LINK Train

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Not to be confused with the Union Pearson Express airport rail link or Seattle, Washington's Link Light Rail.
LINK Train
GTAA LINK train clip.JPG
LINK train approaching Terminal 1 Station
Type People mover
Status Operational
Locale Toronto Pearson International Airport, Mississauga, Canada
Termini Terminal 1
Stations 3
Services 1
Daily ridership 17,000 (2012)
Opening July 6, 2006
Owner Greater Toronto Airport Authority
Operator(s) Greater Toronto Airport Authority
Character Elevated
Rolling stock DCC Cable Liner
Line length 1.47 km (0.91 mi)
Track length 1.46 km (0.91 mi)
No. of tracks 2 parallel shuttles
Track gauge Automated guideway transit
Electrification 36 mm Cable Propelled Transit
Operating speed 43.2 km/h (26.84 mph)
Route map

The LINK Train is an automated people mover (APM) service installed by DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car which connects Terminals 1 and 3 (there is no Terminal 2) and the Viscount Reduced Rate parking lot and garage at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Canada.[1][2] It opened on July 6, 2006, in addition to the LINK bus system which operated alongside it. The train runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is wheelchair accessible. In 2012, it transported 17,000 passengers daily, 60-70% of them were airport staff.[3]


The service uses two trains of seven cars each,[1] built by DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car GmbH, a company based in Wolfurt, Austria.[2] They use a drive and tension system. Each train has capacity for 175 passengers with baggage (25 per car - 17 standing, 8 seated) or 2,500 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd).[4] The 1,473 metres (4,833 ft) elevated system has a travel time of three minutes one way.

The service is free of charge.[3]


There are two Cable Liner shuttle sets, each one a seven car set.[3] The same cars are used on the Mandalay Bay Tram system between Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Paradise and on the AirRail Link at Birmingham Airport, Birmingham, England.[citation needed]

The rolling stock cost $56 million CAD.[2]


  • Terminal 1-Aerogare 1 - elevated station attached to parking structure
  • Terminal 3-Aerogare 3 - elevated station attached to parking/Sheraton Hotel
  • Viscount (long-term parking on Airport Road) - elevated station located on the east side of Airport Road and Viscount Road

The two lines, running side-by-side, are 1.46 kilometres (0.91 mi) long and a maximum speed of 43.2 kilometres per hour (26.8 mph) is possible.[citation needed]

LINK lines around Terminal 1 station, before construction of the Union Pearson Express.
The interior of the Terminal 3 LINK Train station.


The Toronto Pearson International Airport APM System projected was started in May 2002 when the proposal was submitted.[citation needed] On November 15, 2002, the contract was signed and operation began in July 2006 with the public opening.[5]

Project Name and Location Toronto Pearson International Airport APM System, Toronto, Canada
Project Start Date November 15, 2002
Completion Date January 2006
Contract Amount CA $55 million (US $40 million)[dubious ]


Both systems (1 and 2) operate in shuttle mode with a total capacity of up to 2,180 pphpd.[2] The rubber tired system runs on a smooth steel surface and propulsion is provided by the rope. The absence of onboard motors, braking systems and gearboxes eliminates excessive noise, oil spills from the trains, and dust from brakes.[3] Doppelmayr asserts that a cable-driven APM is the most environmentally responsible solution for transportation in high density applications.[6]

Length 1,473 metres (4,833 ft)
Configuration Dual track shuttle with two trains operating independently
Operating Speed 43.2 kilometres per hour (26.8 mph)
Headway 250 s
Dwell Time 36 s
Guideway Elevated steel tube truss
System Capacity 2,500 pphpd
Stations 3
Trains Two 7-car trains
Train Capacity 25 passengers/vehicle, 175 passengers/train
The interior of a LINK Train car.


On March 30, 2009, the LINK Train was put out of service for extensive maintenance due to engineering design flaws. Normal service resumed in July 2009.[3]

On of March 16, 2013, the LINK Train was shut down for approximately 8 months during the construction of the Union Pearson Express and replaced by shuttle bus. Regular service resumed on November 8 with both trains extended to seven cars.[7]


Prior to 2003, and during the maintenance period, a shuttle bus service was operated between the terminals by contractor Penetang-Midland Coach Lines (PMCL).[citation needed]

Retired bus fleet include


The Union Pearson Express is an airport rail link connecting Pearson Airport with Union Station in Downtown Toronto, with two stops in between. The line opened on June 6, 2015, in time for the 2015 Pan American Games,[3] and directly serves Terminal 1, with a connection to Terminal 3 via the LINK Train.

The originally proposed Eglinton Crosstown LRT was projected to connect Pearson to Scarborough by 2018 as part of the Transit City plan.[8][9] However, when the four Transit City lines were found to be $2.4 billion over their funding envelope in January 2010, parts of the network were deferred, including the western section of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.[citation needed] A future extension could eventually reach the airport, completing the line as envisioned.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Irwin Rapoport (2006-07-06). "Airport opens automated people mover: New train system connects three terminals, parking area". Toronto: Daily Commercial News. Archived from the original on 2013-02-12 It’s a 1.5-kilometre train with three stations gliding along an elevated guideway connecting Terminals 1, 3 and a reduced rate parking area serving both passengers and employees of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).  Check date values in: |archivedate= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tess Kalinowski (2012-05-21). "Pearson’s cable-propelled transit LINK is TTC rider’s dream". Toronto: Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2013-02-12. Propelled on a continuous loop of 36mm hydraulic cable, the LINK system is actually two driverless trains that operate side by side on an elevated guideway, shuttling back and forth on a 1.5-km, three-stop route in about four minutes. 
  3. ^ The Canadian Architect, Volume 49. Southam Business Publications. 2004. p. 13. Retrieved 2013-02-12. Scheduled to begin operations in 2006, the GTAA's new Automated People Mover (APM) will have the ability to carry as many as 2.150 people each way every hour in the first phase of operations. 
  4. ^ a b Automated People Mover (APM): Planner's guide. DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car GmbH. 2008. p. 89. 
  5. ^ References. DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car GmbH. 2008. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Terminal Link Train Is Back In Service - Toronto Pearson Employee Community". Toronto Pearson International Airport. November 8, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Commission Report Macro" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  8. ^ Jack Collins (2010-05-19). "Achieving 5 in 10: A Revised Plan for the Big 5 Transit Projects" (PDF). Metrolinx. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-02-12. 

External links[edit]