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More SkyTrain history with Alan M: photos of Scott Road Station, 1990

The banner unrolled after the ribbon cutting. Photo by Alan M.

What a bounty: Alan M has shared some great photos from the opening of Scott Road Station in 1990. No, it’s not 80s SkyTrain, but it’s still a part of SkyTrain heritage all the same!

He’s provided captions for each so, as before, I have just put them in and added no extraneous commentary. Click each one for a MUCH larger version as well. Enjoy!

A test train runs through the new station a few weeks before the opening. Photo by Alan M.

Switching tracks behind the station. Photo by Alan M.

On the platform at Scott Road as an inbound train prepares to load passengers for a ride over the Skybridge into New Westminster. Photo by Alan M.

The new storage track. Photo by Alan M.

You also might recall that Alan M has shared some great historic photos in two past posts: here’s 1986 SkyTrain photos and more early SkyTrain photos. Thanks again Alan for sharing your photographic wealth with us here!

Remember, you can check out the entire Transit History category for more photos, videos, and stories on SkyTrain’s history and more. Happy 25th, SkyTrain!


  • By zack, January 31, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

    Awesome pictures!! I love the shiny green bars and grey metallic floors on the station. Much different than what it looks today! :)

  • By Eugene Wong, January 31, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    It’s too bad that nobody got any photos of the ground around the station. It would be nice to see how much the land has sunk since then.

    Does anybody know if all of the bus bays were used for at least a season?

  • By Rob C, January 31, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    I see the Centennial Celebration balloons! 1990 was a fantastic year for public transit in Vancouver!

  • By Anonymous, January 31, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    When did SkyTrain change the old grey and multicoloured way-finding signage in favour of the dull blue and white theme…? Also.. why?

  • By Sewing, February 1, 2011 @ 1:41 pm


    The bus loop was full to capacity from 1990 to 1994, when Scott Road was the only station on the south side of the mighty Fraser.

    Since the extension to King George opened, not so much.

  • By Reva, February 1, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    Wonderful photos as usual, Alan M! Like finding buried treasure! :)

  • By Alan M, February 2, 2011 @ 3:37 am

    Thanks everyone! I’m glad you have enjoyed these photos. I wish all of you were there with me back then. We’d be jamming Jhenifer’s inbox with so many photos today!!!!

    Rob C: Being a transit fan in 1990 was pretty fantastic also! Didn’t you go for your first Brill trolley ride that summer??!

  • By JMS, February 2, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

    any more detail on the storage track?
    Where was the storage track heading eastbound?

  • By Alan M, February 3, 2011 @ 1:44 am


    They were pretty sure that tracks out to Coquitlam would branch off from here eventually, so why not build the switch now to avoid disruption later. HA!! That whole piece of track (from the fence to just before the switch) all had to be removed when the track alignment was changed due to the tunnelling under North Road.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, February 3, 2011 @ 4:22 am


    Thanks for the confirmation. It would be neat to see all the bus bays available again. I like the energy of a busy station.

    A few months ago, I saw couple of guys in business attire talking about plans for something, as they walked around the station and looked around. I almost began to wonder if more buses would be coming in the future. I doubt it, though. :^D

  • By Jack, February 16, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    Is the storage track now a track for the eastbound Millenium Line to Waterfront?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, February 18, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    Anonymous: Sorry for the delay. The new blue-and-white signage is the start of a rollout for a new wayfinding system that was started just before the Olympics. It continues to be evaluated and changes will be made before any implementation plan is put together. I’m told our current financial situation means that a system roll-out is many years away. Comments are always welcome, of course!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, February 28, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    Jack: Sorry for the delay, but I finally have the answer from SkyTrain! Here it is.

    The short storage track shown in the pre-Millennium Line picture was the residual of what was proposed in the late 1980’s to be a branch off the Expo Line to Lougheed and Coquitlam, with a possible extension westward along Lougheed Highway back to Vancouver, and possibly west along the Broadway corridor towards UBC (sound familiar?). However, the prospect for further SkyTrain extension, beyond the commitment to Scott Road, was deemed unlikely at that time (~1987-88), so the proposed branch connection was cancelled. The track switch off the eastbound track was not installed, but a short siding off the westbound track, including a track switch, was salvaged from the design, to provide space to hold a spare train, or to store a disabled train.

    Forward to 2000 when the Millennium Line was given a “go”. That short track of course became the westbound connection from the Millennium Line. Installing the connection off the eastbound track was a bit of a challenge, resulting in closure of the eastbound track from Columbia to Scott Road for 6 weeks in the summer of 2001, while part of the old structure was cut away, a new slab of concrete poured and cured, and the new track switch and related running rail, power rail, LIM rail and ATC cable installed. With only the westbound track to handle traffic in both directions, we operated 6-car Mark I trains between Waterfront and King George, two at a time in each direction, alternating pairs of trains eastbound and westbound. Service was supplemented during rush hours with additional trains between Waterfront and Columbia.

    And if you are wondering about those unused switches and stubs of track around Lougheed, they were designed in 2000 and incorporated into the Millennium Line project at a time when there was some uncertainty about the future of an Evergreen Line extension (which of course is still dependent on the final resolution of funding). These provisions will enable integration of the new line with hopefully a minimum of disruption or inconvenience to the existing operation.

  • By Rob C, March 6, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    Alan M: Sorry missed that question. The summer of 1990 was my first Brill trolley bus ride in 6 years! :)

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