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Happy 32nd birthday, SkyTrain!

Happy 32nd birthday, SkyTrain!

SkyTrain bursts through a banner on its very first day in service: Dec 11, 1985!

It’s birthday time, again!

Thirty-two years ago today, Premier Bill Bennett proudly announced the opening of SkyTrain, forever changing the face of transit for Metro Vancouver! Rides were free for the first eight days while SkyTrain staff worked out any glitches on the system.

According to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, on opening day there were “bands, balloons, political speeches and a crowd of admiring fans” as vehicle 049 smashed through “five colourful banners stretched across the tracks and glided to a halt at Waterfront Station” (“Bands, Balloons, Fans and Glitter,” Vancouver Sun, Final Edition, Wednesday, December 11, 1985).

Nearly a month later, SkyTrain would mark its official launch with the start of regular service on January 3rd, 1986.

Let’s look at some of our major milestones of the last 32 years:

  • 1986: SkyTrain opens for regular revenue service between Vancouver and New Westminster
  • 1989–1994: Three Expo Line expansion projects are built adding service to Surrey with King George as the terminus station
  • 2002: Millennium Line officially opens operating along the Expo Line to New Westminster Station and adding new service between Columbia and Commercial-Broadway
  • 2006: Millennium Line service is extended to its current terminus station, VCC-Clark
  • 2009: Canada Line opens, connecting downtown Vancouver with Richmond and the Vancouver international airport
  • 2016: Millennium Line Evergreen Extension opens connecting the Tri-Cities to the existing SkyTrain system, regional bus network, and West Coast Express

Happy Birthday, SkyTrain!

Photo: Rob Chew/Bob Webster
Photo: Rob Chew/Bob Webster
The 1985 SkyTrain system map