History of SkyTrain

SkyTrain is the oldest and one of the longest fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world.

 

1986 - 1994

SkyTrain opened in January 1986, on schedule and on budget ($854 million) with an initial 21.4 kms of guideway, 15 stations, and 114 SkyTrain cars. It was a showcase of Expo '86, which was held in Vancouver from May 2 to October 13, 1986.

After Expo '86, the appropriately named "Expo Line" grew to 29 kms of guideway, 20 stations (Waterfront to King George) and a fleet of 150 cars during line extensions in 1989, 1990, and 1994 respectively.

 

1995 - 2006

The 20 km Millennium Line (M-Line) also opened in stages beginning with two stations in January 2002 and another nine stations in August of that same year. A 12th Millennium Line station was opened at Lake City Way in November 2003, followed by VCC-Clark on January 6, 2006.

 

2007 - 2015

In August 2009, the 19 km, 16-station Canada Line opened connecting Downtown Vancouver and the city of Richmond with a branch to YVR, Metro Vancouver's international airport. The line is underground through Vancouver, crossing the Fraser River on a dedicated bridge, and operating on an elevated guideway within the City of Richmond.

Built through a public/private partnership contract, it's operated by Protrans BC, a subsidiary of SNC Lavalin. Using rotary motor propelled trains built by Hyundai Rotem in Korea, but with train control technology similar to the Expo and Millennium Lines, Canada Line also operates in a fully-automated, driverless mode. As part of the integrated TransLink network, passengers can transfer to/from Canada Line and the Expo Line at Waterfront or Granville stations, as well as buses at many stations, without additional fare.

 

2016

A fourth SkyTrain Line, the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension, opened in 2016. It added seven stations and 11 kms to the Millennium Line, connecting the cities of Coquitlam and Port Moody to the SkyTrain network at Lougheed Town Centre Station.

In addition, it integrated with regional bus and West Coast Express networks. A joint funding agreement was reached between the federal and provincial governments and TransLink in 2011. This project included a fleet of 28 additional MK III cars.