Here’s one shipment many Vancouver transit users will want to track: the first of TransLink’s new Canada Line trains is on its way to us from Korea.
The new train is the first of a dozen ordered by the transit agency in order to increase capacity on the Canada Line, and TransLink says the new train should be in Vancouver within the next few weeks.
Canada Line trains are built by Rotem, a division of Hyundai Motor Group, and are powered by conventional electric motors. The Canada Line trains are completely different from the SkyTrain cars, which are made by Bombardier, but doing a second order for the Canada Line from Rotem means the new trains share many parts and operational similarities with the original trains on that line.
In 2018, the Canada Line saw over 48 million boardings. Since the design of the stations limits the size of the trains they’re able to accommodate, putting more trains into service is the only way to serve more passengers. The line very early on exceeded estimates for daily boardings, making it increasingly apparent TransLink needed to address how to better meet demand.
The 12 new Canada Line trains (totalling 24 new train cars) are an $88 million investment, funded by the Federal Government (50%), the province (33%), and TransLink (17%).
Additionally, TransLink has more SkyTrain cars going into service as part of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for transit improvements in the region.
The new Canada Line trains will be undergoing a “testing and commissioning phase” with TransLink expecting the trains going into service early next year.
By the time the new Canada Line train cars are put into service in 2020, there will be a total of 8,200 additional spaces per peak hour on both directions on all three SkyTrain Lines.