Skyway (George Bush Intercontinental Airport)

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Skyway
TerminaLink.jpg
Overview
Type People mover
Status Operational
Locale George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas
Coordinates Coordinates: 29°59′12″N 95°20′36″W / 29.98657°N 95.34344°W / 29.98657; -95.34344
Termini Terminal A (west)
Terminal D / E (east)
Stations 4
Operation
Opened May 24, 1999
Operator(s) Johnson Controls Inc.
Character Elevated
Rolling stock 12 Bombardier Innovia APM 100 vehicles
Technical
Line length 0.7 miles (1.1 km)
Number of tracks 2
Electrification Third rail
Operating speed 30 mph (50 km/h)
Route map
Terminal A
Terminal B
Maintenance Building
Terminal C
Terminals D / E

Skyway (formerly TerminaLink) is a people mover system operating at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. The system is 0.7 miles (1.1 km) long,[1] and runs along the north side of the airport, beyond airport security.[2] The system serves all of the airport's five terminals, with four stations at Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal C, and International Terminal D/E, respectively. Skyway (which operates airside) is one of two people movers currently operating at Bush Intercontinental Airport. The other people mover (which operates landside) opened in 1969 and is known as the Subway (formerly the Inter-terminal Train).

The system uses Bombardier Innovia APM 100 people mover vehicles,[1] which are powered from a 600-volt third rail.[3] There are a total of 12 vehicles in the system,[1] and each vehicle travels at 30 mph (50 km/h) and can hold up to 80 passengers.[4] The same type of vehicles are also found at Denver International Airport (Automated Guideway Transit System), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (The Plane Train), San Francisco International Airport (AirTrain), and Tampa International Airport.

History[edit]

The TerminaLink system opened on May 24, 1999[5] as a 0.1 mile (0.2 km) line with two stations, connecting Terminal C and Terminal B with a maintenance building for the rail vehicles between the two terminals. The system was funded by Continental Airlines at a cost of US $58 million, and was built to provide easy access between the airline's two airport terminals. Construction was completed in a total of 30 months[6] and was the last phase of Continental's US $200 million airport expansion project.[4]

In 2001, the system was expanded 0.6 mile (0.9 km) from Terminal C to Terminal D.[1] The electrical work for the expansion was supervised by TAG Electric Company who installed over 71 miles (114 km) of cables and wires for the project.[3]

The airport has expanded the line to Terminal A at a cost of US $100 million, and construction began in early 2008 and was completed in 2010.[7]

In 2015, the airport updated its branding. As part of the initiative, TerminaLink and the Inter-terminal Train were renamed to Skyway and Subway, respectively. The new names refer to each APM's location; Skyway is the elevated track, while Subway is underground. This was intended to make it easier for travelers to differentiate the two lines. Skyway vehicles also received blue and green body wraps with the new name.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Automated People Mover System – George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, USA". Bombardier Inc. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  2. ^ Chandler, Jerome Greer (2005-12-08). "Living up to its Name: Houston Intercontinental". Official Airline Guide. Archived from the original on March 28, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Projects and News". TAG Electric Company. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  4. ^ a b Albright, Max (1999-06-08). "Being direct". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Continental Airlines Opens New Houston Monorail as Part of $200 Million Renovations". Continental Airlines. 1999-05-24. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  6. ^ "TerminaLink, High-Speed Automated People Mover". Spencer Partnership Architects. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  7. ^ Houston Airport System
  8. ^ "Terminal Trains at IAH Debut New Look". Fly2Houston. Retrieved 28 December 2015.