The transit geek in me is totally looking forward to the opening of the Evergreen Line in 2016. Along with the new line and increased ridership coming out of Coquitlam, new trains will be needed. We’re getting 28. Count’em. 28 new trains. And boy, are they looking sleek.
The new Mark III trains will be 4 cars long. That’s roughly the same length as 6 Mark I trains (the classic 1980’s boxy trains) or 2 Mark II trains (the newer curvier trains in operation).
Apparently the big selling feature of this train is the larger and wider windows. That means better views for one of the longest elevated metro systems in the world. We’re so view-conscious in Vancouver.
Unlike the current Mark II trains, that are two 2-car trains hooked together, the Mark III trains will be continuous from end-to-end. So one can walk the whole length of the train from front to back. I can already envision late-night travellers just pacing back and forth the entire length on a nearly empty train.
The new Evergreen Line is expected to be simply an extension of the Millennium Line. When the line opens, one will be able to ride from Lafarge Park in Coquitlam all the way to Vancouver Community College in East Vancouver. It will be a one-seat ride the whole way. I expect frequency along the current Millennium Line to be ratcheted up a notch to match the extra ridership coming out of the TriCities area.
The 28 new Mark III SkyTrains will help add much needed upgrades to the fleet. Recent downtime on the line due to communication issues between the trains continue to frustrate commuters. One hopes new technology will help resolve these issues. This is what the whole plebiscite was all about. Getting money to fund more great transit projects similar to the Evergreen Line.
You can read more about the new Mark III SkyTrains on Vancity Buzz.