TransLink signs contract for 28 new SkyTrain cars

Bombarider INNOVIA Metro 300

TransLink and the Government of British Columbia have signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation for 28 new SkyTrain cars at a cost of $90.7 million.

The rolling stock chosen by TransLink is the (pictured) INNOVIA ART 300, according to SkyTrain for Surrey. They will be designed as four-car articulated trains, meaning passengers will be able to walk from one end of the train to the other.

The previous generation Mark II trains currently run in four-car configurations consisting of 2 two-car articulated trains connected together. Passengers are able to freely walk between two cars, but not all four. On the Mark I trains, passengers are unable to move between cars at all without exiting.

The new cars will be delivered by January 2016, in time for the opening of the Evergreen Line. The cars will also be used on the Expo and Millennium Lines.

The contract includes an option for 28 additional vehicles and, if exercised, are to be delivered by June 2017.

Adding more trains is one of the options TransLink is considering to accomodate ridership increases in the next decade. They are also considering running all of the Mark I trains in six-car configurations and adding a fifth car to the current Mark II configuration so they can take advantage of the full length of the platform.


Hat tip to Citaro/CPTDB
Photo Credit: Bombardier Transportation 

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Allen Tung Trying to make it in an industry that has been pegged as dying by the very people who work in it. Interested in urban transportation issues and hockey.

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  • Leah Diane Moyls

    That explains the outrageous jump in transit prices for 2013

  • Gardiner Hanson

    This is odd in my opinion. I read the report on expanding the Expo line capacity the other day and it’s findings were mainly that in order to maximize capacity without extending platforms would require the eventual decommissioning of all the MarkI cars and have them replaced with 2 car and 3 car MarkII trains, that would be linked to create 5 car train-sets (which is sort of mentioned here in this article). 

    But if that is the requirement to expand the future capacity why are we purchasing 4 car train-sets of the new INNOVIA ART models? Is it that the 4 car train-sets are designed long enough to maximize the existing platforms along the existing lines? Or will these new trains simply act the same as two linked MarkII units (minus the lost space where the trains are currently linked together of course)?

    I will look forward to hearing further details about this purchase as they become available. If they are designed long enough to maximize existing platform lengths, then good purchase TransLink! If not, total mismanagement and very poor planning. 

  • Hollywood

    How are they able to do this when they keep complaining that they dont have money!?

  • Allen Tung

    The SkyTrain cars are partially paid for through the federal gas tax which is separate from the regional gas tax. 

  • Allen Tung

    If you read the Request for Information (linked in the fourth paragraph), the cars are going to be 17.35 metres in length (if I am reading it correctly), which is the same as the Mark II.

    The platforms are 76.2 metres in length. Six of the Mark I is exactly 76.2 metres. Four of the Mark II/INNOVIA 300 is 69.4 metres. My understanding was they were simply going to to put a 6.8 metre car in between two Mark IIs to form a five-car train.

    So it doesn’t look like the INNOVIA 300 will be the entire length of the platform.

  • Ruggerbc

    They are all good ideas. The whole of the metro Vancouver needs a much better transit system, but unfortunately, its not something we can afford. This province has a tendency of buying into items that we just don’t simply have the money to get into, its along the lines of what we as individuals have to work with, and borrow in our means, but that does not appear to  be happening. For me, I am leaving the metro, fortunately because I can. The government taxes me unfairly because of my status, single , well employed, good driving record, etc, but we have a system that benefits the stupid, the lazy, and just general losers. Already, I have found, that even after 25 years of good driving, my icbc rates have dropped by over 1,000.00 by leaving a crime infested ( read Maple Ridge  ) to the west coast of the island.

    Maple Ridge has turned into such trash, thanks Ernie.

  • Gardiner Hanson

    Thanks for that Allen. 

    Gauging from the recommendations in the Expo Line Expansion report ( the proposed 5 car sets are not made up from simply adding in an additional middle car, but have to be made up from newly purchased 3 car MarkII sets to be linked with the existing 2 car sets. This is the recommendation of the report. So why is translink purchasing new 4 car integrated INNOVIA trains when they’ve already outlined what needs to be done to increase capacity? Maybe this is all that Bombardier now offers for its INNOVIA automated light rail cars? Seems odd to me. 

    Thanks for pointing out that link in the 4th paragraph. I’ll have a browse!

  • Erin

    Very cool! But by then, my Transit days will probably (and hopefully) be over since I graduate uni next year..

  • Rban

    Having trains where you can walk from end to end increases capacity to some extent. And I am not just talking about the extra space of people being able to stand between cars… I am speaking of space maximinization, ie people being able to move from a crowded car all the way to an less-crowded one. In such cases a 4 car train may be equal to the capacity of a 5 car.

  • Rban

    However I would say this is too slow and too little. The Skytrain system has about 280 cars total, so adding 10 percent of that (28 cars), and that too, by 2016, is too little too late

  • Jacky Lim

    Sell all the Mark I and Mark II to buy the INNOVIA ART 300

  • Brycon Slaughter Casey

    please explain to me why the transit in Vancouver is so terrible? It’s almost always on time and it’s extremely efficient.

    This city has a transit system that has allowed me to never require a car.

  • N.

    Maybe 28 cars by 2016 is a small contribution, but if they take the options for the next 28 for 2017, that would make a nice addition to the carry capacity of the system!