West Coast Express
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The West Coast Express at Waterfront Station.
(through West Coast Express, Ltd.)
|Locale||Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada|
|Transit type||Commuter rail|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||8|
|Daily ridership||10,600 (Q4 2014)|
|Began operation||November 1, 1995|
|System length||69 km (43 mi)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
West Coast Express (reporting mark BCVX) is the only interregional commuter railway in British Columbia, Canada. Opened in 1995, it links Mission, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody with Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver, where it interchanges with SkyTrain rapid transit, SeaBus and other public transportation services.
The West Coast Express operates from Monday to Friday excluding holidays, with five trains per day running from Mission to Vancouver in the morning peak hours and returning to Mission in the evening peak. A one-way trip takes 75 minutes, which is faster than driving to Downtown Vancouver.
Rail service is supplemented by TransLink's bus No. 701, which runs four eastbound and four westbound trips per weekday—one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and two in the evening—between Coquitlam Central Station and Mission City Station. This service does not run on weekends and holidays. TransLink's regular one-zone adult/concession fare rates apply to these trips. The eastbound bus makes regular stops until it reaches Haney Place Exchange in Maple Ridge and then runs non-stop for about 26 minutes to Mission City Station. This process is reversed for westbound buses. The entire one-way route completes in 60–70 minutes.
The commuter railway is owned by TransLink, the transportation authority of the Metro Vancouver region, and a member of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service and transit security officers conduct random fare inspections within the Fare Paid Zones at stations and on board trains. People caught without valid fare are removed from the train and may be fined $173. Contracted commissionaires provide station attendant services and a security presence, even checking fares on occasion at stations. Commissionaires do not conduct enforcement. Enforcement of fares and other regulations is conducted by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service and transit security.
Prior to December 30, 2016, West Coast Express also ran coach-style "TrainBus" service, which provided additional service when trains were not running. The TrainBus provided two buses, one from Port Haney Station in Maple Ridge and one from Mission City Station, to Vancouver in the morning (after all westbound trains had departed) and five buses eastbound (two mid-day, and three after all eastbound trains had departed Waterfront), three of which extended to Mission, stopping only at West Coast Express stations. This service has been replaced with bus No. 701.
- Purple represents the West Coast Express route and stops
- Dark Blue represents the Expo Line
- The Expo Line runs from Waterfront to King George (with a branch northeast after Columbia to Production Way–University)
- Yellow represents the Millennium Line
- The Millennium Line runs from VCC–Clark to Lougheed Town Centre, interlined with the Expo Line from Production Way–University to Lougheed Town Centre
- Brown represents the SeaBus
- Cyan represents the Canada Line
- Green / Yellow represents the Evergreen Extension (Millennium Line) – opened December 2, 2016
From Waterfront Station, effective June 8, 2015:
|Destination (for adult fare)||Zone 3:
Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam
Pitt Meadows, Maple Meadows, Port Haney
|One-way (stored value)||$6.05||$7.45||$10.25|
West Coast Express fares can also be used as a three-zone fare on other TransLink services. A one-way fare expires 180 minutes from the time of purchase; all other fares work as an all-day pass. See TransLink Fares for more information on the pricing of the West Coast Express' fares.
|Locomotive||Motive Power||MP36PH-3C||1||Backup unit, arrived December 2006|
|Rail Coach||Bombardier||BiLevel Coach VI||44||37 original units, 7 added in 2010|
|Bus||Prevost||Le Mirage XL||2||Operated as the "TrainBus"|
Each train consists of a General Motors/ EMD F59PHI diesel-electric locomotive and between five and ten Bombardier BiLevel passenger carriages. West Coast Express also operates a MPI MP36PH-3C for backup. The total fleet of passenger coaches is 44. Each passenger carriage has a seating capacity of 144 people. Like many commuter railways, West Coast Express uses push-pull operation; instead of moving the locomotive to the other end of the train, it is simply controlled remotely from a second cab in the last passenger carriage, allowing the train to run 'backwards'; this occurs during mornings, as during afternoons the locomotive is at the front of train. Passenger amenities include washrooms, a cappuccino bar, power outlets, wheelchair accessibility and space for bicycles.
The carriages and locomotives are maintained by Via Rail and, under the contract, operated by the Bombardier Transportation over tracks which belong to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Bombardier began a contract to operate the trains for the next five years, commencing on May 5, 2014. After May 2014, Track time is negotiated between TransLink and the CPR, which balances the use by the West Coast Express with its mainstay freight operation.
TransLink's 2009 Capital Plan included upgrades to the Waterfront and Mission stations, and platform extensions to handle longer trains. In the 2009 10-Year Plan, TransLink also proposed a number of other improvements to West Coast Express service, some of the key improvements being:
"A 20-year service agreement between TransLink and the Canadian Pacific Railroad to operate the West Coast Express expired in 2015. Negotiations for renewal were initiated within the time period covered by this Base Plan. A fuller understanding of the future interaction of the service with the Evergreen Line is required, as well as an understanding of the overall market for long distance travel in the corridor. Accordingly, TransLink initiated the development of a West Coast Express Strategy in 2011 to consult with stakeholders and examine the issues. Completion of the strategy is expected in 2012, with subsequent implementation work expected to identify appropriate future service and infrastructure requirements."
A proposal in the 2009 10-Year Plan for a new station in Albion did not appear in the 2012 10-Year Plan. Plans for a new station in northern Burnaby have been indefinitely postponed. Such a station would have allowed students who live in the eastern suburbs to get to Simon Fraser University.
On July 18, 2011, at just after 7:10am, a westbound West Coast Express collided with a person on the tracks at Coquitlam Central Station. Police confirmed that the death was not suspicious. According to TransLink, this was the first time in the train's 16 year operation that someone had been hit at Coquitlam Central.
- "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter and End-of-Year 2014" (pdf). American Public Transportation Association (APTA). March 3, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Happy 15th birthday, West Coast Express!". TransLink. November 1, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Bombardier to manage train operations in British Columbia". Railway-Technology.com. December 24, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
Bombardier Transportation has been awarded a C$17m ($16m) contract to provide train operations for TransLink's West Coast Express commuter rail system in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia (BC), Canada.
- Coling, Adrienne (December 18, 2016). "Bus Route Buzz: West Coast Express TrainBus – 701". The Buzzer blog. TransLink. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- "Route 701 Timetable" (PDF). TransLink. December 19, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- ""West Coast Express Schedule – TrainBus Service Update". TransLink. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- Brown, Scott (November 7, 2016). "TransLink will open Evergreen Line on Dec. 2". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- "West Coast Express Fares". TransLink. 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "New West Coast Express Cars Roll Into Town". TransLink. August 26, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "All aboard the West Coast Express (there's extra trips for the Olympics)!". The Buzzer Blog. TransLink. February 17, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- TransLink’s 2009 Budget and Capital Plan to maintain transportation expansion
- 2009 10-Year Plan
- Phil Melnychuk (September 19, 2011). "TransLink supports West Coast Express expansion". Maple Ridge News. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- 2012 Base Plan and Outlook
- Police Investigate Fatal Train Crash - Coquitlam Now
- Man Killed at Coquitlam Train Station - BC Local News