Adios Bombardier. Adios Movia Automatic Light Metro (SkyTrain)?

As predicted, Alstom is now buying Bombardier Transportation for CAD $10 billion.

The question, which may worry Translink and the hapless Mayor’s Council on Transit is:

“Will Alstom keep MALM (SkyTrain) production or abandon the proprietary light metro altogether? Will Alstom keep already expensive replacement parts available or discontinue production altogether?”

I reached out for some insight overseas and received this reply.

Alstom already has ‘form’ here.

A few years back they ‘rescued’ the Translhor, buying the rubber-tyred ‘tram’ technology off an ailing Lohr Industries. I can only assume they were pressured into the acquisition to save the Paris Translhor projects.

A few years later, after unsuccessfully marketing the Translohr as the ‘light rail solution for hilly cities’, they disbanded the Translhor division and shifted the staff working on them to the electric bus division.

They (Alstom) see a future in electric buses, they appear to see no future for the Translhor technology.

Several of the Translhor customers have banded together and called for Alstom to release the intellectual property of the Translhor so that they can get 3rd parties to manufacture parts or even entire vehicles should these systems which to expand.

If the LIM light metro has only one customer, it’s gone. They abandoned the Translhor and it has probably 6 or 7 different customers. But if there is no prospect of new customers or it eats into other products they offer…

Hardly reassuring!

To the horror of the SkyTrain Lobby, including the regional mayor’s, the NDP and Liberals, production of the now called MALM may cease and spare parts will become even more scarce (read more expensive) and the pitfalls of a proprietary railway will come home to roost.


Alstom Buys Bombardier Transportation for Seven Billion Euros (US$7 Billion – CDN$10 Billion)

February 12, 2020 – by Dieter Fockenbrock and Thomas Hanke for

The entire Bombardier railway business is to be in the hands of the French. The deal is scheduled to be officially made on Thursday.

Düsseldorf According to information from industrial circles, the French railway technology manufacturer Alstom buys the entire railway business from Bombardier . The transaction is expected to be announced on Thursday morning.

Alstom will take over the worldwide railway business of the Canadians, whose headquarters are in Berlin, for seven billion euros.

This creates a new large railway technology group with a turnover of around 15 billion euros. Alstom had failed just a year ago due to concerns from the European Competition Commission trying to merge with Siemens Mobility.


4 Responses to “Adios Bombardier. Adios Movia Automatic Light Metro (SkyTrain)?”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Has anyone at Translink, The Mayor’s Committee or the Government of B.C. commented on the status of the process to tender and order 204 Skytrains, since the sale of Bombardier Transportation to Alstom was announced? This sale would definitely change the terms of reference for the agreement. Or have they even got to that point yet? The silence from Translink is deafening! I was shocked, there is nothing, no major news stories about the future of Skytrain, not even a reassuring “everything is ok” from anyone in Vancouver. Even Toronto’s mayor made a short statement on the issue. Bombardier is your only major rail vehicle supplier and I can’t find anything from officials in the Lower Mainland! “Helo B.C. is anyone listening? “

  2. Haveacow says:

    Whoops, forgot about Hyundai-Rotem supplying the Canada Line Trains. But the question still stands,all your Skytrains and even the passenger coaches for the West Coast Express are all Bombardier products and nothing official 4 days after the sale announcement.

  3. zweisystem says:

    According to TransLink, MALM is not proprietary, everyone builds them and so on.

  4. Evil Eye says:

    Sounds similar to what happened when Flyer bought out NABI in the US market,.

    Only a few cities still wanted high floor buses and NABI was the last builder, Flyer bought them out and promptly discontinued their entire line of vehicles, leaving the owners of the vehicles stuck with no way to expand their fleets with similar vehicles.

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