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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SkyTrain

More than 21,000 rail pads set to be replaced on SkyTrain in Surrey

Starting on October 23, we’ll begin replacing rail pads on the Expo Line between Scott Road and King George stations as part of the SkyTrain Rail Asset State of Good Repair Program.

On most Sundays through Thursdays, from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, the Expo Line will use one track in both directions, around the area where the work is happening.

Customers are encouraged to plan for an additional 5-10 minutes for travel between Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central and King George stations. Please watch destination displays and listen for announcements. Know before you go by visiting translink.ca/alerts.

The project will replace more than 21,000 rail pads, which are attached to the concrete guideway to support the rail that the trains run on. The original Expo Line has been in service since 1986 and the rail pads in many areas were installed in 1992. These rail pads are now reaching the end of their life spans.

The work schedule is subject to change, and is weather dependent (work cannot take place in the snow) and will be adjusted to accommodate major events. Changes to regular operating patterns may also occur.

Thank you for your patience while we continue to keep the SkyTrain network safe and reliable for years to come. Rail pad replacement work is scheduled to be complete by spring 2018.

New Joyce–Collingwood east stationhouse is now open!

The east stationhouse at Joyce–Collingwood Station is now open!

Exciting news for SkyTrain passengers who use Joyce–Collingwood Station! Construction has finished at the east stationhouse and its now open to the public. 

Key features of the upgraded stationhouse: 

  • New elevator, as well as new up and down escalators (only one escalator previously)
  • Improved station design with better lighting and visibility
  • Glass panels replace mesh screens to improve visibility and help control platform noise
  • New commercial retail unit — coming soon!
  • Bike parkade — coming soon!
  • Better integration with the community for easier connections

We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience as we made these much-needed improvements to Joyce-Collingwood Station. The upgrades improve passenger capacity, accessibility, safety and security, and the overall customer experience.

The art!

If you happen to be in the area, it’s worth a pop-in at Joyce–Collingwood just to see the artwork. The stained glass panel was created by Vancouver artist Renée Van Halm and is made up of 10 pieces of glass. You’ll see the panel adds a healthy dose of colour to the station! 

 

To learn more about the Joyce–Collingwood Station Upgrades, visit translink.ca/joyce.

Modified Millennium Line service the next three weekends

During the affected dates, the Millennium Line will operate between VCC–Clark and Burquitlam stations. A Special SkyTrain Service will operate between Burquitlam and Lafarge Lake–Douglas stations.

Over the next three weekends, Millennium Line customers travelling beyond Burquitlam Station will see modified service while we install wireless infrastructure in the Burquitlam Tunnel, between Burquitlam and Moody Centre stations.

Read more »

Rail replacement work begins in the Royal Oak and Edmonds area on Oct. 2

During affected dates and times in the Royal Oak and Edmonds area, Expo Line trains will use one track in both directions at Royal Oak and Edmonds stations. Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Read more »

Track changes to SkyTrain’s Expo Line this weekend, Sept. 23–24

Crews install a 60-foot section of curved rail near Main Street–Science World Station back in May 2017.

Are you planning to take the SkyTrain’s Expo Line between 11:30 p.m.  10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 through 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 24? Please plan for an additional 15–20 minutes of travel time as service will be modified for rail replacement work.

Read more »

Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

Buses all settled and snuggled in for the night!

Our transit vehicles spend their days moving many people around Metro Vancouver, but have you ever wondered what happens to them after a long day of work? Each night, our SkyTrain vehicles, SeaBus vessels, buses and West Coast Express trains return to their homes for a well-deserved rest before they gear up for another busy day.

Read more »

9 and 99 bus stops at Commercial–Broadway Station temporarily relocate, Sept. 15 – Oct. 1

Structural steel trusses will be installed at this location and across Broadway at Commercial–Broadway SkyTrain Station for the new pedestrian walkway.

An exciting milestone for the Commercial–Broadway Station Upgrades! Starting on September 15, construction begins for the new overhead pedestrian walkway across Broadway.

Read more »

Once upon a chime

Have you ever wondered where the iconic SkyTrain chime came from? Well, today is your lucky day because we’ve got an answer for you!

Once upon a chime…

Our story dates back to 1984, a few years before SkyTrain was operational. As a driverless automated system with no train operator on-board to remind passengers that doors were about to close and the train was ready to depart, we realized the need for some kind of automated on-board message.

FYI: SkyTrain opened in January 1986, on schedule and on budget ($854 million) with an initial 21.4 kms (13.3 miles) of guideway, 15 stations and 114 SkyTrain cars!

Once the decision was made to create an automated message, the next step was to determine what the message would sound like. We tested out many different ideas and even experimented with real bells, but nothing seemed to sound just right.  Since SkyTrain is an automated, high-tech system, the feeling was that a reasonably conventional sounding chime was needed.

Fun fact! The SkyTrain chime isn’t just for SkyTrain! The same chime can also be heard on-board our buses!

We decided to test out some different versions of the chime using a digital synthesizer at Little Mountain Sound Studio. It took some time to come up with a tone that would be usable and would catch people’s attention. After many trials and errors, we decided that the chime would have three tones going up and would serve it’s purpose to draw passengers attention to the train departing and the doors closing.

Did you know that the SkyTrain chime was recorded in the same studio that AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith and many other talented musicians recorded in?!

Listen to the SkyTrain chime

This post originally appeared as a podcast on The Buzzer Blog on December 1, 2008.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Rail replacement work moves to Main Street–Science World area

During rail replacement on select days, all Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George, and will use one track in both directions at Main Street–Science World and Commercial–Broadway stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Replacement work is currently taking place in the Main Street–Science World area, resulting in modified evening SkyTrain service. Read more »

Metrotown bus stops on the move

Do you take the 49 or the 116 to or from Metrotown Station?

Good news! Starting September 4, the 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar Loop/UBC and the 116 Edmonds Station/Metrotown Station will stop directly in front of Metrotown SkyTrain Station.

We’re introducing new eastbound stops along Central Boulevard to improve accessibility and make bus and SkyTrain transfers easier and more convenient. You’ll also notice two brand new bus shelters.

Temporary crosswalk changes

From August 30 to September 2, the south pedestrian path between the bus loop crosswalk and the centre stationhouse entrance at Metrotown will close, as we put the finishing touches on the new bus shelters for the 49 and the 116.

During this time, passengers exiting the station can travel east from the centre entrance to cross Central Boulevard at the mall parkade entrance to get to the bus loop. You can also exit the west stationhouse – where the new escalators are located – and head west to the McKay crosswalk.

Your safety is our top concern, so please – no jaywalking! Traffic flaggers and SkyTrain staff will be on site to direct you safely in and out of the station. Read more »

This is why there’s a third platform at Stadium – Chinatown SkyTrain station

The third platform at Stadium-Chinatown Station, in use during the 1980s! The third track is the one on the far left of the photo.

 

A SkyTrain sitting at the third track at Stadium-Chinatown Station.

What’s the third platform at Stadium-Chinatown? Well, if you go to the regular platform to board a SkyTrain, you’ll clearly see there’s ANOTHER platform across the SkyTrain tracks and behind the fence, sitting empty. Have a look at the photo on the right to see what I mean.

 

Read more »

Fun poll results: Your favourite summer spots to visit with transit

The results are in! We asked you what your favourite summer spot is to visit with transit and with 27 per cent of votes, Stanley Park is your favourite summer spot!

Coming in second and not too far behind with 20 per cent of votes is “Other”. Granville Island and New Westminster River Market both tied for third place with 14 per cent of votes each.

If you answered other, where do you love to go with transit in the summer? Summer isn’t over yet so comment below and let us know!

Following the top three summer destinations are White Pine Beach and Lonsdale Quay, each with eight per cent of votes, Queen Elizabeth Park with four per cent of votes, and Kitsilano Beach and Capilano Suspension Bridge coming in with three per cent of votes.

Thanks to everyone for voting!

If you have an idea for a poll, comment below or email thebuzzer@translink.ca!

Author: Christina Jakopin

This lady is the voice of SkyTrain

Laureen Regan is the voice behind announcements on the SkyTrain system!

Hop on a SkyTrain and you’ll hear a woman’s voice on the public address system, telling you what line you’ve boarded and what station is coming up next.

Well, that voice belongs to Laureen Regan, president of Regan Productions, a video production company in Calgary, Alberta.

She’s been the voice of the SkyTrain since 2001, when the Millennium Line opened and new station announcements were required. We brought her back again when the Canada Line and Evergreen Extension opened to record additional announcements.

Laureen Regan

Regan heard her voice on the train system for the first time shortly after the Millennium Line began service.

“I took the train and I laughed,” she says. “It was so amazing to hear it—to sit there and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s my voice.’ You remembered when you recorded it. … And everybody has no idea, which makes you laugh.”

Regan came to be the voice of the SkyTrain through her connection to Interalia, another Calgary-based company.

Interalia makes automated voice systems, and knew Regan had done voice work for her own productions in the past. They asked her to do a demo voice for their system, which they were about to show to TransLink for the Millennium Line.

Then, when TransLink bought the Interalia system, Regan was asked to record the real announcements for the trains.

Recording wasn’t too tough.

“Millennium Line is hard to say, I’ve got to say,” she says. “But I don’t remember any of the names being particularly difficult. The challenge sometimes with recording for places you don’t know is that you may not know the proper pronunciation [of local names].”

It’s a challenge she’s faced again over the years.

Regan has also done voice work for the Salt Lake City train system and the BART trains in San Francisco, both through Interalia

The chance to do voice work like this has been a gift, she says.

“It’s not been something that I’ve planned—it just happened. I enjoy it every time I do voicing. I love it.”

Listen to the Podcast

Regan’s interview was conducted as part of the Buzzer blog podcast. Have a listen!

This post originally appeared in the October 10, 2008 issue of The Buzzer. 

I Love Transit week 2017 is coming!!

Our favourite week of the year is quickly approaching! I Love Transit Week! Since 2009, we have shared interesting stories celebrating our riders, transit enthusiasts and all the things we love about transit over the course of a special week dedicated to just that, our love of transit!

In the past, we’ve celebrated I Love Transit with a vintage bus, a marriage and so much more! This year, we have a bus load of more fun transit love, appreciation and stories to share with you.

Read more »

Your Guide to B.C. Day Holiday Service, Pride, Celebration of Light and more!

B.C. day is August 7 and that means a long weekend packed with events and of course, holiday transit service!

What’s happening this BC Day long weekend?

Honda Celebration of Light

The Honda Celebration of Light is one of Vancouver’s largest and most well-known festivals, and is recognized as the longest-running offshore fireworks competitions in the world. You can watch Canada put on a magical display of light on Saturday, August 5. For everything you need to know about the Celebration of Light, take a look here and here.

Vancouver Pride Festival

Vancouver Pride Week is on to paint the city in rainbows and celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community.

The Davie Street Block Party takes place on Friday, August 4 from 6 p.m. until midnight along Davie Street, between Burrard Street and Jervis Street.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Sunset Beach Festival happens on Sunday, August 6 at Sunset Beach.

One of Vancouver’s most impressive parades, the Pride Parade, takes place on Sunday, August 6 at noon at the corner of Robson Street and Thurlow Street. It proceeds west along Robson Street, then south down Denman Street and finally along Beach Avenue before finishing at Sunset Beach.

Look out for us in this historical, 1937 Hayes Anderson in the Pride Parade!

Harmony Arts Festival

The Harmony Arts Festival is a ten day long arts festival that begins this August long weekend on Friday, August 4. The festival is free and takes place in West Vancouver, along the water between Ambleside and John Lawson Park. The festival features live music, free nightly movies and art displays. To learn more, check out the Harmony Arts Festival website.

White Rock Sea Festival

Complete with live music, a torchlight parade, beachside yoga and fireworks, White Rock’s free Sea Festival takes place from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6. For a complete list of activities and more information, go to White Rock Sea Festival.

Service Information

Celebration of Light Service

There will be added service for the finale of the Celebration of Light on Saturday, August 5. For more information on service changes, take a look here and be sure to check out our Buzzer blog post here for everything you need to know to have a fun and safe time at the Celebration of Light!

Vancouver Pride Parade

On Sunday, August 6 SkyTrain will have increased midday service from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. and will then move to the Sunday/Holiday schedule.

The Seabus and the Canada Line will operate regular Sunday hours and service.

Busses will operate regular Sunday hours and service, however there will be route changes to the 5 Robson and the 6 Davie to accommodate the parade route.

B.C. Day 

On Monday, August 7, Bus, SkyTrain, Canada Line and SeaBus services will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. The West Coast Express will not operate.

Transit Tip: Holiday fares will be in effect. You only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!

Know before you go! For full detours and maps, visit translink.ca/alerts.
Help us plan your transit trip by using Trip Planner.
Have questions on the go? Tweet @TransLink or call us at 604.953.3333.

Author: Christina Jakopin