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New Mark III trains undergoing testing and commissioning

New Mark III undergoing testing

This new Mark III train is currently completing a certain number of hours in a variety of different service situations

For those of you who noticed a new arrival on the Expo Line yesterday, it’s the first of the new Mark IIIs that’s getting closer each day to entering service! You heard that right!

We’re happy to say we’re testing and commissioning the newest Mark III train. You’ll see this one 4-car train on the Expo Line during non-peak hours, but no passengers are allowed on until the testing is complete.

The train will stop at all stations and the doors will open – but they will be taped and SkyTrain Attendants will be onboard to ensure no one boards the train.

Here’s what you will see when this train stops at the station and the doors open.

New Mark III SkyTrain testing

Here’s what you will see when this train stops at the station and the doors open.

The train will be tested and commissioned during non-peak hours. It is mandatory for all new trains to undergo eight hours of testing.

As you may recall, we received the first of the new Mark IIIs in September this year. Over the next year, we will be receiving a total of 56 new Mark III SkyTrain cars that will undergo mandated testing to ensure they are safe to travel on. Out of this, 24 SkyTrain cars will arrive early next year and another 28 by the end of the same year, all for the Expo and Millennium Lines.

This is all part of the 10-Year Vision – Phase One! We’re adding 80 new SkyTrain cars on the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines to increase service and reduce overcrowding.

All new trains must complete a certain number of hours in a variety of different service situations and testing scenarios before they are given the green light to be used in service. We do this testing to ensure that the new trains are safe for all passengers and staff.

All new trains go through three stages of commissioning:

  • Stage 1: Involves running a total of 140 km on Expo (80kms) and Millennium Line (60 kms) during non-revenue hours.
  • Stage 2: Includes running the train a total of eight hours during non-peak revenue service (current stage for the new trains).
  • Stage 3: Involves running the train in full revenue service (during peak and non-peak hours) while transporting passengers.

Train 2 arrived at the SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre at Burnaby in November and is currently also undergoing testing and commissioning. Train 3 is currently being tested in Kingston, ON, while manufacturing of train 4 is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

 

As the new Mark III trains are commissioned, they will be introduced to service on all-day Expo Line runs now operated by Mark I trains.

These trains are fully-articulated (you can walk from one end of the train to the other), have more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage, and are more environmentally efficient, and so much more!

Every 4th new Mark III train will allow us to update the Expo/Millennium service timetables, thereby increasing capacity on both the lines.

Stay tuned to know when the new trains go into service! You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with service information, and to share cool transit stories with us!

Author: Tanushree Pillai

“Marky” — the newest Mark III SkyTrain is here!


After an epic, week-long journey across Canada, Marky — the newest Mark III SkyTrain — is now here! Marky arrived the evening of Sept. 12 and was unloaded the next morning on Sept. 13. Check out the time lapse above, and the photos below! Read more »

TransLink on the Move : 7 new Mark III trains rolled into service in 2016!

TransLink on the Move

We’ve recently posted our 2016 Annual Report. For those of you who are unable to comb through it, we’re picking out some highlights among many for our TransLink on the Move series. First up, new SkyTrains!

Last year was a big year for transit in Metro Vancouver. One of the improvements we made was adding seven new Mark III trains to our fleet! That’s 28 additional SkyTrain cars on the system. Our passengers can now enjoy an enhanced transit experience with a more spacious ride, less noise and more natural light. The new Mark III SkyTrain cars are equipped to hold more passengers with extra space for wheelchairs, bikes and strollers than their Mark I & Mark II counterparts.

The Mark III’s journey started back in October of 2015 when they left the Bombardier facility in Ontario to begin the cross country journey out West to our SkyTrain OMC yard in Burnaby.

Mark III

After their arrival, much of the summer was spent in testing to ensure the new SkyTrain cars were rail ready for our passengers.

The big day arrived on August 18th, 2016, with all of the anticipated fan fare! The first Mark III car entered service with SkyTrain President & General Manager Vivienne King and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond on board, among a host of excited transit enthusiasts.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016? We’ll be posting one a week for the next four weeks.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

That’s a wrap! The Mark III enters service

IMG_7317

What a beaut!

August 18th, 2016 “marks” another momentous day in SkyTrain history. The highly anticipated Mark III entered revenue service for the first time and it wasn’t without fanfare!

If you’re as excited as we were about its arrival, you likely followed the Mark III’s journey across the country, endeavoured to #SpotTheMarkIII during system testing, entered our contest to become a Mark III VIP, or stopped by in person to take the inaugural ride.

If not, don’t you worry – you can catch all that you may have missed right here!

Watch as SkyTrain President & General Manager Vivienne King and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond welcomed the new Mark III into Waterfront station.

If you haven’t had a chance to already, get up close and personal by checking out the behind the scenes tour with Chris Morris, our resident Mark III expert and Director of Engineering Assets at BCRTC.

But wait, there’s more!

Below is a gallery of some of the photos “mark”-ing the special day.

Make sure to check out Facebook and Instagram for even more!

This Mark III is now in regular service and will be joined shortly by its sibling Mark III SkyTrains once they have completed their testing and are rail ready!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Come out and meet the Mark IIIs!

After building, shipping and extensive safety testing, our shiny new Mark III SkyTrains are ready to enter service!

These beauties are fully articulated (you can walk from one end of the train to the other), have more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage, are more environmentally efficient and so much more!

If you want to see more of the new trains, come on out to our Mark III public open house this Thursday – from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

While our Mark III VIP contest winners will have some extra fun, everyone is invited to see the stationary train on the inbound platform at Waterfront Station before it heads into service.

Remember! This event takes place on the SkyTrain platform so, if you plan to attend, you will need to have proof of valid fare while in the Fare Paid Zone.

Mark III VIP contest

We had 83 entries from riders of all ages with everything from songs to poems, drawings to heartfelt transit stories.

Take a look at just a few of our fantastic winning entries:

Bruce not only rocks a banjo but also met his SO on SkyTrain!

Anat is celebrating 13 years in Canada with a poem about her first ride!

Thirteen years ago that day,
Stepping off of a plane,
Keeping my fears at bay,
Was the knowledge of so much to gain.

Such beauty lay before me,
I scarcely believed,
New memories were forming,
My dreams I have achieved.

That first Skytrain ride,
I will never forget,
It beat back the fear tide,
I stayed here, without regret.

Nine-year-old Kalen tells us all about SkyTrain – and can recite all stations in order!

Alejandro Mejía Greene created this awesome transit-inspired Mark III logo!

Life is full of moments…
Moments are snapshots…
That move from one place to another…

AMG Mark III entry
Thank you to everyone who entered! It truly was a series of difficult choices to select just 20 of you.

Be sure to check out contests coming up for I Love Transit 2016!

The Mark III and I hope to see you on Thursday!

**Update**

Missed the public event?

Take a look at our Facebook LIVE videos:

Author: Adrienne Coling

Be a Mark III VIP and ride the new SkyTrains before anyone else!

Mark III and its older sibling, Mark II

Mark III and its older sibling, Mark II

Ok. This. Is. It.

THEY’RE HERRRRRRRRRRE!!!!

The Mark IIIs are here, tested and ready for service but just before they’re available to all riders, we want to give you (yes, you!) a chance to get on that train first!

What you’ll get

  • A unique Mark III transit pin
  • A Mark III VIP certificate
  • An detailed tour of the train by BCRTC’s Director of Engineering Assets
    AND…. *drumroll please*
  • Have a guaranteed seat aboard the very first Mark III ride with passengers

The big day will be on August 18, 2016 with activities beginning around 11:15ish a.m. at Waterfront Station – the first ride will be after a public open house and media event.

How to enter

This one is simple!

Tell us why you should be a Mark III VIP.

Email us with your videos, poems, songs, photos or anything else you can think of with the subject line “Mark III VIP” to enter. The more creative, the better!! :)

Be sure to read the contest rules found here.

We will choose the most innovative and awesome entries to win one of 20 spots for this much-anticipated event!

All entries must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on August 15, 2016.

More details of the event will follow for the lucky winners.

Please note: All entrants must have a Compass Card or Compass Ticket to enter the Fare Paid Zone.

Have contest questions? Comment below!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Spot the Mark III – testing continues this weekend!

IMG_0916

So shiny and new!

Get ready transit fans because the Mark IIIs are almost here!!!

This weekend you may see them being tested in regular service on the Expo and Millennium Lines.

YES! It’s true!

You won’t be able to actually ride the one, four-car test train just yet and there will be STAs on the trains at the doors just to make sure no eager beavers jump on.

Why the testing?

Think of the trains as pilots. They have to complete a certain amount of hours in a variety of different service situations and testing scenarios before they are given the green light to be used in service.

We do this testing to ensure that the new trains are safe for all passengers and staff.

The third and final phase of testing allows actual SkyTrain passengers to ride the Mark IIIs when they are put into regular service.

Stay tuned for details on that exciting day!

What’s different about the Mark IIIs?

Let me tell you!

  • The cars are all connected – meaning you can walk from one end to the other and move about freely within the train.
  • These cars also have more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage.
  • Seats are an inch lower, which helps people like me whose feet dangle on the Mark IIs!
  • They’re as quiet as a soft, summer’s breeze. OK, I’m taking some poetic license here but they are much quieter due to improved door seals.
  • These trains are green. No, not the colour. They are more energy efficient! They have improved LED lighting and longer lasting battery system – lasting 25 years compared to the 10 year life span in our existing fleet.

Want to spot the Mark III this weekend? Keep your eyes peeled across the system during these times:

  • Friday, July 8
    Millennium Line
    7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 9
    Expo Line
    6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Snap a pic and share on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SpottheMarkIII.

Want a sneak peek inside the trains? Check out the gallery below.

Author: Adrienne Coling

New Mark III SkyTrain cars embark on a cross country road trip

C2 car on trailer outside chained down
The new Mark III SkyTrain cars are heading West!

Bombardier has sent them on their journey from Ontario to our neck of the woods in Metro Vancouver.

These cars will undergo testing before being put into service on our system.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see these beauties in action!

If you spot them on their trip, use the hashtag #SpottheMarkIII to share a picture or video with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

TransLink 20: the secret Mark II SkyTrain cars

When TransLink took over transit in 1999, the Millennium Line was announced by the provincial government and about to break ground. Construction began in October 1999 and the new line opened in 2002.

As part of the project, SkyTrain added 60 Mark II cars to the fleet to the new line and to meet booming ridership. The Mark II cars were the next generation that followed the original Mark I cars that arrived when the Expo Line opened in 1985.

A Mark II train undergoing testing at SkyTrain’s Operations and Maintenance Centre in the early 2000s. (Photo: John Wollenzin)

But did you know – the first bit of work designing the next generation of SkyTrain cars began about a decade earlier?

A mock-up of what a Mark II could look like was developed by BC Transit in 1991. It was displayed at the PNE and Scott Road Station to gauge the public’s reaction and test seating configurations.

Built from wood by a movie production company – oddly at Celtic Shipyards in south Vancouver, it was only half a car and had mirrors at the end to make the interior look larger.

Read more »

Behind The Scenes: A look into the remake of a Mark I SkyTrain

SkyTrain OMC

If you’ve ever taken the SkyTrain in Metro Vancouver, you’ve likely been a passenger on a Mark I. Making up 40% of our SkyTrain fleet, 114 of our 150 Mark I SkyTrains are currently undergoing a massive overhaul at OMC2, one of our Operations & Maintenance Centres in Burnaby.

Read more »

#MyTransLink – January 15

If be more creative, get out more, take more pictures, or be more environmentally conscious” are on your New Years Resolutions list for 2019, we’ve got you!

#MyTransLink is a weekly commuter photo series featuring photos taken by you, our customers, neighbours and transit enthusiasts in and around Metro Vancouver. This series has been capturing our hearts and fleeting moments on transit from every corner of this region.

So scroll to through the shots shared below for a glimpse into the daily lives and views of our riders on their commutes.

#MyTransLink – January 8: Another trip around the sun

Two years and 6,176 photos and counting shared.

January 11 marks the inception of #MyTransLink, a fun photo series sharing YOUR content.

My TransLink Photo Fun: A new series with YOUR content!

Read more »

That’s a wrap on I Love Transit Camp 2018!

Remember I Love Transit 2018? We still do. The end of 2018 was a busy one, so we never got to tell you about I Love Transit Camp 2018! Last year was special because we had two winning classes – that’s right!

Read more »

Year in Review: a look at some of TransLink’s 2018 milestones

As 2018 ends, The Buzzer blog takes a look at some of TransLink’s milestones from the year that was!

Improving the customer experience was a big focus for us this year.

We made paying for transit even more easier with the roll-out of Tap to Pay. For customers without Compass Cards such as tourists, this feature means no more ticket line-ups, digging for exact change, or worrying about pre-calculating zones — just tap your Visa or Mastercard contactless credit card or mobile wallet, and be on your way. In less than two months of its launch, Tap to Pay hit a milestone with more than one million taps. Read more »

#MyTransLink – December 19, 2017

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

— Elliott Erwitt

We’re back again with our weekly #MyTransLink series of reader-curated photos, captured by our riders, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts alike. Let’s see what you’ve captured since last week!