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Thank you for your patience during recent Canada Line service disruptions

Canada Line North Arm Bridge

There is no denying that Mother Nature has not been kind to Metro Vancouver roads this winter season. Our Public Transit system has been no exception to this. Part of the TransLink mission is to provide a sustainable transportation network for our customers and this has proven challenging of late.

The past few days have been tough on commuters across Metro Vancouver, but for Canada Line passengers impacted by recent major delays, we know that a tough commute has been made even more difficult. We extend our sincere apologies to our customers for those service disruptions.

The unprecedented weather patterns and environmental conditions have presented us with many challenges, including in a particularly steep area over the Fraser River (the North Arm Bridge). Because of the steep grade, trains require full power when travelling through this section of the bridge, and Canada Line believes ice buildup on the power rail is the likely cause of the disruptions.

With more wintry weather in the forecast, we’re working diligently to reduce the likelihood of this issue repeating itself. Please be assured that we remain committed to dedicating the necessary resources in doing everything possible to prevent recurrence.

Once again, we apologize for the delays and appreciate your patience and support as our teams work to keep you moving through this weather.

Author: Sarah Kertcher


  • By S, February 7, 2017 @ 5:23 pm

    Ice builds up on both track directions? Please switch to single track operation sooner, rather than after 2 hours. Or the track with ice built up could be used for southbound trains (no steep full-power travel), use the trains to melt the ice?

  • By Anonymous, February 7, 2017 @ 6:31 pm

    Interesting enough this weather and ice was forecasted well in advance. However translink was not prepared at all, and as usual. When service got disrupted, they’re no clear communication, your staff was giving one info, the announcement completely opposite. By the time you arranged shuttles (2 hours?) train was already working.

  • By Adrienne Coling, February 8, 2017 @ 9:30 am

    Hi everyone, we do apologize for the inconvenience and delay in service. Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather and despite intense preparations across the system, there will be impacts to service when there is a storm. We have all available resources out across the system during the recent storms to help people get where they are going as soon as humanly possible. In anticipation of today’s snowy forecast, we have buses standing by for bus bridges for the Canada Line bridge if necessary. If you have specific suggestions or want to lodge a complaint, please do so at
    Thank you.

  • By C, February 7, 2017 @ 8:42 pm

    Why was there electric shocks and flashes the lights went out while we were on the Canada Richmond line shuttle. Train felt as if it lost power and scared passengers. Saw light flashes and etc.

  • By IL, February 7, 2017 @ 8:58 pm

    How is it possible that the Canada Line has more issues under these weather conditions compared to the much older Expo/Millenium lines?

    It’s disappointing that it is as if this kind of weather (which will only worsen in coming winters) was not accounted for at all when designing the Canada Line.

  • By DM, February 8, 2017 @ 8:38 am

    The weather isn’t the problem.

    No where else in the world has a transit system been so expensive and disorganized at the same time.

  • By SL, February 8, 2017 @ 8:40 am

    It took me FIVE ridiculous hours to commute home from downtown to richmond on Monday evening. There was no communication from Translink, no sign of any organization, despite the fact that the weather conditions were forecasted well in advance. After the gong-show that was Friday morning on the Canada Line, one would think that Translink would get their sh*t together. Oh, did I mention that it took me FIVE hours to get home? Compared to the usual one. Most of it was spent standing out in the bitter cold because it apparently takes HOURS to route a shuttle between Marine drive and Bridgeport. Then they wouldn’t even let us on the platform for the station though despite being told repeatedly that “trains are up and coming in five minutes.” We were still waiting an hour later. I am beyond disgusted at te incompetency displayed by Translink. What are our fares and government dollars being used for?

  • By Andrew, February 9, 2017 @ 7:57 am

    When will you be cancelling the duplicate charges on our compass cards while we waited for bus brides (or eventually giving up as no bus showed up and walked from Marine Drive to Bridgeport)

    It seems unfair to charge double fares for trips that are easily done within the transfer limit when the system is working reasonably well. I understand technical glitches happen and I’m not asking for total refund despite the fact that my 80 min trip took close to 4 hours. I only want to be charged once instead of twice.

  • By Adrienne Coling, February 9, 2017 @ 3:19 pm

    Hi Andrew, I’m sorry but you’ll have to talk to Compass Customer Service about this possibility. You can call them at 604.398.2042. Thank you!

  • By One Rider, February 9, 2017 @ 5:26 pm

    I find the post less than sincere. It started with “Mother nature”, which implies this was not a Canada Line problem. If the first storm caught you by surprise, one would think you will take actions to prepare for next one. Understandably implementing a complete de-icing takes time, and may not even justified given the chance of using it. But at least a contingency plan to have the shuttle bus show up quickly and operate in any meaningful way. On Monday evening, it was just as bad as on last Friday night — completely disorganized!!! If you can’t arrange for shuttle buses, it is better just to tell us the truth. So we can start walking rather than waited for 2 hours then walk out!
    Get your act together, Canada Line, there will be more storms. After all, this is Canada. Oh. You should already know that. It is on your name.

  • By Adrienne Coling, February 10, 2017 @ 12:23 pm

    Hi there, I’m sorry you feel that way. As riders ourselves, we do understand how frustrating and inconveniencing these disruptions are. Because of the steep incline right before Marine Drive Station, trains require full power when travelling through this section of the bridge, and ProTransBC – a contractor to TransLink that runs the Canada Line – believes ice buildup on the power rail is the likely cause of the disruptions. The reason Expo Line and Millennium Line were not affected in the same way has to do with the technology of the tracks and trains. Expo and Millennium Lines have linear induction motors on the underside of each train continually move the trains forward. Canada Line has the traditional trains with rotary motors – hence the need for sanding. There are lots of differences but that’s the main one that can be affected in adverse weather. We have had bus bridges set up this week in anticipation of the storms and have received positive responses from riders about that organization. We do apologize for the whole situation and are looking at measures to prevent this in the future. Thank you.

  • By Gross, February 9, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

    Honestly this is so disgusting. It took me 5 hours to get home on Monday because of complete train stoppage. Normally my commute is like 2 hours. Try harder.

  • By mei, February 16, 2017 @ 9:45 am

    during 2 times crush in a roll, i had to pay for taxi to be able to back home, while i have monthly pass loaded in my compass card, which made me extremely uncomfortable and upset. Will Translink honor any reimbursement on that? i still keep the receipt from taxi. thanks

  • By Brent Heard, March 1, 2017 @ 11:22 am

    I do not understand why Translink does not have a Diesel powered De-icing
    unit that they could run over the bridge during these conditions.

  • By essay writer, June 22, 2017 @ 11:41 am

    Interesting article..Great post

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