SkyTrain arriving at Granville Station

TransLink orders new rail cars to replace original Mark I trains

Yesterday, TransLink announced they have selected Bombardier Transportation to build 205 new SkyTrain cars to replace the existing Mark I fleet and to provided increased capacity for system expansions.

According a media release, 125 of the new vehicles will supplant the existing fleet of the 35-year old Mark I cars (pictured above), the oldest of which are from 1985. The remaining 80 will provide additional capacity on both the Expo and Millennium Lines as the population around Metro Vancouver expands. There’s also the potential for more cars on order as the Expo Line extends through Surrey into Langley.

Bombardier Transportation has previously manufactured the trains on the SkyTrain system (excluding the Canada Line which uses equipment by South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem); it absorbed the maker of the Mark I vehicles, Ontario-based Urban Transportation Developer Corporation (UTDC) in 1992.

The total cost of the project is $722.6 million CAD; the first train cars are expected to arrive in 2023, with completion in 2027. Funds for this purchase are part of the Expo Millennium Line Upgrade Program which has $1.47 billion CAD from TransLink, the federal and provincial governments.

Next generation SkyTrain vehicle
An artist’s design of the next generation of SkyTrain cars. From TransLink.

An image shared by the transit authority shows a proposed mock-up of the new generation based off the Mark III vehicles with some cosmetic changes. Interiors will have seating upgrades, “west coast-inspired artwork”.

TransLink expects to close the deal with Bombardier in the coming days.

Source: TransLink

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