Expo Line Upgrades Improve Communications
October 11, 2011
EXPO LINE UPGRADES IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS,
Fibre optics replace cables for more efficient train control, ticketing and security systems
VANCOUVER — Construction is underway to replace cables that have been in place since SkyTrain’s Expo Line started operating 25 years ago. The new fibre optic cables will support a more efficient communications network across the entire SkyTrain system, keeping it safe and reliable for passengers.
The first phase of this project includes replacing existing cables from Waterfront Station to New Westminster Station. This phase also includes an engineering study, design and quality control, and has a budget of up to $4.7 million. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $1.9 million of the eligible costs through the Building Canada Fund, and the Province of British Columbia is contributing up to $1.9 million through the Provincial Transit Plan. TransLink is funding the remainder.
“Our government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in important projects like this that will ensure the continued safety and efficiency of the SkyTrain system,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and Regional Minister for British Columbia. “This project is another example of how, together with our partners, we are working to provide accessible, safe and secure public transit for all Canadians.”
“Keeping infrastructure up to date helps ensure the continued success of TransLink’s transit network,” said B.C.’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. “The province is partnering with the Government of Canada and TransLink to keep the service going strong for passengers and to create jobs for British Columbians.”
The majority of the upgrades will take place at night to avoid customer and service disruptions. The project, which will be complete by March 2012, is employing 10 highly skilled workers.
“The fibre optic cables are the backbone of SkyTrain operations,” said Fred Cummings, president of British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, which operates the SkyTrain Expo and Millennium lines. “They run the communications among staff, operate ticketing and security systems, and — perhaps most important — are the vital lifeline between our trains and the control centre, helping maintain the trains’ on-time reliability of greater than 95 per cent. Thanks to our partnership with senior governments, we are able to make the investments needed to keep the system in good repair and operational for years to come.”
Detailed design work for phase 2 is also underway. During this phase, cables from New Westminster to King George Station on the Expo Line and from Columbia Station to Lougheed Town Centre on the Millennium Line will be replaced. The new cables will eventually connect with the planned Evergreen Line, ensuring the communications network across the entire SkyTrain system is integrated, efficient, reliable and safe. The upgrades will also support future faregate and Compass card operations, and communications needs.
At the same time as phase 1, work will start to replace the running rails on another segment of the SkyTrain. Over the weekends of October 15-16 and 22-23, rails in the vicinity of Edmonds Station will be replaced. This will require trains to run on a single track, alternating directions, throughout the day and night, and will mean delays throughout the system. Customers should plan on additional time for their trips.
The project is part of the OnTrack program that includes a number of maintenance projects, upgrades and investments taking place along the system during SkyTrain’s 25th anniversary. Along with the fibre optic upgrade and running rail replacement, faregates are being installed to enable the Compass card system when it goes into operation in 2013 and accessibility to the system is being improved. Visit www.translink.ca/ontrack for more information about construction, timelines and the benefits of these programs.
Contacts: Vanessa Schneider
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
The Province of British Columbia
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
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