Difference between revisions of "West Coast Express"

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==Future Expansion==
 
==Future Expansion==
In the early 2000s, there were plans to introduce two new stations by the end of 2007 in the Albion area of Maple Ridge and in North Burnaby.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20041210230412/http://www.translink.bc.ca/Plans_Projects/West_Coast_express/ Highlights of Commuter Rail Expansion] web.archive.org, retrieved 06-11-2020</ref> Other proposals included expansions to the Park and Ride facilities at [[TransLink Maple Meadows Station|Maple Meadows]] and [[Translink Port Coquitlam Station|Port Coquitlam]]; procurement of a new locomotive; expanded TrainBus service; introduction of a new bus route connecting Maple Meadows Station and Langley; and introduction of bus service to the proposed North Burnaby station.
+
In the early 2000s, there were plans to introduce two new stations by the end of 2007 in the Albion area of Maple Ridge and in North Burnaby.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20041210230412/http://www.translink.bc.ca/Plans_Projects/West_Coast_express/ Highlights of Commuter Rail Expansion] web.archive.org, retrieved 06-11-2020</ref> The new station in Maple Ridge was to address the rapidly growing Albion–Thornhill area. Its opening date was pushed to late 2010 and would have had a Park and Ride lot included. TransLink aimed to find a site for the proposed Albion station by the end of 2008.<ref>The Aldergrove Star (2007, July 12). Valley bus connector costs shared, ''The Aldergrove Star''.</ref> Other proposals included expansions to the Park and Ride facilities at [[Translink Maple Meadows Station|Maple Meadows]] and [[Translink Port Coquitlam Station|Port Coquitlam]]; procurement of a new locomotive; expanded TrainBus service; introduction of a new bus route connecting Maple Meadows Station and Langley; and introduction of bus service to the proposed North Burnaby station.
  
 
All expansion plans except the Park and Ride expansion and new stations have been completed. Plans for an Albion and North Burnaby station have since been postponed. However, as part of Burnaby's 2020 Transportation Plan, the construction of a North Burnaby station was under consideration.<ref>[https://www.burnaby.ca/Assets/city+services/planning/Transportation+Plan+Update/Public+Transit+Fact+Sheet.pdf Public Transit Fact Sheet] burnaby.ca, retrieved 06-11-2020</ref>
 
All expansion plans except the Park and Ride expansion and new stations have been completed. Plans for an Albion and North Burnaby station have since been postponed. However, as part of Burnaby's 2020 Transportation Plan, the construction of a North Burnaby station was under consideration.<ref>[https://www.burnaby.ca/Assets/city+services/planning/Transportation+Plan+Update/Public+Transit+Fact+Sheet.pdf Public Transit Fact Sheet] burnaby.ca, retrieved 06-11-2020</ref>

Latest revision as of 19:16, 21 September 2021

West Coast Express Branding Logo-a.png
Type Commuter rail
Number of stations 8
Cities serviced Vancouver, Port Moody,
Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam,
Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission
Termini Waterfront
Mission City
Operations
Opened November 1, 1995
Owner TransLink (1999–present)
BC Transit (1995–1999)
Operator Bombardier Transportation (2014–present)
BC Rapid Transit Company (1995–2014)
Rolling stock Bombardier BiLevel
Technical
Line length 69 km (43 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
Reporting marks WCE
Route Diagram
TransLink West Coast Express route diagram (2020)-a.png

West Coast Express is a commuter railway operating between Downtown Vancouver and Mission, British Columbia. This is a subsidiary of TransLink.

History

In 1972, there were plans to implement a commuter rail service using existing rail corridors. Formal program implementation was approved by the Board of Directors of the Urban Transit Authority in 1981.[1] There were also plans in the late 1980s to implement a new SeaBus route between Waterfront Station and Port Moody. In 1992, a 14-member citizens advisory committee began reviewing possible transit improvements in northeast Greater Vancouver and construction of the West Coast Express began in 1994, with service commencing on November 1, 1995.

In 1993, BC Transit began negotiating with Canadian Pacific Railway and Burlington Northern Railway (now Burlington North Santa Fe) on possible routes. Proposed routes were:

  • Port Coquitlam to Vancouver on CP Rail
  • Mission to Vancouver on CP Rail
  • Port Coquitlam to Vancouver on both CP and BN rail
  • Mission to Port Coquitlam on CP, then Port Coquitlam to Vancouver on BN

In 1993, the estimated cost of introducing service ranged from $80 million to $140 million, with the federal government contributing 50% of the cost.[2]

A contest to name the commuter rail service was put out in January 1995 with a winner chosen in February. Of the 8,477 entries, Shannon O'Hara of Burnaby's submission was chosen.[3]

During the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, additional service was introduced from February 12–28. This included the introduction of three midday westbound trips and three eastbound late-evening trips on weekdays (except on Feb. 12, the day of the Opening Ceremony). On the day of the Opening Ceremony, there was the introduction of an early afternoon westbound trip and two late-night eastbound trips. On Saturdays, there were five additional westbound trips running from around noon to the late-evening, and four eastbound trips running from the late evening to midnight. On Sundays, four additional westbound trains ran in the afternoon and three eastbound trains ran at night.[4][5] This was the only time, other than seasonal Santa Trains, that there was weekend train service, and the only time there was late-night service.

Service was operated by the West Coast Express division of the BC Rapid Transit Company, a TransLink operating company. Bombardier Transportation took over in 2014.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ridership on the West Coast Express was extremely impacted with record-low usage. By April 2020, the West Coast Express had a 94-per-cent decrease in ridership. Trains were shortened to run between 2 and 4 cars long and were increased to 3 to 5 in mid-June 2020. Two months later, trains were running in 3-to-6-car formations.

On March 26, 2020, Train 2 was cancelled in both directions followed by Train 4 on April 8. On September 6, 2021, Train 4 in both direction was reintroduced.

TrainBus

West Coast Express Alternative Branding Logo-a.png
West Coast Express TrainBus
Termini Waterfront Station
Mission City Station
Operations Cantrail Coach Lines
Vehicles MCI 102-D3
Prevost LeMirage XL-II
Timetable

The TrainBus provided service along the route and connections to all stations when the trains were not running on weekdays only. There were two westbound trips in the morning: one trip left from Port Haney while the other left from Mission City. There were five eastbound trips that departed from Waterfront: three trips went to Mission City while two only went to Port Haney. Fares were the same as taking the train. The TrainBus was not accessible.

Early trial service

On September 7, 1999, the TrainBus service was introduced as part of a 12-month pilot. This service began after a survey was conducted in 1998 with passengers for providing a bus service after the last Mission City-bound train departed Waterfront and would stop at all West Coast Express stations. Service was initially one trip in the evening only. The TrainBus was contracted out to Gray Line with one coach wrapped in the TrainBus livery. The coach had a capacity for 47 passengers and was fitted with air conditioning, a washroom, high-backed seats and reading lights.

However, the Independent Canadian Transit Union, who represented Coast Mountain BusLink, stated that this service was an example of TransLink "contracting out" as the TrainBus service cost $80,000 to run instead of allowing TransLink's own bus subsidiary to run it at $37,000.[6] The West Coast Express said that because Coast Mountain BusLink did not officially submit a bid for the TrainBus service, their proposal was not considered. They also said that Coast Mountain BusLink's proposal would have cost $60,050 if they were to allow them to operate it using a 60-foot articulated bus and that Gray Line coaches had the most amenities that fulfilled conditions that the West Coast Express trains had.[7]

Due to a funding shortfall, TransLink decided in March 2001 to discontinue the TrainBus service in August.[8]

Reintroduction and CMBC operations

TransLink began planning for a return of the TrainBus service in July 2002 for implementation sometime in 2003. The reintroduced service was planned to also run with one trip after the last eastbound departure but with an Orion V unit from Coast Mountain Bus Company. Plans for two additional nighttime runs were also considered for late-2003 or early 2004.[9]

In December 2002, TransLink announced the return of the TrainBus service for January 6, 2003, and would depart Waterfront Sation an hour after the last train and would service all stations.[10] Unlike the coach used by the former contractor Gray Line, the Orion coaches did not have washrooms but were wheelchair accessible and bike-rack equipped, two features the Gray Line coach did not have.

Coach 9201 was repainted with a purple livery and received West Coast Express branding in preparation for CMBC TrainBus operations. Coach 9203 was the spare coach and did not receive any branding changes.

At the time of planning, TransLink also looked into planning a shuttle service between Abbotsford and Mission City Station to meet with morning and evening trains as part of a five-year plan to increase train service.[11]

Morning weekday westbound service was introduced for the first time in September 2003. This was in response to a demand for more service but was not enough to justify running a train.[12]

In August 2004, CMBC operations concluded with the contract returning to Gray Line in September. This change in operations was primarily due to the lack of washrooms available on the Orion coaches.

Service growth and possible expansion

Gray Line Vancouver resumed TrainBus operations in September 2004 and ran with the same timetable that CMBC operated with (one AM westbound and one PM eastbound trip). September 2007 saw the introduction of multiple TrainBus trips in both directions on weekdays. In the morning, there were now two westbound trips from Mission City Station. In the afternoon, there were three eastbound trips from Waterfront Station from as early as 1:25 p.m. to as late as 8 p.m. These new trains supplemented the new train timetable as well, leaving which saw trains leave every 30 minutes during the operating hours.[13]

When Gray Line Vancouver operations were shut down in November 2007, the contract went to Cantrail Coach Lines.

On January 5, 2008, weekend service was introduced to address the demand for service.[14][15] This new service saw three morning Vancouver-bound and three afternoon Mission-bound trips on Saturdays and two morning Vancouver-bound and two afternoon Mission-bound trips on Sundays. The introduction of additional TrainBus service instead of train service was because the demand was not justified to operate trains.

During the same time, TransLink began looking into expanding the West Coast Express and TrainBus service from a "localized premium brand" to an "enhanced regional premium brand" by introducing commuter bus service to other parts of the Lower Mainland and beyond using West Coast Express-like per-kilometre fares. The concept envisioned premium long-distance bus service from White Rock, Ladner and Tsawwassen, Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish to Downtown Vancouver and Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission to either Surrey, Coquitlam or Downtown Vancouver. On-board amenities proposed included premium seat types, plug-ins for audio and TV, table trays, washrooms, air conditioning, reclining seats, reading lights, and coffee and newspapers for sale. Seat reservations would also be a feature ontop of luggage and bike storage. Stations would be heated with wireless internet access and real-time departure information and the inclusion of parking and bike storage and other shops and retailed services. Buses to be used would either be premium highway coaches or double-decker buses.[16]

Final years of operation

On March 30, 2011, TransLink announced that the weekend TrainBus service would be cut on June 20. A review between the transit agency and the District of Mission concluded that due to low ridership and the need to focus funding on weekday service, it was no longer sustainable running weekend TrainBus trips.[17]

In October 2015, TransLink began looking into discontinuing the TrainBus service altogether once the Evergreen Line was completed. From October–November that year, TransLink had an online public consultation that proposed for the 701 bus to replace the TrainBus service as the 701 and SkyTrain combined would make the TrainBus redundant.[18]

The 701 Mission City Station trips running from Coquitlam Central Station was introduced on December 19, 2016, and ran in tandem with the TrainBus as part of a transition period.

TrainBus service ended on December 30, 2016.

Former Amenities and Services

When the West Coast Express was launched, a variety of other services and features were included. However, these services were discontinued or replaced over time.

HomeRun Travel Insurance

In the event of an emergency that requires immediate travel between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. when trains were not running, West Coast Express passengers who registered for the program are covered for three trips per year by taxi. Passengers had to be travelling on a 28 Day Pass to be eligible in the program and the initial cost was $25 per year.

By 2008, the travel times were changed to 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and annual rates were changed to $50 to the Tri-Cities, $75 to the Maple Ridge area, and $100 to Mission. However, this program was no longer being offered as of October 2017.

Brain Trains

A car was designated as the "Brain Train" and offered free classes and activities in the morning. This program ran until 2004.

Xpress Card

The West Coast Express Xpress Card provided savings for train and parking tickets. The reloadable, stored-value cards allowed up to $100 to be stored. This card program was subsequently replaced following the introduction of GO2 cards in 2009.

GO2 Card

Introduced in 2009, the GO2 cards replaced the Xpress Card, with the same benefits and functions. GO2 cards were replaced when Compass Cards were introduced across the TransLink system in 2013.

Service Details

The total trip time from terminus to terminus is approximately 75 minutes. Service runs Monday to Friday with morning trips leaving Mission City for Waterfront in Vancouver and Waterfront to Mission City in the afternoon.

Carriages and locomotives are maintained by VIA Rail and operations are under Bombardier Transportation. Carriages and locomotives are owned by TransLink. The service runs along CP Rail tracks and West Coast Express trains are scheduled in between regular freight train service. However on some occasions, there are scheduling conflicts resulting in West Coast Express trains being delayed due to freight movement.

There are five trains that depart from Waterfront to Mission City in the afternoon and five trains that depart from Mission City to Waterfront in the morning. For latest scheduling information, consult the timetable. Timetable is subject to changes and adjustments.

West Coast Express system map (2016)-a.png

All trains have washrooms available on board each car (except for the Cappuccino Cars), bike racks, power outlets, and tables. All trains can accommodate wheelchairs and bicycles. Trains are made up of 4 to 10 cars per set and each train has one car designated as a Cappuccino Car, which has a small coffee bar in place of a washroom.

Fares

Fares and zones on the West Coast Express differ from regular fares and zones set by TransLink. West Coast Expres fare products are valid on TransLink services. Passengers must tap in and tap out at all points at validators with their Compass Cards or Tickets. In the morning, Tap Outs are not required at Waterfront Station on the validators.

Fares are as of July 1, 2021. For the latest fare information, consult the fare table.

Adult Fares

To/From Waterfront:

Destination Zone 3:
Moody Centre, Coquitlam Central, Port Coquitlam
Zone 4:
Pitt Meadows, Maple Meadows, Port Haney
Zone 5:
Mission City
One-Way (Compass Ticket) $7.65 $9.45 $12.80
One-Way (Stored Value) $6.50 $7.95 $10.75
Return Fare (Compass Ticket) $14.85 $18.15 $24.30
Return Fare (Stored Value) $14.05 $17.40 $23.25
Monthly Pass $212.00 $256.75 $350.65

To/From Other Stations

Destination 1-2 Zones (e.g. Moody Centre to Coquitlam Central) 3 Zones (e.g. Moody Centre to Mission City)
One-Way (Compass Ticket) $5.90 $7.65
One-Way (Stored Value) $5.00 $6.50
Return Fare (Compass Ticket) $11.25 $14.85
Return Fare (Stored Value) $11.00 $14.05
Monthly Pass $162.40 $212.80

Concession Fares

To/From Waterfront:

Destination Zone 3:
Moody Centre, Coquitlam Central, Port Coquitlam
Zone 4:
Pitt Meadows, Maple Meadows, Port Haney
Zone 5:
Mission City
One-Way (Compass Ticket) $4.55 $5.85 $7.90
One-Way (Stored Value) $3.80 $4.90 $6.60
Return Fare (Compass Ticket) $9.20 $11.50 $15.60
Return Fare (Stored Value) $8.70 $11.00 $14.85
Monthly Pass $131.45 $161.90 $226.35

To/From Other Stations

Destination 1-2 Zones (e.g. Moody Centre to Coquitlam Central) 3 Zones (e.g. Moody Centre to Mission City)
One-Way (Compass Ticket) $3.55 $4.55
One-Way (Stored Value) $2.95 $3.80
Return Fare (Compass Ticket) $7.15 $9.20
Return Fare (Stored Value) $6.90 $8.70
Monthly Pass $99.25 $131.45

Future Expansion

In the early 2000s, there were plans to introduce two new stations by the end of 2007 in the Albion area of Maple Ridge and in North Burnaby.[19] The new station in Maple Ridge was to address the rapidly growing Albion–Thornhill area. Its opening date was pushed to late 2010 and would have had a Park and Ride lot included. TransLink aimed to find a site for the proposed Albion station by the end of 2008.[20] Other proposals included expansions to the Park and Ride facilities at Maple Meadows and Port Coquitlam; procurement of a new locomotive; expanded TrainBus service; introduction of a new bus route connecting Maple Meadows Station and Langley; and introduction of bus service to the proposed North Burnaby station.

All expansion plans except the Park and Ride expansion and new stations have been completed. Plans for an Albion and North Burnaby station have since been postponed. However, as part of Burnaby's 2020 Transportation Plan, the construction of a North Burnaby station was under consideration.[21]

Stations

There are 8 stations on the West Coast Express. All stations are wheelchair accessible except for the Park and Ride entrance at Mission City Station. Accessible boarding areas on platforms are raised for convenience and trains have foldout ramps located inside that will be set up by the conductor.

Station Name City Fare Zone
(WCE Zones)
[Note 1]
Date Opened Transfers Notes
Waterfront Station Vancouver 1

November 1, 1995

Canada Line Canada Line
Expo Line Expo Line
SeaBus SeaBus
R5 Hastings St R5 Hastings St
Moody Centre Station Port Moody

3

Millennium Line Millennium Line
  • Opened as Port Moody Station. Renamed in 2016[Note 3]
Coquitlam Central Station Coquitlam Millennium Line Millennium Line
R3 Lougheed Hwy R3 Lougheed Hwy
Port Coquitlam Station Port Coquitlam
Pitt Meadows Station Pitt Meadows

4

Maple Meadows Station

Maple Ridge

Port Haney Station
Mission City Station Mission 5
BC Transit logo.jpg

Notes

  1. West Coast Express zones differ from regular Fare Zones. WCE zones have their own unique fare structure.
  2. 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.
  3. The original Port Moody Station entrance and concourse was demolished to make way for Moody Centre Station and the SkyTrain guideway. Following completion of the Evergreen Extension, Port Moody was renamed to Moody Centre
  4. SkyTrain portion of the station opened on December 2, 2016

Fleet

Locomotives

Fleet number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Horsepower Top speed Notes
901–905 West Coast Express locomotive 903-a.jpg 1995 GMDD F59PHI 12N71OG3B-EC 3200hp 177 km/h
  • Purchased new for West Coast Express.
  • To be refurbished[22]
906 West Coast Express 906-c.jpg 2006 MPI MP36PH-3C 645F3B 3600hp 177 km/h
  • Purchased as an additional unit to maintain capacity and prevent the requirement of VIA units for spares
  • To be refurbished[23]

Railcars

Fleet number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Type Notes
101–108 West Coast Express railcar 102-a.jpg 1995 Bombardier BiLevel Cab
109 West Coast Express railcar 109-a.jpg 2010 Bombardier BiLevel Cab
  • Purchased as part of fleet expansion in 2010
201–220 1995 Bombardier BiLevel Coach
  • Cars 201–206 are Cappuccino Cars
301–309 West Coast Expresss railcar 307-b.jpg 2000 Bombardier BiLevel Coach
  • Purchased as part of fleet expansion in 2000
401–406 2010 Bombardier BiLevel Coach
  • Purchased as part of fleet expansion in 2010
  • First to be delivered in blue livery
  • Car 406 is a Cappuccino Car

References

  1. The Buzzer March 6, 1981 Issue translink.ca, retrieved 26-04-2020
  2. The Buzzer October 22, 1993 Issue translink.ca, retrieved 26-04-2020
  3. The Buzzer February 24, 1995 Issue] translink.ca, retrieved 02-05-2020
  4. West Coast Express Olympic Schedule translink.ca, archived on Web Archive, retrieved 22-03-2021
  5. West Coast Express Vancouver 2010 Olympic Schedule translink.ca, archived on Web Archive, retrieved 22-03-2021
  6. Luba, F. (1999, September 2). Comfy trip for later riders: New bus service good for Westcoast Express train commuters, bad for union. The Province, retrieved 12-04-2021
  7. Luba, F. (1999, September 5). Union didn't submit a TrainBus proposal, transit authority claims. The Province, retrieved 12-04-2021
  8. Bohn, G. (2001, March 16). TransLink targets `night owl' bus routes: `Big hit' still to come, official warns as cutbacks recommended. The Vancouver Sun, retrieved 12-04-2021
  9. Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times. (2002, July 30). Train users get highway bus. Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times, retrieved 12-04-2021
  10. Barnes, T. (2002, December 20). Express bus back. Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times, retrieved 12-04-2021
  11. Toth, C. (2002, December 27). West Coast considers commuter options. Abbotsford Times, retrieved 12-04-2021
  12. Toth, C. (2003, September 30). Studio 604 brings urban duds to city in the country. Abbotsford Times, retrieved 12-04-2021
  13. Coquitlam Now (2007, August 31). New TrainBus schedule for West Coast Express. Coquitlam Now, retrieved 12-04-2021
  14. WCE TrainBus westcoastexpress.com, retrieved 12-04-2021
  15. Rantanen, M. (2007, December 14). TrainBus service added on weekends; But TransLink doesn't think there is enough demand to add weekend West Coast trains. Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times, retrieved 12-04-2021
  16. The News. (2008, January 3). West Coast Express eyes premium commuter buses. The News (Abbotsford, B.C.), retrieved 12-04-2021
  17. Mission City Record. (2011, March 30). Weekend TrainBus service cut by June. Mission City Record, retrieved 12-04-2021
  18. Melnychuk, P. (2015, October 15). TransLink looking to quit TrainBus in Maple Ridge. Maple Ridge News, retrieved 12-04-2021
  19. Highlights of Commuter Rail Expansion web.archive.org, retrieved 06-11-2020
  20. The Aldergrove Star (2007, July 12). Valley bus connector costs shared, The Aldergrove Star.
  21. Public Transit Fact Sheet burnaby.ca, retrieved 06-11-2020
  22. Canada and British Columbia invest to refurbish the West Coast Express commuter train, accessed 17-03-2021
  23. Canada and British Columbia invest to refurbish the West Coast Express commuter train, accessed 17-03-2021


v·d·e
West Coast Express Alternative Branding Logo-a.png
Fleet
Locomotives 901–905 906
Coaches 101–108 109 201–220 301–309 401–406
Stations
West Coast Express Logo-a.png Canada LineExpo LineSeaBusR5 Hastings St WaterfrontMillennium Line Moody CentreMillennium LineR3 Lougheed Hwy Coquitlam CentralPort CoquitlamPitt MeadowsMaple Meadows - Port HaneyMission City
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

Canadian Railroads
Freight
Canadian National
Canadian Pacific
Passenger
VIA Rail
GO
AMT
West Coast Express