Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vancouver Skytrain refurbishment under way

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Vancouver Skytrain refurbishment under way Translink

British Columbia's TransLink has begun returning to service the first of 114 Skytrain Mark I cars to be refurbished under an overhaul program. The cars have been in service since late 1985.

The C$37.9 million rehabilitation is expected to add 15 years to the life of the fleet, which sports Advanced Rapid Transit technology, powered by linear induction motors, supplied by Bombardier. Canada's federal government is supplying C$28.5 million for the effort. The fleet should be totally refurbished by December 2016.

Translink, formerly BC Transit, is responsible for operation of the 47-mile, three-line Skytrain system serving Greater Vancouver, contracting out day-to-day operations to both British Columbia Rapid Transit Co. and ProTrans BC. A fourth line, the Evergreen Line, is scheduled to begin operation in 2016.

Work includes upgrading the electrical system, expanding the interior passenger capacity, refurbishing passenger doors, replacing interior amenities, and repainting the vehicles exterior, according to local media.

The provincial government is applauding Translink's decision to save money.

"I'm encouraged by TransLink's decision to refurbish these vehicles and save money," said British Columbia Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. "TransLink serves an area about twice the size of Toronto and provides over one million trips a day. Senior government funding, like the Gas Tax Fund, helps TransLink provide a world-class transportation system for communities and families."

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