PHX Sky Train

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Phoenix-Sky Train 1.JPG
PHX Sky Train
Overview
Type People mover
Locale Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport serving Phoenix, Arizona
Termini 44th St/Sky Harbor METRO Light Rail Station
Terminal 4 (April 8, 2013)
Terminals 2 & 3 (December 8, 2014)
Rental Car Center (2020)
Stations 3 (April 8, 2013)
4 (December 8, 2014)
5 (2020)
Operation
Opening April 8, 2013
Owner City of Phoenix Aviation Department
Operator(s) Bombardier Transportation
Character Serves non-sterile parts of the airport
Rolling stock 18 Bombardier Innovia APM 200 vehicles
Technical
Highest elevation 100 feet (30 m)
Route map
Phase 2 (opens 2020):
Rental Car Center
Phase 1A (opened 2014):
Terminal 3(walkway to Terminal 2)
Phase 1 (opened 2013):
Terminal 4
East Economy Parking
UPRR
Metro Light Rail
44th St/Sky Harbor Metro Light Rail (Phoenix)
Metro Light Rail

The PHX Sky Train is a free, 24-hour electric people mover at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.[1] The first segment opened to the public on April 8, 2013.[2] The second segment, extending the train to Terminal 3 (with a walkway to Terminal 2) opened on December 8, 2014 [3]

The PHX Sky Train is gradually replacing shuttle buses, which is expected to reduce road congestion, pollution, bus noises, diesel soot, and pitting and buckling of roadways caused by the heavy buses. The final segment of the PHX Sky Train which will extend service to the Rental Car Center is planned by 2020.

The PHX Sky Train features a 100-foot-tall (30 m) bridge over Taxiway R, one of three which connect the north and south runways. This is the first location in the world where a rail system of any kind crosses over an active taxiway.[4][5] The bridge is tall enough to accommodate a Boeing 747, but not an Airbus A380.

Construction[edit]

Phase 1a construction as of May 2013, viewed from Terminal 4 to T3. The concrete guideway, largely complete, dives under Taxiways S and T, then rises to enter the skeleton of the T3 station

Phase 1 (Dec 2008 - Apr 2013) links Terminal 4, the East Economy Parking lot and garages, and the 44th St light rail station. The guideway runs in a new underpass (below the Union Pacific railroad), past the jet-fuel tank farm, and alongside 44th Street.

Estimated cost was just over $1 billion in 2005. The PHX Sky Train Phase 1 was completed April 8, 2013.

Phase 1a (see picture) which connects Terminal 4 and Terminal 3 (and Terminal 2 via a covered walkway) opened December 8, 2014. Since the airport's long term plans call for the closure of Terminal 2, a stop at Terminal 2 will not be built.

The final segment, phase 2 - out to the Rental Car Center - should be complete by 2020.[6]

Passenger services[edit]

All facilities, from the hotel sidewalks, to the METRO stations, to the terminals are "at grade", which means that baggage, baby buggies, and wheelchairs need not be lifted into and out of vehicles; they are rolled on and rolled off. To get from one level to another, elevators and escalators are provided. Numerous curb cuts are provided at street level for wheelchairs and such. This "at grade" concept continues from the hotels, to the street, to the stations, to the train, and indeed to the boarding gates of the aircraft. Such was never possible with the buses.

Free baggage check-in to one's final destination is available for Southwest and US Airways by personnel at the 44th St Station and the East Economy Garage station. Once checked, the baggage is delivered in locked containers to the internal baggage-handling systems at Terminal 4. Delivery of the baggage is via secured shuttle-trucks that run every 8 minutes or so. This reduces curbside congestion and queuing for baggage check-in on the T4 sidewalks.

Boarding passes can be printed (from self-serve kiosks) at the 44th St Station and the East Economy Station for US Airways, British Airways, Air Canada, and WestJet (others to be added soon).

Passenger drop-off areas are now available at the 44th St Station, as well as a "cellphone lot" for those who are picking up passengers.

A system of air-conditioned escalators and moving walkways connects the 44th St Station to METRO light rail and two Valley Metro city bus lines (the 1-Washington, serving Downtown Phoenix and the Arizona State Capitol; and the 44-44th St/Tatum Blvd, serving points north along 44th Street and eventually the affluent enclave of Paradise Valley and Paradise Valley Mall, located a few miles north).

Two hotels are immediately adjacent (approx. 50 yards) to the 44th St Station. One is an Aloft Hotel, and the other is the Phoenix Airport Plaza Hotel (formerly Coast Hotel, formerly Crowne Plaza).

The Pueblo Grande Museum, a pre-Columbian (Hohokam) archaeological site operated by the City of Phoenix, is located on the southwest corner of 44th Street and Washington.

Bike racks and bike lockers are available at the 44th St Station.

Animals can visit the Park 'n' Play in the northwest corner of the 44th St Station, or they can visit the Park & Bark near the East Economy Garages (as well as T2, T3, and T4).[7]

Ridership[edit]

Three months after opening, the PHX Sky Train is carrying about 70,000 people per week--over 40% higher than the design estimates of about 48,000. The busiest days are Thursday and Friday. The busiest times are 5am-8am and noon-3pm [8]

Rolling stock[edit]

Rolling stock consists of Bombardier Innovia APM 200 vehicles, being Bombardier's second installation in the United States for such model (after the Skylink APM at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport), and third installation worldwide (after DFW's Skylink APM and the Terminal 5 APM at London Heathrow International Airport.)

The new INNOVIA APM system is designed to carry 3,300 passengers per hour per direction. It will operate 24 hours a day with trains running continuously in both directions and arriving as frequently as every three minutes. The average speed of the trains will be 23 mph but speeds up to 38 mph can be achieved. The journey time from the 44th Street Station to Terminal 4 is five minutes plus an additional two minutes to reach Terminal 3.[9]

As of April 2013, there are 18 cars in service, generally operating as six 3-car trainsets, although 2-car trainsets are in use during off-peak times.

Image gallery[edit]

Different views of the PHX Sky Train and terminal.

Outside view of the main terminal of the PHX Sky Train. 
Riders crossing over Washington St. at the PHX Sky Train's main terminal at 44th St. station. 
Inside the PHX Sky Train 44th Street Terminal Station. 
Another view of the 44th Street PHX Sky Train main terminal. 
View of the main terminal of the PHX Sky Train from an approaching train. 
Inside view of a PHX Sky Train 
View of the other PHX Sky Trains. 
View #2 of the other PHX Sky Trains. 
Inside the PHX Sky Train Circular Shuttle Stop Station. 
Inside PHX Sky Train Terminal 4 Station. 
PHX Sky Train rails from terminals four to three. 
Inside PHX Sky Train Terminal 3 Station. 
Outside PHX Sky Train Terminal 3 Station 

References[edit]

External links[edit]