Evergreen Line Rail Project, Vancouver, Canada


The Evergreen Line project is an 11km new rapid transit line that connects Douglas College Station to Lougheed town centre in the city of Coquitlam, Canada. Translink owns the project, and the new line is operated by British Columbia Rapid Transit.

Construction began in mid-2012 and the line was opened to public in December 2016. The project provided employment to 8,000 personnel during the construction phase.

The Evergreen Line is a fast and frequent SkyTrain service covering the distance between the Douglas College Station and Lougheed Town Centre in 13 minutes. It passes through four stations - Coquitlam Central, Ioco, Port Moody and Burquitlam. At Lougheed town centre, the line integrates with regional transport to connect with the Millennium and Expo Lines. The trains run every three to five minutes. The ridership is expected to reach 70,000 passengers a day by 2021.

The project aims to ease the increasing traffic in the north-east sector, which will reach its road capacity by 2021 if alternative transport is not provided. The system is designed to meet peak passenger capacity of 10,400 in 2021. It is also expected to remove 60,000 cars a day from the roads and offset greenhouse gases up to 60,000t a year by 2020.

The estimated cost of the project is C$1.43bn. The federal government and Translink provided $424m and $400m respectively. The provincial government contributed $586m and other partners including City of Coquitlam and Coquitlam Mall contributed $21m.

Evergreen Line route

The Evergreen Line project extends north from the Lougheed town centre along the North and Clarke Roads on an elevated track. A 2km tunnel was bored at Como Lake Avenue, near Barnet Highway north of Clarke Road in Port Moody.

"The Evergreen Line is a fast and frequent SkyTrain service."

The rail line is adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway right-of-way and at grade through Port Moody. It connects to the West Coast Express Station in Coquitlam, along Pinetree Way finishing at Douglas College.

The Evergreen Line project was first considered in 2002 when the Millennium Line was completed. However, it was halted because of rising costs. Since then, the completion date has been postponed twice to 2009 and later to 2011.

As of November 2011, the project was behind schedule due to a funding gap of $173m. Adding to the debt, Translink did not allocate any funds for the project in its 2011-2013 transit plans.

Construction

The Evergreen Line runs on an elevated structure, in a tunnel and at grade. The elevated section, which forms 50% of the alignment is a concrete horizontal guideway beam supported with columns or pillars.

The tunnel forms 20% of the alignment and was bored with the help of two tunnel boring machines.

The remaining 30% of the at-grade guideway was constructed from cast-in-place or from pre-cast concrete segments with adequate ground improvement measures.

Infrastructure

A maintenance facility was upgraded at the Edmonds Station on the Expo Line in Burnby to facilitate storage and maintenance of light vehicles. Park and ride facilities are provided only in selected stations.

The new line has seven stations. The stations on the new line were designed to meet the standards of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. 

"The Evergreen Line is expected to remove 60,000 cars a day from the roads and offset greenhouse gases up to 60,000t a year."

Signalling and communications

Automatic train control and security installations were integrated with the existing SkyTrain network.

It involved construction, software development, procurement, equipment installation, testing and commissioning.

Evergreen rolling stock

The trains operate on 1,435mm standard gauge at a top speed of 80km/h. The fleet comprises Bombardier mkI and II trains.

MkI is the first generation vehicle with 41 seats and a capacity to carry 130 passengers. The second-generation mkII has fewer seats with wide aisles, providing adequate space for standing passengers, wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles. The trains have 33 seats and a capacity to carry 145 passengers.

The mkII trains feature LED maps and video cameras.

Contractors involved

In November 2011, the Ministry of Transportation shortlisted three teams for the design, build and financing of Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project. The terms include EL Partners, Kiewit / Flatiron Evergreen Line and SNC-Lavalin. The technical and financial submissions from the shortlisted teams are expected in April 2012.

Separate tenders were issued for carrying out advanced works, including road widening, building and removal. These also include relocating utilities such as electrical and natural gas lines and relocating CP rail tracks. The advanced works of the rail project began in early 2012.

SNC-Lavalin consortium EGRT Construction was awarded an $889m contract to design, build and finance the Evergreen Line project. The scope of the contract included construction of grade guideways, a 2km tunnel, seven stations, power substations, train operating systems and parking facilities, in addition to vehicle-storage and light maintenance facility.

Pedre Contractors built new underground power lines in Port Moody and Coquitlam.

BEL Contracting secured a $2m contract to relocate railway tracks from Queens Street to Mary Street.