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SkyTrain historic pamphlets: Transformers teach kids to ride the system!

Up up and away: the SkyTrain Transformer helps kids learn to ride the system!

Why yes, that IS a SkyTrain Transformer! He’s the star of Up, Up, and Away on SkyTrain, a 1986 Transformers-inspired kids guide to the system, kindly shared by my colleague Bill Knight.

The Transformers made their debut in 1984, so we think that BC Transit was just trying to capitalize on what was popular with kids those days. The SkyTrain Transformer is clearly not an official Autobot or Decepticon, but it’s plenty charming all the same :)

You can download the full pamphlet PDF here to see our friend the SkyTrain Transformer point out many more safety features on the system.

And 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 John, February 3, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    Long live the nerdiness of the 1980s!

  • By Gennifer, February 3, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    My, if those cars were considered “quiet”, people must really have been deaf back then! Even if you’re at the open end of Royal Oak or Metrotown, the NEW ones come in with quite a roar.

  • By Rob C, February 3, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    Ah yes… Transformers & the 1980s! :-) It’s too bad Hasbro didn’t create a SkyTrain character. Imagine… 4-car train transforms into 4 individual robots… these Autobots then have the capability to merge into a one giant robot to fight off the evil Decepticons. Ok… my break is over… back to reality & back to work now.

  • By Louise, February 3, 2011 @ 8:01 pm


    I totally concur! Didn’t SkyTrain recieve massive noise complaints during what.. the first three years we have it running? They had to put sound barriers around the guideway in certain areas because the sound was causing houses to vibrate and things to fall off the walls… it was a nightmare.

  • By Jas, February 3, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

    We totally need a Transformer SkyTrain toy! 3D Makers, Unite!

  • By Alan M, February 4, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    The Buzzer Blog is fast becoming THE place for preserving early SkyTrain memories!!

    Amazing find Jhenifer!

  • By ???, February 5, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    When Skytrain first came in, the new tracks needed to be “broken-in” along with the new vehicle wheels. To complicate matters, overnight track grinders were noisier than the trains themselves. It was tough with the noise, especially when the tracks were right up against some apartment bedroom windows.

    Yes, Skytrain is noisy, but compared to West Coast Express (heavy rail) or a fleet of buses, the smaller Skytrain is easier to tolerate. Using continuously welded rails and articulating wheels, noise was minimized, but not eliminated. Speeds were also reduced at some locations (CityGate) to minimize impact.

    The challenge is building a mass transit system into existing established neighbourhoods. Richmond committed to the 98 BLine and defined No 3 as a major business and residential arterial. It’s amazing how many apartments and condos are built walking distance to No 3 in the last decade.

  • By scottclayton, February 6, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    I reckon Translink could take in a fair bit of supplemental income by selling this design to the ironic-t-shirt crowd.

  • By Ron, February 7, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Posted over at
    SkyTrain Commemorative Magazine posted on the web here:

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, February 10, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    Ron: yes! I actually have a copy of that :)

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, March 18, 2011 @ 4:41 am

    @Rob C:

    You are right, in that it would be cool to have Autobots transform into a 4-car SkyTrain train, but would Team Bullet Train be good enough for now?

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