The new Mark V SkyTrain arrives at our Operations and Maintenance Centre

The new Mark V SkyTrain arrives at our Operations and Maintenance Centre

The first of our new SkyTrain cars rolled into Burnaby this week, completing a journey of some 4,600 kilometres across Canada from Kingston, Ontario — just in time for the holiday season.

Cranes offloaded the five-car Mark V train, across two separate days, onto the tracks at our SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre, near Edmonds Station.

It kicks off what is sure to be an exhilarating next 12 months as the train moves through the next phase in the testing and commissioning process. We expect these tests to complete before the end of 2024.

Among them is ensuring all onboard systems have been thoroughly tested and verified in addition to wayside upgrades that are required for SkyTrain staff to successfully operate and maintain the trains. We must also conduct different qualifying tests on site, each focusing on different parts of the train assets.

Next, the train will run through our automatic train control systems. The commissioning to get the trains on the tracks is more complicated than in previous generations, due to the sheer size of the train.

The Mark V SkyTrain unloaded by two cranes

The Mark V, featuring five interconnected cars, pushes our infrastructure limits. It is our longest train ever, far exceeding the length of our current six-car Mark I trains and our four-car Mark II and III trains.

We need to ensure the accuracy of all stopping locations so that we can fit them on all platforms. This results in a substantial amount of construction work and upgrades, with many projects making up our SkyTrain Expansion Program.

Adding all Mark V trains to the SkyTrain network will provide much-needed extra capacity and relief to the Expo and Millennium Lines. We expect to be able to serve about 20 per cent more customers on Expo Line and 50 per cent more on Millennium Line during the busiest times of the day.

Mark V SkyTrain driving on tracks at testing facility in Kingston, Ontario

The train will also provide customers with a safe and comfortable experience on transit. You told us you like the design of Mark III cars, so the Mark V cars will look very similar. They will include additional features, such as more flex space for bike racks and leaning pads. Primarily forward-facing seating with some perimeter seating incorporated, and improved on-train displays.

We look forward to welcoming you onboard the new Mark V train soon!

The Mark V SkyTrain unloaded by two cranes