Location: in Vancouver
(and Richmond & YVR airport).
Liked: Spacious trains.
Of note: Trips from the
airport will require a surcharge, compared to the trips to Richmond and
Vancouver. However, considering how much it costs to depart from the airport by cab, this is a small price to pay.
If you live in Metro Vancouver, you know how difficult it was to make
a decision to build this Canada Line Skytrain from downtown Vancouver to
Richmond and Vancouver International Airport. Today, all the doubts have
been (hopefully) put to rest. This is a very important addition to the
transit needs of our region, and, while one might argue that Skytrain is
just as badly needed elsewhere, let us enjoy Canada Line and the easy
access it now provides to the airport and downtown Vancouver.
Canada Line is great news
for all the motorists in Metro Vancouver as well. The more people ride
the Line as opposed to driving, the fewer vehicles we have on our roads,
the fewer traffic jams and wasted gas for those of us who keep driving.
We decided to board the train at the Marine
Drive station at the South end of Vancouver, and ride to the airport. At YVR, we checked
out the new airfield observation area, and then rode Canada Line back to
the Marine Drive station. When the Line opened to the public at 1 PM,
the line-up at the Marine Drive station was about 400 people strong, but
the stations were not too crowded. On the way back the trains were
packed. Today was the only free of charge day for Canada Line, but if
close to this many people would ride it, Canada Line would do fine.
1. Canada Line was supposed to be finished by Labour
Day, but it opened ahead of time, much to the relief of the long-suffering Cambie Street merchants, many of whom sustained serious
financial losses when the customers stopped coming due to the tunnel
construction along the street.
Cambie Street Vancouver BC Canada
2. Here we are at the Marine Drive station in
Vancouver, waiting for Canada Line to open.
Canada Line Marine Drive Station Vancouver BC
3. The train is arriving.
Marine Drive Station - Canada Line
4. The passengers are boarding the train. Lots of
space on the trip to the airport just after 1 PM.
Inside Canada Line Train photo
5. Canada Line track and the approaching train as seen
through the photo camera of another customer.
Canada Line track picture
6. Approaching Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
The control tower is on the left, and Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel
is seen on the right.
Vancouver International Airport
7. A large crowd was standing at the YVR-Airport
Canada Line station, and waiting for the train. TV and plenty of photo
cameras were capturing the moment.
Canada Line passengers at YVR-Airport station
8. Eager passengers boarded the train, and it started
going back to Vancouver, with Waterfront Station being its final
Canada Line Train photo
9. Here is the YVR-Airport station, as seen from some
10. And now a closer look (from the other side). The
station is connected to the airport, and it is a short trip to the
airport building after leaving the train.
Canada Line YVR-Airport station Richmond British Columbia Canada
11. We are now en route to the new airfield
observation area at the Vancouver International Airport. It takes about five
minutes to get there from the YVR-Airport station, which is a terminus
station for the airport spur of Canada Line. Note a volunteer holding a
sign directing people to the observation area. There were quite a few volunteers helping
passengers on this opening day.
Inside Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
12. This is the observation area. There are free
telescopes to look through (the boy in a green and white striped
shirt is doing just that). The note on the telescopes warns not to look at
the sun, so parents beware! There is a flight simulator video game at
the observation area, as well as plenty of tables to enjoy a meal or
Vancouver International Airport observation area
13. As far as what to see at the observation area, you
would mostly have to be satisfied with looking at taxiing planes.
Takeoffs can be partially seen on the left side of the observation area,
but nothing as dramatic as the planes taking off or landing right in
front of you. Pilots, take note that the telescopes from the observation
area make it very easy to look directly into the cockpit.
14. After enjoying a giveaway drink by Vitamin Water
(thank you), it is time to go back. The crowds have become substantial
by this time (around 2:30 PM), but the line was moving fairly fast. The
trains leave YVR every 8 minutes during peak hours, and there is an
information display at the station showing when the next train is
YVR-Airport station line-up
15. Speaking of the train...here it is! Note a Canada
Line attendant wearing a green polo shirt, as opposed to blue shirts
worn by Skytrain attendants at the Expo and Millennium lines.
YVR-Airport Canada Line station Richmond BC Canada
16. Very crowded.
Crowded Canada Line train
17. But it now takes only 16 minutes to get from
Marine Drive to the Waterfront station.