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Rail Projects

A SkyTrain leaving a station

Our expansive rail network moves our customers to key transit hubs in the region. There are several infrastructure and fleet projects underway to improve the quality of our SkyTrain and West Coast Express services.

Many of these projects support the vision and requirements of our three main transit expansion plans: Transport 2050, the 10-Year Investment Plan, and Area Transit Plans.

Rail projects include:

  • Escalator replacement to enhance the accessibility at our SkyTrain and West Coast Express stations.

  • Running rail and rail pad replacement to improve safety and comfort of our service.

  • Fleet improvements and expansion, including the addition of 259 new cars.

  • Operations and maintenance centre upgrades.

These investments we are making help keep the network in a state of good repair and improve the customer experience.


Burrard Escalator Replacement Project

From October 2022 until early 2024, we will be working to replace the five aging escalators at Burrard SkyTrain Station with new, heavier-duty models to ensure their safe and reliable operation for years to come. These modern transit-grade escalators are much more durable and feature:

  • smoother operation and braking for passenger safety

  • LED step lighting for better visibility in dimly lit areas

  • a variable speed option for power savings

  • improved accessibility for maintenance, to minimize down time and keep passengers moving

Did you know?
These are the oldest escalators on the SkyTrain system and the last original Expo Line escalators to be replaced.

Expo Line traffic has increased exponentially since these escalators began operating more than 35 years ago. Their replacement is critical to ensure growing passenger volumes are supported today and well into the future.

Construction Information:

Burrard Station will continue to operate normally throughout construction; however, passengers can expect more congestion within the station than usual.

  • Signage and SkyTrain Attendants will help direct passengers during any in-station detours, as required.

  • Access to Royal Centre and Bentall Centre will not be affected by construction.

  • Elevator access on all levels will not be affected by construction.

Thank you for your patience while we work to improve your transit experience.

The previously announced upgrades that would have closed the station for two years were rescoped. We assessed that that replacing the current escalators with new models is a necessary near-term improvement to continue effectively serving customers. For more information, please view the SkyTrain Station Upgrades section below.

Expo Line Rail and Rail Pad Replacement

We're replacing aging SkyTrain tracks on Expo Line, including rail and rail pads, to help ensure a smoother and quieter ride for our customers. Much of this track is more than 30 years old and has carried more than 2 million trains since 1986.

 

We're replacing rail and rail pads throughout our system one segment at a time to prevent future need for fixes that can cause unexpected disruption to neighbours and customers.

Main Street–Science World to Commercial–Broadway Station

Estimated Timeline: March 2021 through the end of 2022
While the majority of work in this area will be complete in winter 2021/22, crews will need to return intermittently throughout the year for finishing touches.

Overview: We’re replacing the portion of track between Main Street-Science World and Commercial–Broadway stations, including 6,700 metres of rail and 14,100 rail pads.

Know before you go! This work will require single tracking and changes to regular operating patterns. For up-to-date information visit our Alerts page.

Commercial–Broadway to Nanaimo Station

Estimated Timeline: December 2021 through the end of 2022

Overview: We’re replacing the portion of track between Commercial–Broadway and Nanaimo stations, including 7,300 metres of rail and over 10,400 rail pads.

Know before you go! This work will require single tracking and changes to regular operating patterns. For up-to-date information visit our Alerts page.

Completed Projects

Waterfront to Stadium-Chinatown Station

From December 2018 to spring 2019, we replaced 4,900 metres of rail and 8,400 rail pads on the tracks between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown stations, including inside Dunsmuir Tunnel which had one of the worst sections of rail pad corrosion across our system.

Stadium-Chinatown to Main Street-Science World

Between spring 2019 and spring 2020, we replaced about 1,800 metres of rail and 4,000 rail pads between Stadium-Chinatown and Main Street-Science World stations.

22nd Street to New Westminster Station

Between December 2019 and March 2021, we replaced the portion of track between 22nd Street and New Westminster Stations, including 9,800 metres of running rail and 17,000 rail pads.

SkyTrain Roof Replacement Project

As part of the TransLink Maintenance and Upgrade Program, we’re continuing to partially and fully replace the roofs at several SkyTrain stations and other buildings on the system to protect customers and SkyTrain facilities. Many of the buildings along our SkyTrain network are aging and require ongoing maintenance. This work will help ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future.

Columbia Station

The roof replacement work at Columbia Station is now complete! We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience.

Production Way–University Station

Estimated Timeline: Nov. 2021 to summer 2022

Overview: As part of TransLink’s Maintenance and Upgrade Program, we’re working to fully replace the roof at Production Way–University Station. As with other roof replacement work, the majority of construction will take place during the day with some overnight work, as required. Customers may notice construction material in the bus loop, but all access will remain as normal and service will not be impacted.

Thanks to our customers and neighbours for their patience as we complete this necessary work.

Stadium–Chinatown Station

Estimated Timeline: March 2022 to late fall 2022

Overview: As part of TransLink’s Maintenance and Upgrade Program, we’re replacing the four skylights at Stadium–Chinatown Station with newer, more cost-effective skylights. Most of the work will take place during the daytime with some overnight work, as required. SkyTrain service will not be impacted and station access will be maintained throughout the construction period.

Thanks to our customers and neighbours for their patience as we complete this necessary work.

Surrey Central Station

Estimated Timeline: Dec. 2021 to fall 2022

Overview: As part of TransLink’s Maintenance and Upgrade Program, we’re working to partially replace the roof at Surrey Central Station. As with other roof replacement work, the majority of construction will take place during the day with the possibility of some overnight work, as required. Customers may notice construction material in the area, but all access will remain as normal and service will not be impacted.

We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience as we complete this necessary work.

Surrey Expo Line Track Maintenance

Throughout Oct. 2022, we’ll be completing track maintenance along Expo Line on the Surrey side between Scott Road and Columbia Stations. Similar to the approach used for SkyBridge construction successfully completed over the past two summers, we’ll be working on one side of the guideway at a time, around the clock, for five days each, to complete work as quickly as possible. During these periods, SkyTrain will operate using a single track between New Westminster and Scott Road Stations. We’ve scheduled most of the work over weekends and a statutory holiday to minimize impacts to commuters as best possible.

What you need to know:

Work will take place

  • Friday Oct. 7 through Wednesday Oct. 12, and

  • Friday Oct. 21 through Wednesday Oct. 26.

Customer should

  • Allow 20 minutes of extra travel time for trips to/from and within Surrey.

  • Allow a few extra minutes travel time for other Expo Line trips.

During peak times, some trains will operate between Waterfront and Edmonds and we’ve added extra trains between Columbia and Scott Road stations to help with congestion. Customers can expect trains to wait at or outside of stations longer than normal around Columbia, Scott Road, and Gateway stations. This allows trains to clear the single-track area and to better distribute customers between trains. Next Train signs on the platform will show the countdown to departure. Please refer to electronic signs at station entrances and on platforms for current train information. Additional SkyTrain staff will assist directing customers at stations in Surrey and New Westminster to help you find your way.

Customers and neighbours may experience intermittent construction noise during these days, related to the hammering, cutting, and grinding of rail and concrete, and transportation of materials. We appreciate your patience while we complete this important work to maintain the integrity of our rail infrastructure and keep customers moving safely and reliably for years to come.

For more information, customers and neighbours can call:

Customer Information | 604.953.3333 

  • Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

  • Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

We also encourage you to sign up for Transit Alerts if you’d like to be notified by text message (SMS) and/or email about disruptions, updates, or changes to SkyTrain or other transit services you take.

SkyTrain Customer Communications Upgrades

TransLink’s SkyTrain Customer Communications Upgrades Project is now complete, improving customers’ in-station experience by providing relevant, timely, and clear transit service information. We know that customers expect to see and hear important information when they need it most. The completion of this project delivers on our commitment to upgrade our in-station systems to provide real-time information across the transit system, as part of our Customer Experience Action Plan.

Across Expo and Millennium Line, we’ve installed:

  • Approximately 280 new information displays, including ‘next train’ signs and general information screens on SkyTrain platforms, and new information screens at station entrances.

  • More than 1,400 new speakers to replace end-of-life units and expand to new areas of the station. We’ve also upgraded some of the more recently installed speakers along Expo Line.

  • More than 1,200 CCTV cameras in stations, replacing aging units and adding more to improve coverage.

New, real-time information throughout the station make it easier for customers to make decisions about their transit trip by keeping them informed of up-to-the-minute service information, including system-wide alerts.

The improved quality of in-station announcements make it easier for customers to get relevant service information, particularly during service disruptions. Better CCTV systems improve the safety of customers and employees within the station and are a valuable resource for Transit Police investigations.

Funding

This $79 million program is part of a larger $92.4 million Rapid Transit Systems Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project paid for under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), which is funded by the Government of Canada (50 per cent), the Government of British Columbia (33%), and TransLink (17%).

Did you know?

TransLink has installed more than 50 digital touch screen kiosks throughout the transit system as part of the Digital Customer Kiosk Program, a separate project in partnership with Lamar Advertising Company.

These kiosks provide customers the ability to plan their journeys on-site with all transit modes, using real-time transit information. This is another way TransLink has made taking transit an easier, more attractive option for the region.

Location Map of Digital Touch Screen Kiosks across the TransLink network

View the full Digital Touch Screen Kiosks map

SkyTrain Noise Study

In response to noise concerns from residents along the Expo and Millennium lines, TransLink conducted a multi-step SkyTrain Noise Study in 2018.

The study recommended that we investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of six noise mitigation measures. These investigations were divided into two phases. Both phases have now been completed. You can find more details in the summary report and technical report.

This work is more important now than ever before as Metro Vancouver continues to grow and more people choose to live near rapid transit lines. The results of the study will help us identify noise-reduction measures for our system and inform future designs and investments.

Progress

The 2018 assessment report is complete. We have also completed a two-phased study to investigate all the mitigation measures outlined in the initial assessment report.

Learn more in the reports below:

Next Steps

Some noise mitigation measures are already being implemented.

We are implementing harder rail with 3km of track that will be replaced annually under the program. The benefits of the harder rail are that corrugation doesn't develop as quickly, meaning noise mitigation is more manageable.

The installation of rail dampers has been approved and funded, and install will begin in Spring of 2022. Rail dampers will be installed on 3.2km on the Expo Line. More information on why this section was chosen can be found in the Phase Two report.

TransLink will assess and work to get approval and funding for the other measures outlined in the report.

In most locations, you will not hear a sudden reduction in noise. These noise mitigation measures aim to make train noise levels more stable and consistent, so that there are no longer times when the noise level is noticeably worse than others.

For more information, please email noisestudy@translink.ca.

SkyTrain Station Upgrades

Brentwood Town Centre Station

Rendering of new Brentwood Town Centre Station

About the Project

As part of TransLink’s Maintenance and Upgrade Program, Brentwood Town Centre Station is undergoing substantial upgrades to improve accessibility for all customers, upgrade the amenities, and provide a better customer experience by allowing more customers to move comfortably throughout the station.

In 2019 (pre-COVID), the station served close to 1.8 million passengers. With the ongoing development in the Brentwood area, the upgrades will ensure we continue to provide efficient, reliable service to our customers well into the future.

The upgrades to Brentwood Town Centre Station are included in TransLink’s Phase One Investment Plan and are funded by TransLink and the Government of Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Project Overview

The upgrades will include:

South stationhouse improvements:

  • Enhancing access into and within the station with a new elevator from the ground level to the mezzanine level; and

  • Replacing the existing open air staircase with a new glass enclosed staircase to provide better protection and comfort for customers as well as a more pleasing aesthetic.

North stationhouse improvements:

  • Two new escalators from the mezzanine to platform level and an expanded mezzanine level (by approximately 560 square metres) to allow customers to move comfortably through the station;

  • Doubling the fare gates on the mezzanine level from three to six to improve customer access;

  • Refurbishing the existing staircase (i.e., metal grating will be updated to glass);

  • Lighting upgrades and refurbishing station finishes;

  • Additional real-time passenger information displays, and CCTV camera and PA system expansion to cover the footprint of the larger station; and

  • A new public art piece featuring glass artwork on the mezzanine level.

Construction Information

The station upgrade will begin with work at the south station entrance starting on Monday, June 20. As a result, the south entrance to the SkyTrain station will be closed for approximately one year. All customers must access the SkyTrain via the north stationhouse, which is closest to the Amazing Brentwood Mall. Customers on the south side of Lougheed Highway must cross Lougheed at Willingdon Avenue or Alpha Avenue to access the north stationhouse. Directional signage will be in place in the area to assist customers.

We anticipate the full upgrade of the station will take approximately two years to complete. SkyTrain and bus service will be maintained at Brentwood Town Centre Station throughout the construction period though some bus stops must be temporarily relocated.

Temporary Bus Stop Relocations
Starting Monday, June 20, due to the closure of the south entrance of the SkyTrain station, buses located along Lougheed Highway will be temporarily relocated as follows:

  • Bay 4 serving route 123, and Bay 5 serving routes 25 and the N9 will be relocated from Lougheed Highway just east of Willingdon (in front of the Carter car dealership) to Lougheed Highway west of Willingdon, between Willingdon and Rosser Avenue (near the Shoppers Drug Mart and Whole Foods).

  • Buses using Bay 3 on Lougheed Highway will not be impacted (this stop is east of Alpha Avenue).

View the temporary bus stop relocations for Brentwood Town Centre Station.

Customers should plan for approximately 10 extra minutes of travel time if transferring to or from the bus.

Thank you to our customers for your patience during the construction.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the project, please email publicengagement@translink.ca.

Burrard Station

About the Project

As part of the TransLink Maintenance and Upgrade Program, we had planned several upgrades to Burrard SkyTrain Station. Due to high construction bid prices during the procurement process, we paused those upgrades. Since then, we’ve reassessed what needs to be done in the near term to continue to effectively serve our customers.

We will be upgrading the five escalators at Burrard Station to improve the customer experience and maintain a state of good repair. The escalators have been in service for more than 35 years, and since their installation, Expo Line usage has dramatically increased. These upgrades will ensure we can keep our customers moving reliably for years to come.

Next steps

Additional previously planned upgrades at Burrard Station are on pause and will be considered for implementation in the coming years.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the project, please email burrardstationupgrade@translink.ca.


Related Documents

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