was shoown by the anonymous person.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 6, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    Charles, James, ???: as far as I know the Evergreen Line project is still underway. However, the project is a provincial concern so we aren’t always privy to exactly how it’s going or how far ahead/behind it might be. Have a look at the official provincial Evergreen Line page for more info — it appears an environmental assessment consultation will be on in August.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 27, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    James Aldama: Here’s the answer to your question about the lights on the SkyTrain cars.

    A flashing amber light indicates that the Passenger Assistance Alarm has been activated and a steady amber light indicates a vehicle fault. But a flashing amber light doesn’t always means that a security incident is in progress. On many occasions, we have already dealt with the incident but the amber light is still flashing.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 27, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    JMS: here’s the answer to your question about SkyTrain car numbering.

    The gaps indicate the end of one car series and the start of another.
    For the same reason, there are no cars 261-300.
    100/200 MK I 001-056
    300/400 MK I 061-118
    500/600 MK I 121-136

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 26, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    Yes! I’m going out to take pictures!

  • By Ric, September 8, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

    Can the mark 1’s be linked up with the mark 2’s to make one train?

  • By Paul C, September 11, 2010 @ 1:30 am

    @Ric

    I can say with 100% certainty that the Mark I and Mark II trains can not be coupled together.

    In fact I’m 99% sure that the older Mark II (white ones) and the newer Mark II trains can not be coupled together.

    All of them have different coupling systems.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, September 13, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

    Paul is correct: Mark Is and Mark IIs can’t be coupled. The older Mark IIs can be hooked up to the newer ones, but differences in their technical systems means that some features will not work. Here’s the full explanation—I had it in another thread, so apologies if you’ve seen this before.

    Our position in the compatibility of new and old MKII car is that the technology differences between the 2 generations of cars are impossible to achieve full compatibilities. However, the old and new MKII cars can operate safely together but some of the modern features in the new cars will not show up in the old cars.

    Dependent on situations, the new features, typically LED signs, may not work properly in the new cars when they are coupled to the old MKII cars. We would have to spend a significant sum of money to upgrade the old MKII cars to the same technology level as the new ones.

    At this time, we see no need to couple and run old and new MKII cars in revenue operation and subject our customers to confusion or
    dissatisfaction.

    It has been demonstrated that both generations of MKII cars can operate safely and seamlessly together except for the communication sub-systems as described above.

  • By Paul C, September 14, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    Interesting that the older Mark II and newer Mark II can be coupled. So physically it is possible. But mentally, ie brain wave features of both computers on each train are not compatible.

    Which is all moot to me as the two cars would not look good together.

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