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More SkyTrain historic photos and memorabilia!

Waiting for a ride to the SkyTrain yard at CP Rail's Mayfair Terminal in Coquitlam. March 1985 photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M.

I have another batch of SkyTrain photos and memorabilia, thanks to Alan M, Rob Chew, and Bob Webster!

First up: photos by Bob Webster from 1985 and 1986, which Alan M has shared, with his trademark descriptive captions.

Two Open House weekends were held in the Summer of 1985. The first was in June and the three stations opened were Stadium, Broadway and Royal Oak. Two trains are seen heading back to Stadium from Commercial Drive. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

RTAs were on hand to answer questions at each of these stations and you were invited to go for a short ride on a 4-car train. The trains operated in manual during these Open House weekends. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

The trains from Broadway went as far as Patterson Station. Here the train is travelling outbound on the inbound track and about to pass under the Slocan Street bridge. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

Test train outside of Nanaimo Station as a Flyer D800 passes under the guideway in July 1985. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

The three stations opened for the July Open House weekend were 29th Avenue, Metrotown and Edmonds. Here the Edmonds train returns from a run out to New Westminster. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

Testing in full automation are cars 049 and 050 above Stewardson Way in October 1985. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

Stadium Station as 090 leads an outbound train in January 1986. Where is everybody? Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

SkyTrain in the snow is nothing new now. There have been some legendary snow dumps in the last 25 years. This is the very first snowfall for SkyTrain in regular service! This train is battling the elements as it approaches 29th Avenue outbound in February 1986. Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

This large info sign sat close to the intersection of 10th Avenue and 20th Street for years after the MSF (Maintenance and Storage Facility) began operation. The MSF later became the SkyTrain Operation and Maintenance Centre (OMC). Photo by Bob Webster, sent in by Alan M. Click for a much larger version!

Rob Chew’s memorabilia!

Our dear Buzzer pal Rob Chew also sent in some historic SkyTrain memorabilia from his collection. Here we go!

1983 Demonstration Line Evaluation Form. Sent in by Rob Chew! Click for a much larger version.

SkyTrain information card bought at a paper collectible show, sent in by Rob Chew. Click for a much larger version!

The back side of the SkyTrain information card Rob bought at a paper collectible show. Sent in by Rob Chew! Click for a much larger version.

Scott Road Stn Opening Day Ride Pass. Sent in by Rob Chew! Click for a much larger version.

Back side of the Scott Road Stn Opening Day Ride Pass. Sent in by Rob Chew! Click for a much larger version.

For more SkyTrain history…

Thanks Rob, Alan, and Bob for sending all this lovely stuff in! You’re making a lot of people very happy :)

And as always, check out the Buzzer blog’s Transit History category for more historical SkyTrain video, photos, and more. Happy 25th, SkyTrain!


  • By Nora, March 1, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    Imagine that, a $30 monthly fare card. Those were the days.

  • By ;-), March 1, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    I remember in the 70’s it was 15 cents for transit. Salaries sure haven’t kept up with inflation.

  • By Tim Choi, March 1, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    It must’ve been snowing really hard or the trains quite infrequent (or first one of the day?), seeing as snow has managed to collect on top of the rails!

  • By Jas, March 1, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    I want a Track to the Future day pass!

  • By James Aldama, March 1, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    Wow, these pictures are amazing! Great photos of the SkyTrains. :D

  • By Cliff, March 2, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    The pamphlet states that the maximum speed is 100kph. Other technical documents state 90kph.

    Is the 100kph limit the track maximum, while the trains are capped at 90kph? What’s the fastest speed any of the trains go while traversing the system?

    Maybe a small increase in the speed of the trains might be an idea. Think of the increase in service! 15 second headways… Waterfront to Columbia Station in under 10 minutes… Late night SkyTrain drag racing! Think of the possibilities! You could even take bets! An additional badly needed source of income! The fate of the Evergreen line could rest on this decision!

    So just how fast can our beloved trains go, Jhen? And in all seriousness, can they be sped up? What prevents this improvement if they can’t/can be sped up?

  • By ;-), March 2, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    Without stops at each of the stations, I think the trip from Waterfront to New Westminster can be done in 15-20 minutes. Personally I wouldn’t want the trips to be any faster as I prefer the smoothness of the trip. However, I would like to see high frequencies (especially on the Canada Line). The Richmond wait times, especially after 6pm is brutal.

    Did many people ride the Seabus this morning? I rode the Seabus many years ago in white cap conditions….. it was a riot watching the big boat going up and then crashing down on the waves.

  • By Alan M, March 2, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    Back in the early days the long stretches from New West to 22nd Street and Broadway to Main were set at 90 km/h! The speed was dropped to 80 km/h just before Expo because the trucks would really vibrate and shake the cars at that high speed. Station dwell times were reduced slightly to keep the running time at 27 minutes. Also New West had only one track, so the trains would bunch up outside the station.

    Could we really increase the speed today with all those trains out at the same time?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 3, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    Jas: I didn’t even notice that Track to the Future title. Awesome!

    Cliff, ;-), Alan M: I’ve passed the speed question on to SkyTrain. Results soon!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 4, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    Cliff, ;-), Alan M: Here’s the response from SkyTrain.

    The vehicles and train control system are designed for 90 km/hr. However, in normal operation we currently run to a maximum of 80 km/hr to limit rail wear noise on some of the curves.

  • By Jon, March 4, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

    Jhenifer, would you be kind enough to ask SkyTrain… just out of curiosity, how does the system’s computers deal with cyber security? We hear so often about hackers threatening this that and the other… how does or could the BCRTC protect itself from something like that happening.. ?

  • By horatio, March 5, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    great post. you all are doing fantastic work with this blog.

  • By Cliff, March 5, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    Oh wow, I always thought the SkyTrain hit 90kph on a few places along the route.

    I don’t suppose we could revisit a 90kph limit for the section outside Science World…

  • By Rob Chew, March 6, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Glad to see that we’re making a lot of people happy with the photos & memorabilia! :) For anyone who’s interested, there’s a Railroadiana Show happening on Sun, March 20th at the Cameron Recreation Centre in Burnaby (north side of the Lougheed Mall). That’s where I bought the SkyTrain info card. Unfortunately, the guy who sold me the card passed away a few years ago, BUT there are some vendors selling interesting transit memorabilia. It’s hit & miss, but you never know what you’ll find… Vancouver streetcar photos, previous issues of The Buzzer dating back to the 1950s, BC Electric streetcar/bus tickets, books/videos of public transit in Vancouver…

  • By Rob Chew, March 6, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    Nora: And with that $30 monthly fare card, it made no difference how far you were travelling in Metro Vancouver. :) The current zone system didn’t exist back in 1983.

    Bob Webster has a terrific collection of SkyTrain history. The Demonstration Line Evaluation Form & DayPass are just a couple of the items that he has passed on to me.

  • By Jack Hope, March 7, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

    I love these old pictures of the SkyTrain when it was brand new. Hopefully when the day comes to retire the old Mark I trains, Translink will keep one or two consists around for historic reasons. A hundred years from now people may be just as interested in them as we are now with antique trolleys.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 18, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    Jon: sorry for the delay! I just wanted to give you an update as I have passed your question on to SkyTrain. Your question is pretty challenging to answer as publicly describing the security precautions might be a bit of security risk! They’re still mulling over whether there are any general security thoughts they can pass on, but rest assured security is something SkyTrain takes very seriously.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 24, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    Jon: aha, here is the response from SkyTrain.

    The automatic train control systems for mission critical or safety critical operation are designed to be closed systems. They are not physically connected or linked to any part of the internet which eliminates potential routes that would allow external hackers to gain entry. Any potential unauthorized access to the core programming or train control functions is blocked using a range of security methods designed to provide defence in depth across the system.

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