TransLink Fails Transit 101: Articulated Cars

True to form, TransLink and the mainstream media haven’t a clue about SkyTrain or SkyTrain vehicles.

A news story on CKNW radio as well as other media sources claimed erroneously that the MK.3 rail cars are articulated.

The new MK. 3 cars are not articulated, they are gangwayed, allowing communication throughout the four car train set.


Articulated cars are rail vehicles which consist of a number of cars which are semi-permanently attached to each other and share common Jacobs bogies or axles and/or have car elements without axles suspended by the neighbouring car elements. They are much longer than single passenger cars. Because of the difficulty and cost of separating each car from the next, they are operated as a single unit, often called a trainset.

Also, I doubt the new trains can increase capacity by 14% because the Expo Line is very near its maximum legal capacity of 15,000 pphpd; except if TransLink has been telling porkies about current capacity (inflating ridership numbers) then maybe a 14% increase in capacity can be obtained.

TransLink really hasn’t a clue what it is talking about, which in turn one should ask; “can we trust TransLink with planning the Broadway subway and rail transit in Surrey?”


After a flurry of email’s last night, including a lesson on articulated rail cars, CKNW removed the offending story and hats off to them for doing so.

The real story is, articulated rail cars are a transit 101 subject and TransLink failed badly.

First new MK III SkyTrain hits the track, but others running months late

By Online Journalist  Global News

Commuters riding the Expo or Millennium Line this week may catch a glimpse of the first of 56 new Mark III SkyTrain cars destined for Metro Vancouver, but they won’t be able to board just yet.

The new, longer, four-car train is running during non-peak hours as a part of Phase 2 of its testing.

It includes more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs and bikes, and is fully articulated — meaning passengers can walk the train from one end to the other.

The trains will be stopping at stations along the lines, but passengers won’t be allowed onboard — the doorways will be taped off, and transit workers will ride the trains to ensure they remain empty.

A second, new Mark III train arrived in Burnaby last month where it is undergoing Phase 1 of its testing, which involves running 80 kilometres on tracks during non-service hours.

Train two pictured on a track in Burnaby.

Train two pictured on a track in Burnaby.



TransLink says 24 more SkyTrain cars are due early next year — but officials admit they’re running behind.

At Thursday’s TransLink Board meeting, BC Rapid Transit Corporation (BCRTC) interim president and general manager said the cars are running two to three months behind schedule.

“That’s a Bombardier issue, and we’ve been working with them on that. In fact, we’re hopeful that by the time we come to train 14, we’re going to have that reduced quite a bit,” he said.

“They put a lot of quality assurance in place to make sure there’s not going to be delays along this testing and commissioning.”

Part of Bombardier’s plan to cut down on delays is 5,000 kilometres of testing on a track in Kingston, Ont., so that there are fewer surprises when the trains arrive in B.C.

Another 28 SkyTrain cars are slated for delivery by the end of next year.

Train one arrives in Burnaby on a flatbed truck.

Train one arrives in Burnaby on a flatbed truck.


BCRTC said the new trains will be inserted into regular service once they’ve completed a final, third phase of testing, which involves carrying passengers and testing for faults.

It says once four of the new trains are in full service, TransLink will begin adjusting scheduling, with new schedules rolled out in April, September and December.

When all the trains are on track by the end of next year, BCRTC says it will result in a 14 per cent increase in capacity.

The new cars cost $298 million and are part of Phase 1 of TransLink’s 10-year vision on transit and transportation. Phase 1 also included $88 million for 24 new Canada Line cars due by 2020.

Phase 2 will include another 108 new SkyTrain cars and an additional 95 cars to replace aging parts of the fleet.


One Response to “TransLink Fails Transit 101: Articulated Cars”
  1. Haveacow says:

    The gangwayed vs articulated definition follies is common because rail vehicle suppliers rarely use the gangwayed term. If it appeared in a vehicle title on some webpage that would change over night. The extra 14% comes from the extra space created by not joining two, two section (cars if you prefer)trains together but forming a continuous 4 section (3 gangwayed) rail vehicle, plus removing a few sears and adding some standing space. This 14% assumes however that, the passengers are naked super models with no bags or purses.