SkyTrain Expo Line

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SkyTrain Expo Line is wheelchair accessible.
SkyTrain Expo Line is a bike rack route.
Expo Line Logo and Symbol-a.png
System SkyTrain
Type Light metro rapid transit
Number of stations 24
Cities serviced Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey
Termini Waterfront
King George
Production Way–University
Operations
Opened December 11, 1985
Owner TransLink (1999–present)
BC Transit (1985–1999)
Operator BC Rapid Transit Company
Rolling stock UTDC ICTS Mark I TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png
Bombardier ART Mark II TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png
Bombardier Innovia Metro Mark III TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png
Technical
Line length 36.5 km (22.6 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
Electrification Third rail (Linear motor)
Operating speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Line Diagram

The Expo Line TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png is a SkyTrain line operated by British Columbia Rapid Transit Company Ltd., a subsidiary of TransLink in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Route Details

The Expo Line connects King George Station or Production Way–University Station to Waterfront Station. The line travels along an elevated guideway for most its route with portions tunneled and at-grade.

Departing from Waterfront, trains travel at-grade underneath the Cordova Street extension, which covers over much of the ground area surrounding the line. The inbound (to Waterfront) and outbound (to King George or Production Way–University) tracks then weave over top each other at the Dunsmuir Tunnel portal, with inbound above and outbound below. Trains pass through the two underground stations on the line: Burrard and Granville, with Granville being the deepest station on the line at approximately 25 metres below ground. Leaving Granville, the two tracks weave to side-by-side once leaving the Dunsmuir Tunnel and into Stadium–Chinatown Station. Trains then weave underneath the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts, before proceeding slow along a straight stretch adjacent to Science World and False Creek, providing a panoramic view of the Downtown Vancouver skyline. Trains then curve into Main Street–Science World. Departing Main Street–Science World, trains travel along the oldest section of guideway before the guideway runs adjacent to the Grandview Cut before curving over it, entering Commercial-Broadway Station, one of the busiest stations on the system.

Leaving Commercial–Broadway and approaching Nanaimo, the line parallels the old BC Electric Railway Central Park Line. From Nanaimo, trains travel at grade on the old right-of-way of the Central Park Line before the guideway elevates again west of Joyce–Collingwood. Continuing along the Central Park Line right-of-way, the line enters Burnaby through one of the most densely populated areas of Burnaby. The line then travels at-grade west of Edmonds Station and then below the BC Hydro building and cutting through the Operations and Maintenance Centre, where trains on both the Expo and Millennium lines are controlled and maintained. The line then bends into New Westminster before going underground for a brief moment into Columbia Station. From here, trains split to either the branch into Surrey or continuing into New Westminster and Burnaby.

Travelling towards King George, trains pass over SkyBridge, the world's longest transit-only suspension bridge. At this point, trains travel at the highest point of the line at 50 metres, before descending into Scott Road Station. Continuing from Scott Road, the line parallels King George Boulevard and enters the Whalley area of Surrey, before crossing over King George Boulevard to the terminus station of King George.

Travelling towards Production Way–University, trains weave underneath the viaduct leading towards the SkyBridge and enters a tunnel travelling underneath Columbia Street and exits paralleling Columbia Street and the Fraser River, providing panoramic views of New Westminster, Coquitlam, and Surrey. The line then parallels the Burlington North Santa Fe (BNSF) yard and tracks before bending over Brunette Avenue and running parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway, before crossing over it towards North Road, where trains slowly curve into Lougheed Town Centre. Departing Lougheed Town Centre, trains travel parallel to Lougheed Highway before approaching the terminus of Production Way–University.

History

Prior to construction and planning, there were plans during the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway to extend into Vancouver and provide easy freeway access through Downtown Vancouver and over the Burrard Inlet towards the North Shore. In anticipation of the infrastructure project, the City of Vancouver demolished sections of Hogan's Alley, a predominantly African-Canadian community, and parts of Chinatown for the construction of the Dunsmuir and Georgia Viaducts. However, the citizens of Vancouver opposed the infrastructure project, citing environmental reasons and the protection of heritage neighbourhoods, as most of Chinatown, Gastown, and Strathcona would be cleared to make way for the freeway, in addition to portions of downtown being demolished for the construction of a freeway right-of-way.

In response to the opposition of freeways, the City of Vancouver opted in for rapid transit. Initial planning and studies in the 1970s called for an extensive light rail system weaving around Downtown Vancouver and into other populated areas in Vancouver.

At the same time in Ontario, the Urban Transportation Development Corporation, then a Crown corporation, developed and perfected a new rapid transit technology called "Intermediate Capacity Transit System". The need for the construction of rapid transit was high and Vancouver opted in to be the first city to use the new technology. Under the provincial government headed by Bill Bennett and the Social Credit Party, Vancouver was to host the World's Fair in 1986. The ALRT Line (Advanced Light Rail Technology, later renamed to SkyTrain), was to be a showcase of Ontario and Canada at Expo 86.

In 1983, a demonstration line opened and traveled 1 km east along Terminal Avenue from Main Street Station. Two trains were delivered from Kingston, Ontario numbered BC1 and BC2 (these cars would later return to Ontario, with one car being converted to be a beta Mark II car). On December 11, 1985, the line opened, travelling from Waterfront to New Westminster in a soft opening with full service commencing on January 3, 1986. The line was extended to Columbia Station in 1989 and
The Train2Main line diagram.
over the SkyBridge to Scott Road in Surrey in 1990. The line was extended one last time to King George in 1994.

After the Millennium Line opened, the name "Expo Line" was used to differentiate between the two lines.

In 2016, the line was extended to Production Way–University, taking over Millennium Line service at Sapperton and Braid stations. Lougheed Town Centre and Production Way-University would also take on the Expo Line branding in addition to serving the Millennium Line.

Train2Main

Train2Main Logo and Symbol-a.png
Number of stations 6
Cities serviced Vancouver
Termini Waterfront
Commercial–Broadway
Operations
Opened March 30, 2014
Closed December 6, 2014
Rolling stock Bombardier ART Mark II TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png

On March 30, 2014, the Train2Main shuttle service was introduced as part of the station upgrades at Main Street–Science World Station[1]. Due to a shorter platform during the construction works, regular four and six car trains on the Expo and Millennium lines could not stop at the station. To compensate for the shortened platform length and to maintain service at Main Street–Science World Station, two car trains were used between Waterfront Station and Commercial–Broadway Station, stopping at all stations. Regular Expo and Millennium line trains maintained regular service, but skipped Main Street–Science World Station.

Passengers that were travelling from Main Street–Science World had to wait for the shuttle train, which ran at approximately every 10 to 12 minutes. The shuttle service used 2001 and 2009 Bombardier ART Mark II TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png cars.

The Train2Main was the compromising solution to keeping the station open and for construction work to continue and to start in various parts of the station, which mostly included demolition work. Alternatively, the entire station could've been closed, but would've caused major inconveniences to passengers.

On December 6, the shuttle service ended after platform work was complete, with regular train service resuming.

Future Extension

Presently, there are plans to extend the Expo Line from King George to Langley Centre[2][3]. The 16-km extension along Fraser Highway is expected to be completed by 2025. There are 8 planned stations:

  • 140 Street
  • 152 Street
  • 160 Street
  • 164 Street
  • 182 Street
  • 190 Street
  • 196 Street
  • Langley Centre

There will also be provisions for a future station at 148 Street.

The extension project will also include the procurement of 55 additional SkyTrain cars, improvements to King George Station and bus exchange upgrades at Langley Centre, and expansion work at existing maintenance facilities or the construction of new maintenance facilities. Travel times will be approximately 22 minutes from King George to Langley Centre.

With the planned extension of the Expo Line along Fraser Highway, the proposed Fraser Highway B-Line will be cancelled as B-Line infrastructure investments will not be cost-effective along the corridor. The planned SkyTrain extension comes a few weeks after the proposed light rail Surrey–Newton–Guildford Line was cancelled.

Service Information

Service on the Expo Line runs 7 days a week.

Service Frequency

Expo Line Logo-a.png Combined Service
(Waterfront to Columbia)
Waterfront to
King George
Waterfront to
Production Way–University
Peak Hours 2-3 mins.* 2-5 mins.* 6-7 mins.*
Midday 3 mins. 6 mins. 6 mins.
Evening 3-5 mins. 6-8 mins. 6-8 mins.
Late Night 4-5 mins. 8-10 mins. 8-10 mins.
Early Saturdays and
Sundays/Holidays
4 mins. 8 mins. 8 mins.
Saturdays and
Sundays/Holidays
3 mins. 6 mins. 6 mins.

* Due to high frequency service, minor delays, and shuttle train service between Waterfront and Commercial–Broadway (to Waterfront only) during the AM peak, frequency can be 1 minute or better.

First and Last Trains

Outbound Service

Waterfront to King George
Expo Line Logo-a.png First Train Last Train Extra Early Trips
from Edmonds
Weekdays 5:32 a.m. 1:16 a.m. 5:22 a.m.
Saturdays 6:48 a.m. 1:16 a.m. 6:16 a.m.
Sundays/Holidays 7:48 a.m. 12:16 a.m. 7:16 a.m.


Waterfront to Production Way–University
Expo Line Logo-a.png First Train Last Train Extra Early Trips
from Edmonds
Last Train to
Lougheed Town Centre*
Weekdays 5:37 a.m. 12:33 a.m.
12:44 a.m. on Fridays
5:13 a.m. 1:11 a.m.
Saturdays 6:44 a.m. 12:40 a.m. 6:44 a.m. 1:11 a.m.
Sundays/Holidays 7:44 a.m. 11:33 p.m. 7:44 a.m. 12:11 a.m.

* Late night service terminate at Lougheed Town Centre after the last Production Way–University train.

Inbound Service

King George to Waterfront
Expo Line Logo-a.png First Train Last Train Last Train to
New Westminster*
Weekdays 5:08 a.m. 12:38 a.m. 1:28 a.m.
Saturdays 6:08 a.m. 12:38 a.m. 1:28 a.m.
Sundays/Holidays 7:08 a.m. 11:38 p.m. 12:28 a.m.

* Late night service terminate at New Westminster after the last Waterfront train.

Production Way–University to Waterfront
Expo Line Logo-a.png First Train Last Train Last Train to
New Westminster*
Weekdays 5:10 a.m. 12:31 a.m.
12:30 a.m. on Fridays
1:19 a.m.
Saturdays 6:11 a.m. 12:30 a.m. 1:26 a.m.
Sundays/Holidays 7:11 a.m. 11:31 p.m. 12:19 a.m.

* Late night service terminate at New Westminster after the last Waterfront train.

AM Peak Shuttle Service

During AM peak hours, a one way shuttle service runs between Commercial–Broadway and Waterfront using two-car 2001 Bombardier ART Mark II and 2009 Bombardier ART Mark II units. Occasionally, 2015 Bombardier Innovia Metro Mark III units are used.

Trains run not in service from Waterfront to Commercial–Broadway. Shuttle trains run in between trains that originate from either King George or Production Way–University. There are 14 scheduled shuttle trips running about every 9 minutes.

After completing the morning service, the trains run in-service from Waterfront to Edmonds, where they are stored at the yard until the PM peak.

Commercial–Broadway to Waterfront
Expo Line Logo-a.png First Train Last Train
AM Peak Hours 7:18 a.m. 9:23 a.m.

Stations

There are 24 stations on the Expo Line. All stations are wheelchair accessible and all stations allow bikes (except Metrotown), with restrictions depending on travel direction during peak hours.

Outbound trains bound for both King George and Production Way–University.

Station Name City Fare Zone Date Opened Transfers Notes
Waterfront Station

Vancouver

1

December 11, 1985

Canada Line Canada Line
SeaBus SeaBus
TransLink West Coast Express bullet-a.png West Coast Express
95 B-Line 95 B-Line
Burrard Station 95 B-Line 95 B-Line
Granville Station Canada Line Canada Line
(at Vancouver City Centre)
  • Made accessible in 2006
Stadium–Chinatown Station
  • Opened as Stadium Station
Main Street–Science World Station June 27, 1983
  • Opened as Main Street Station on ALRT demonstration line
  • Rebuilt 2013–2015
Commercial–Broadway Station

December 11, 1985

Millennium Line Millennium Line
99 B-Line 99 B-Line
Nanaimo Station
29th Avenue Station
Joyce–Collingwood Station
  • Opened as Joyce Station
  • Currently being rebuilt
Patterson Station

Burnaby

2

Metrotown Station
  • Rebuilt 2015–2018
Royal Oak Station
Edmonds Station
22nd Street Station

New Westminster

New Westminster Station
  • Terminus station from 1985 to 1989
  • Rebuilt in 2012 and 2015–2016
Columbia Station February 14, 1989
  • Terminus station from 1989 to 1990
  • Called Fourth Street Station during planning
King George Branch
Scott Road Station

Surrey

3

March 16, 1990
  • Terminus station from 1990 to 1994
Gateway Station

March 28, 1994

  • Called 108 Avenue Station during planning
Surrey Central Station 96 B-Line 96 B-Line
King George Station 96 B-Line 96 B-Line
Production Way–University Branch
Sapperton Station

New Westminster

2

January 2, 2002

  • Millennium Line station from 2002 to 2016
Braid Station
  • Millennium Line station from 2002 to 2016
Lougheed Town Centre Station

Burnaby

August 31, 2002

Millennium Line Millennium Line
Production Way–University Station Millennium Line Millennium Line

Notes

  1. Station opened in 1914 as a CP Rail station. The SeaBus terminal portion of the station opened on June 17, 1977; Expo Line platforms December 11, 1985; West Coast Express platforms on November 1, 1995; Canada Line platforms on August 17, 2009.
  2. Broadway Station is now Commercial–Broadway Station Platforms 3 and 4. Platforms 1 and 2 were part of Commercial Drive Station.
  3. Platforms 1 and 2 opened on August 31, 2002 as part of Commercial Drive Station

Rolling Stock

Rolling stock for this line operates out of the main Operations and Maintenance Centre using 1984 UTDC ICTS Mark I TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, 1985 UTDC ICTS Mark I TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, 1991 UTDC ICTS Mark I TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, 1995 Bombardier ICTS Mark I TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, 2001 Bombardier ART Mark II TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, 2009 Bombardier ART Mark II TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, 2015 Bombardier Innovia Metro Mark III TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png, and 2018 Bombardier Innovia Metro Mark III TransLink Accessible bullet-b.png.

References

  1. Going to Main Street-Science World? Look for the Train2Main buzzer.translink.ca, retrieved 2-2-2018
  2. TransLink aiming to open new 16-km SkyTrain in Surrey by 2025 dailyhive.com, retrieved 09-12-2018
  3. https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Documents/about_translink/governance_and_board/council_minutes_and_reports/2018/december/Agenda--Mayors-Council-PUBLIC-MTG--Dec-13-FINAL.PDF Mayors' Council Public Meeting Agenda – December 13, 2018] translink.ca, retrieved 09-12-2018
v·d·e
SkyTrain Logo-a.png
Operations
Lines Canada Line Logo-a.png Expo Line Logo-a.png Millennium Line Logo-a.png Millennium Line Evergreen Extension Logo-b.png
Rolling stock Expo Line 1984 UTDC ICTS Mark IExpo Line 1985 UTDC ICTS Mark IExpo Line 1991 UTDC ICTS Mark IExpo Line 1995 Bombardier ICTS Mark IExpo LineMillennium Line 2001 Bombardier ART Mark IICanada Line 2008 Hyundai Rotem EMUExpo LineMillennium Line 2009 Bombardier ART Mark IIExpo Line 2015 Bombardier Innovia Metro Mark IIIExpo Line 2018 Bombardier Innovia Metro Mark III
Yards Expo LineMillennium Line Operations and Maintenance CentreMillennium Line Coquitlam Maintenance CentreCanada Line Canada Line Operations and Maintenance Centre
Stations
Canada Line Logo-a.png Expo LineSeaBusTransLink West Coast Express bullet-a.png95 B-Line WaterfrontVancouver City CentreYaletown–RoundhouseOlympic Village99 B-Line Broadway–City HallKing EdwardOakridge–41st AvenueLangara–49th AvenueMarine DriveCanada Line BridgeportAberdeenLansdowneRichmond–Brighouse
Airport branch ← Towards Waterfront Canada Line BridgeportTempletonSea Island CentreYVR–Airport
Expo Line Logo-a.png Canada LineSeaBusTransLink West Coast Express bullet-a.png95 B-Line Waterfront95 B-Line BurrardGranvilleStadium–ChinatownMain Street–Science WorldMillennium Line99 B-Line Commercial–BroadwayNanaimo29th AvenueJoyce–CollingwoodPattersonMetrotownRoyal OakEdmonds22nd StreetNew WestminsterExpo Line ColumbiaScott RoadGateway96 B-Line Surrey Central96 B-Line King George
Production Way branch ← Towards Waterfront Expo Line ColumbiaSappertonBraidMillennium Line Lougheed Town CentreMillennium Line Production Way–University
Millennium Line Logo-a.png VCC–ClarkExpo Line99 B-Line Commercial–BroadwayRenfrewRupertGilmoreBrentwood Town CentreHoldomSperling–Burnaby LakeLake City WayExpo Line Production Way–UniversityExpo Line Lougheed Town CentreBurquitlamTransLink West Coast Express bullet-a.png Moody CentreInlet CentreTransLink West Coast Express bullet-a.png Coquitlam CentralLincolnLafarge Lake–Douglas
TransLink
Transit Services

Coast Mountain Bus Company Logo-a.png SkyTrain Logo-a.png SeaBus West Coast Express Branding Logo-a.png West Vancouver Transit HandyDART

Fare Information

Compass CardCash FaresFare StructureUniversal Pass (U-Pass)TransLink West Coast Express bullet-a.png West Coast Express Fares

Plans and Projects

Expo Line Expo Line Fraser Highway ExtensionMillennium Line Millennium Line Broadway ExtensionPattullo Bridge Replacement

Other Divisions

Cycling NetworkRoads and BridgesTransit Police