TransLink overhauls aging fleet with largest ever SkyTrain order

TransLink overhauls aging fleet with largest ever SkyTrain order

TransLink today announces that Bombardier Transportation has been chosen to manufacture the largest ever order of SkyTrain cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines.

The 205 new SkyTrain cars will allow TransLink to retire older vehicles, improve fleet quality, and keep service reliable for customers. The contract will also support service expansion as the region’s transit network grows with the Broadway Subway Project and Surrey Langley SkyTrain. The first new SkyTrain car is expected to arrive in 2023, with all new vehicles in service by the end of 2027.

The highlights of the $721.2 million order are as follows:

  • 125 new SkyTrain cars to replace first-generation MKI vehicles which entered service in 1985, and to support the Broadway Subway Project;
  • 80 SkyTrain cars to improve capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines; and
  • An option for additional cars to support Surrey Langley SkyTrain.

The selection of Bombardier follows the completion of a competitive and transparent procurement process. The project was an open market Request for Proposal issued in July 2019 allowing any organization that met the requirements to submit a proposal. Read the 2020 December Board report. TransLink will sign a contract with Bombardier in the coming days.

The purchase of these SkyTrain cars is part of the Expo Millennium Line Upgrade Program. The program is funded with an investment of $1.47 billion through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program with contributions from the Government of Canada, Government of B.C. and TransLink.


The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Together we are making historic investments in public transit infrastructure and, of equal importance, in the Canadians who build it. The Government of Canada’s help in buying 205 new SkyTrain cars is not just about faster commutes — it’s about good union jobs, cleaner air, and developing Canadian clean-technology. We’re building opportunities for a better Canada. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

George Heyman, Minister responsible for TransLink and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
“Residents and visitors to the Lower Mainland depend on fast and convenient ways to travel throughout the region. The need is growing and along with expanding Skytrain service these new cars will improve the commuter experience as well as reduce carbon emissions. People in B.C. are increasingly choosing public and active transportation options. That’s good for our economy and for our environment.”

Jonathan X. Coté, Chair of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation
“This order of SkyTrain cars is a monumental step forward for rapid transit service in our region. These cars will provide a major capacity increase for Expo and Millennium Line riders and help Metro Vancouver’s long-term COVID-19 economic recovery by bringing SkyTrain expansions one step closer to completion.”

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO
“Almost four decades ago our very first SkyTrain cars entered service, travelling between Vancouver and New Westminster. Those first-generation trains have served our region efficiently and reliably over many years, but they are now reaching the end of their lifecycle. This new order will replace our oldest trains and allow us to improve the customer experience, support expansion projects, and manage our capacity well into the future.”

Elliot G. (Lee) Sander, Bombardier Transportation Americas Region President
“We are proud and honored that TransLink is once again choosing to renew its long-standing partnership with Bombardier. Our commitment to support the development of public transit in Metro Vancouver remains as strong as ever. We are also proud that the new rail cars will be designed, assembled and tested in Canada.”

More Information