4. Worldwide Applications of Bombardier ALRT

Advanced Light Rapid Transit or ALRT is the current name given to a rapid transit system manufactured by Bombardier Transportation; it was originally named ICTS (for ‘Intermediate Capacity Transit System’), and is sometimes referred to generically as ‘advanced rapid transit’.  It is used by metro lines in Vancouver, Toronto, Detroit, New York, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, and South Korea.   It is currently being considered as the technology for future for future metro expansions in Kuala Lumpur, Honolulu, and China.   The train is propelled by magnetic forces acting against currents induced in a conductive strip located between the rails, essentially pulling itself along without requiring a motor with moving parts.   ALRT generally has a higher acceleration than conventional metro systems and has a capability to climb steeper grades.

Vancouver, Canada: SkyTrain

The SkyTrain is the largest ALRT system in operation and the largest automated system in the world, and consists of two lines: the Expo Line and the Millennium Line. The Expo Line opened in late 1985. Vancouver’s SkyTrains have operated from the start in fully automated mode. With the opening of the Millennium Line in 2002, Vancouver added to its original Mark I fleet the longer, articulated ALRT Mark II trains first used in Kuala Lumpur, which allow for significantly greater capacities. Although not ALRT technology, the Canada Line will be part of the SkyTrain network using conventional metro technology.

Plans are in place to extend the Millennium Line to Coquitlam (SkyTrain Evergreen Line) and to extend SkyTrain Expo Line further into Surrey while also increasing the capacity of the line by extending platform lengths.   An extension of the Millennium Line SkyTrain is also being proposed from VCC-Clarke Station to the University of British Columbia.

Expo Line
– Completion: 1985; 1994
– Length: 28.9-km
– Stations: 20
– Travel Time: 35-minutes
– Rideship: 190,000/day

Millennium Line
– Completion: 2002
– Length: 20.3km
– Stations: 13
– Travel Time: 27-minutes
– Rideship: 80,000/day

Canada Line
– Completion: 2009
– Length: 19-km
– Stations: 16
– Travel Time: 25-minutes
– Rideship: est. 100,000/day

Evergreen Line
– Completion: 2014
– Length: 11-km
– Stations: 6 to 8
– Travel Time: 13-minutes
– Rideship: est. 70,000/day

UBC Line (Millennium Line extension)
– Completion: n/a
– Length: 12-km
– Stations: 10
– Travel Time: approx. 15-minutes
– Rideship: est. 200,000/day

Kuala Lumpur: Kelena Jaya Line

The Kelana Jaya Line in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (formerly Putra-LRT) is fully automated, and opened in 1998. There are plans for extension of the line. It introduced the longer, articulated Mark II version of the ART train.  The alignment starts from the Depot in Subang and ends at Terminal Putra in Gombak totaling to 29 km in length with a total of 24 stations.  In 2002, the system carried its 150 millionth passenger, with an average of 160,000 passengers riding the system daily. Today, it carries over 170,000 passengers a day and over 350,000 a day during national events.   In 2006, an order was placed with Bombardier for 22 new 4-car units, with an optional 13 to be ordered if necessary. Delivery occurred throughout 2008.  In 2007, the 2006 order was extended with additional purchase of 52 train sets (13 trains of 4-cars). Delivery is expected to be in 2010.

On 29 August 2006, it was announced that the western end of the Kelana Jaya Line would be extended 40-kilometres. The extension will be part of a RM10 billion plan to expand Kuala Lumpur’s public transport network.

– Completion: 1998
– Length: 29-km
– Stations: 24
– Travel Time: 40-minutes
– Rideship: 190,000/day

New York, USA: AirTrain JFK

AirTrain JFK is an 13-km people mover system in New York City that connects John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to the city’s subway, commuter trains and airport parking lots. It is operated by Bombardier Transportation under contract to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which also operates the airport and AirTrain Newark.  Its two branches connect the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road to the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. This service uses non-articulated Mark II cars in trains of one or two cars.

– Completion: 2003
– Length: 13-km
– Stations: 10
– Travel Time: 17-minutes
– Rideship: 12,000/day

Beijing, China: Airport Express

The Airport Express of the Beijing subway system is a 28.1-km light rail line that runs from Dongzhimen to the new Beijing Capital International Airport northeast of the city. The express line has four stops: two in the city at Dongzhimen (with transfers to Lines 2 and 13) and at Sanyuanqiao (with transfers to Line 10), and at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 of the Capital Airport. The line entered into operation on July 19, 2008.

– Completion: 2008
– Length: 28.1-km
– Stations: 4

Yongin, South Korea: EverLine Rapid Transit

The EverLine Rapid Transit System is a fully automated 18.5-kilometre rapid transit system in the city of Yongin, South Korea connecting the Everland amusement park to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. The new line will consist of 15 stations and is mostly elevated system utilizing Bombardier’s Mark II ALRT vehicles controlled by Bombardier CITYFLO 650 automatic train control technology.

In July 2004, the City of Yongin awarded the contract for the line to Yongin LRT Consortium, of which Bombardier Transportation is the lead member.  Construction began in 2005 with an opening date set for 2009.

– Completion: 2009
– Length: 18.5-km
– Stations: 15

Scarborough, Canada: RT

In 1981, the Toronto Transit Commission was planning to build a streetcar line serving the city’s eastern district of Scarborough, but the Ontario provincial government convinced it, by agreeing to pay for the line, to use the then-new ICTS technology instead so that it could act as a demonstration system for other transit operators considering buying the trains. The six-station Scarborough RT line opened in 1985.

– Completion: 1985
– Length: 6.4-km
– Stations: 6
– Travel Time: approx. 8-minutes
– Rideship: 44,000/day

Detroit, USA: People Mover

The thirteen-station Detroit People Mover is a fully automated system, using the same ICTS Mark I trains as Toronto and Vancouver.   It operates on a single-track, one-way loop through the central business district of Downtown Detroit, Michigan.

– Completion: 1987
– Length: 4.7-km
– Stations: 13
– Travel Time: 10-minutes
– Rideship: 7,500/day

(with files from Wikipedia sources)


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