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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.


Expo Line Escalator Replacement Project

We're elevating the escalator game with our Expo Line Escalator Replacement Project. TransLink is replacing 37 escalators at 13 SkyTrain Stations along the Expo Line and at select West Coast Express stations. This critical investment into the system will keep escalators operating safely and reliable for customers well into the future.

The escalators were installed at a time when there were significantly lower passenger volumes than today. Expo Line traffic is now four times what it was 30 years ago. Visit our Alerts page for information on service impacts.

Stadium–Chinatown Station

We're replacing the escalators at Stadium-Chinatown Station sooner than originally planned as part of the Expo Line Escalator Replacement Program. With the easing of provincial health restrictions, we're expediting work to prepare the station for increased passenger volumes associated with future events.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Work on the first of the station's two escalators, between the platform and mezzanine levels, began on July 5, 2021 and is expected to take four months to complete.

    • Please use the adjacent staircase to travel between the platform and mezzanine levels.

  • For your safety during construction, the elevator will be intermittently closed as of September 2, 2021. The availability of the elevator is as follows:

    • Open from September 2 to 19 inclusive

    • September 20 onwards, closed Monday to Friday. Open from 5 p.m. Friday, through Saturday and Sunday 

  • Customers who normally board Expo Line at Stadium-Chinatown Station and require an elevator or escalator during times of closure noted above, should use Granville Station and Main Street-Science World stations, if possible, to access Expo Line during construction.

  • Customers at Stadium-Chinatown Station who would like to access Expo Line and require an elevator or escalator have two options:

    1. Bus

      Customers on Expo Boulevard or Keefer Place

      • Catch the 23 Main Street bus at Stop 59992 (Pat Quinn Way at Expo Boulevard) and transfer to Expo Line at Main Street–Science World Station.

      Customers on Beatty Street

      • Catch the 246 Highland or 240 Lynn Valley bus at Stop 60369 (Georgia at Cambie Street) and transfer to the Expo Line at Granville or Burrard Stations.

    2. Travel along street level to Granville Station

      • Travel to and board Expo Line at Granville (up to 10 minutes travel time along street level from Stadium's Beatty Street entrance)

  • Customers travelling on Expo Line who would like to access the Stadium-Chinatown Station area and require an elevator or escalator have three options:

    1. Bus

      To get to Expo Boulevard:

      • Catch the 23 Beach bus from Main Street–Science World Station and disembark at Stop 59991 (along Expo Boulevard).

      To get to Beatty Street and the Compass Customer Service Centre:

      • Catch the 246 Downtown or 240 Downtown bus at Stop 50976 (West Georgia at Granville Street) and disembark at Stadium–Chinatown Station.

    2. Travel along street level

      • Disembark Expo Line at Granville Station and travel to Beatty Street (up to 10 minutes travel time along street level).

  • Extra SkyTrain Attendants will be available at each station entrance to assist customers throughout construction.

  • For additional information, customers 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.

Waterfront West Coast Express Station

Expected Timeline: spring 2021 to spring 2022.

We’re replacing your West Coast Express escalators with brand new models!

What you need to know:

  • From May 2021 until spring 2022, we’ll be working to replace all three escalators at Waterfront’s West Coast Express station.

  • Work on the west escalator began May 2021 and is now complete.

  • Work on the two escalators at the east end began in September 2021 and is expected to complete in spring 2022.

    • During this time, please use the stairs, elevator, or west escalator to access the ticketing level.

    • To help limit disruption to our customers, the completed west escalator will operate bidirectionally – going up in the morning, and down in the evening.

  • Thank you for your patience as we work to improve your West Coast Express station.

Waterfront Station

Waterfront SkyTrain Station’s escalator replacement project is now complete, including five new, heavier-duty models which means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

We've replaced:

  • Two escalators (one up, one down) at the east end of the Expo Line platform (complete)

  • Two escalators (one up, one down) at the Howe Street station entrance.

  • One (up) escalator between the Expo Line platform and Howe Street escalators

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

Granville Station

The three main escalators at Granville Station are the longest on the system. Replacing these escalators was a complicated process requiring the new escalators to be built piece-by-piece on site. Including these, a total of six escalators began replacement work in 2018 and 2019. As of July 2020, these escalators have been successfully replaced and all entrances at Granville Station have been re-opened.

Granville Station’s Escalator Replacement Project is now complete and the station has now fully re-opened to welcome you back to transit.

  • This Includes

    • Two escalators in the Hudson’s Bay mall corridor, providing access to the main SkyTrain entrance and ticketing area

    • The ticketing area and three long escalators providing access to the inbound and outbound platforms

    • A small escalator and staircase, leading from the inbound to outbound platform levels

    • The Seymour Street entrance and staircase

We’re excited to fully re-open Granville Station just as ridership continues to return to the SkyTrain system.

  • More route options within the station makes it easier to maintain physical distance from others

New, heavier-duty escalators mean less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Did you know?

The three longest and most iconic escalators in Metro Vancouver have been successfully replaced – that’s more than 500 steps in total!

  • This wasn’t your average escalator replacement – these required piece by piece assembly on-site meaning a customized, longer, more complex process

  • Prior to construction, these escalators carried nearly 30,000 people on an average weekday

  • A small escalator and staircase, leading from the inbound to outbound platform levels

  • The Seymour Street entrance and staircase

We know this project was a long-haul and appreciate your patience. This critical infrastructure work will improve the durability, safety, reliability of Granville Station’s escalators today and well into the future.

Commercial–Broadway Station

Replacement of two escalators in Commercial–Broadway’s south stationhouse is now complete. The new, heavier-duty models means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

Nanaimo Station

Nanaimo Station’s escalator replacement is now complete. The new, heavier-duty model means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

Patterson Station

Patterson Station’s escalator replacement is now complete. The new, heavier-duty model means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

22nd Street Station

Expected Timeline: spring 2021 to winter 2021/22

We're replacing your escalator with a brand new model!

What you need to know:

  • From spring 2021 until winter 2021/22, we’ll be working to replace the escalator at 22nd Street Station.

    • During this time, please use the stairs or elevator to access platform level.

  • Thank you for your patience as we work to improve 22nd Street Station to help keep you moving.

Columbia Station

Columbia Station’s escalator replacement is now complete. The new, heavier-duty model means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

Scott Road

Expected Timeline: summer 2022

What you need to know:

  • Customers can still use the stairs or elevator at the station to access platform level and the station remains fully accessible.

  • We’ll be replacing escalators one at a time, to minimize disruption for customers.

  • Replacement of all three escalators is expected to be complete in summer 2022.

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

Gateway Station

Gateway Station’s escalator replacement is now complete. Your new, heavier-duty escalators means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

Surrey Central Station

Expected Timeline: Late 2020 through 2022.

We’re replacing your escalators with brand-new models!

What you need to know:

  • We’ll be replacing all four of the aging escalators at Surrey Central Station.

  • Work on the escalator nearest to the bus loop, as well as the one nearest to the City Parkway entrance, is now complete and both are open to the public. 

  • Work on the escalator leading from the City Parkway entrance mezzanine up to the platform level is ongoing and you can expect it to be ready spring 2022.

  • Replacement of the remaining escalator will follow.

  • Throughout construction, the stairs and elevators will remain available to access all three levels.

King George Station

King George Station’s escalator replacement is now complete. The new, heavier-duty escalator means less downtime for maintenance to help keep you moving.

Thank you for your patience as we work to update our aging infrastructure and improve your transit experience.

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 until winter 2021/2022

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.

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.

SkyBridge Expansion Joint Replacement Project

Thank you for your patience, this work on SkyBridge is now complete!

As part of TransLink’s Maintenance and Upgrade program, through August 2021 we replaced aging expansion joints along the SkyTrain tracks on SkyBridge to keep trains moving safely and smoothly for customers for years to come.

The expansion joints, which allow limited movement of rail to protect the rail and our trains, were nearing the end of their useful lives and proactive replacement was necessary in order to prevent future safety concerns and damage to the rail and trains.

SkyBridge has served as a vital connection for Expo Line service between New Westminster and Surrey, carrying more than five million trains since its opening in 1990, and with this recent work complete, it will continue to do so safely for years to come.

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 also launched more than 50 digital touch screen kiosks throughout the transit system in 2019 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 is making taking transit an easier, more attractive option for region.

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 results from this initial assessment were used to create a detailed sound model, which highlighted sources of noise that exist in the SkyTrain system and areas most in need of noise-mitigation measures. More details are available in the full report or summary report.

We want to be good neighbours, so we engaged an internationally recognized acoustic engineer to lead the SkyTrain noise analyses and mitigation investigations.

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 over 30-year-old system and inform future designs and investments.

Progress

The next part of the SkyTrain Noise Study was designed to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of the six noise mitigation measures recommended in the 2018 initial assessment report.

These investigations were divided into two phases. Phase 1 involved studying all noise mitigation measures except for the top of rail friction modifiers and improvements to grinding practices, which require more time to investigate and are being addressed in Phase 2.

We'll continue to provide updates on our progress. Learn more in the reports below:

Next Steps

Some noise mitigation measures from Phase 1 are already being implemented. 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.

Throughout 2020 and beyond, TransLink will continue with Phase 2 noise mitigation investigations. We will then share an updated Recommendation Report and Implementation Plan. These recommendations will be for future consideration by TransLink. They will help to inform priorities for future investments with the intent of reducing noise levels and improving the livability of communities near the SkyTrain system.

State of Good Repair

While the SkyTrain Noise Study progresses, TransLink is committed to providing a safe and quality customer experience.

Our annual rail grinding program covers over 130 kilometres of running rail per year. Grinding addresses rail areas in need of re-profiling and defect removal. This work helps to prolong the life of the rail, improve ride quality, and lessen noise for customers and our neighbours. Our goal is to keep the system safe and in a state of good repair, and this is especially important as our system ages.

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

SkyTrain Station Upgrades

Burrard Station

About the Project

As part of the TransLink Maintenance and Upgrade Program, we will be upgrading the Burrard SkyTrain Station to improve the customer experience, provide universal accessibility, meet expected demand, and maintain a state of good repair.

Burrard Station is the fourth busiest station in our network. In 2019 (pre-Covid), there were more than 7.6 million boardings at the station. During the morning peak period, in particular, customers experience very heavy passenger volumes when exiting the station. Included in TransLink’s Phase One Investment Plan, the upgrade will improve the customer experience, helping people get where they need to go as quickly as possible.

The design phase of the project is nearing completion and construction is expected to begin in early 2022. We will share details about the construction schedule and changes to service in the area later this year as plans are finalized.

Project Overview

The upgrades will include:

  • An updated design to improve the passenger flow through and around the station, and to create a pedestrian-focussed plaza with customer needs at the forefront;

  • Relocating the entrance closer to Dunsmuir Street for a more seamless transition to bus stops;

  • Replacing all escalators and the elevator with new, heavier-duty models and installing five additional escalators and one new elevator to increase capacity (for a total of 10 escalators and two elevators);

  • New passenger information displays;

  • Upgraded power, electrical, and mechanical systems;

  • Improved signage in and around the station; and

  • New interior finishes.

Construction Information

Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and complete in 2024. To best manage these important upgrades, we will be closing the station for approximately two years.

To access the Expo Line in downtown Vancouver during construction, customers can use Waterfront Station or Granville Station. We will also modify any necessary bus routes in the area as well as the nearby HandyDART drop-off/pick-up location to ensure we minimize impacts on our bus passengers and customers with accessibility needs.

We will share more details as construction plans are finalized later this year.

Questions?

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



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