Upgrades to Metro Vancouver’s longest escalators at the Granville SkyTrain station in downtown Vancouver is set to begin and will take two years to complete.
The ‘Big 3’ Granville Station escalators are 32 years old, each measuring 35 metres (115 feet) and 167 steps long.
Granville Station is the first of 13 SkyTrain stations to undergo a major upgrade as part of the TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program. The project is estimated to cost $14.5 million, and is funded in part through the Government of Canada and the Province of B.C.
“Our SkyTrain system is more than 30 years old and the time has come to make significant investments in our infrastructure to ensure we can keep moving our customers safely and reliably. That’s why this project, along with the other 97 active projects included in the TransLink Maintenance and Repair program are so important,” said Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink.
The challenging and confined location of the escalators will require them to be built on-site piece-by-piece. According to TransLink, it usually takes about six months to replace standard escalators with prefabricated escalators.
Due to the length of these escalators and the challenges of bringing large pre-fabricated pieces into a constrained, underground space, this will not be a typical installation. Unlike a typical escalator installation in which the escalator comes in sections from the factory, these escalators must be built and assembled on site, and must be adapted to the existing truss.
The process involves disassembling the existing components piece-by-piece. The truss is then scanned for any flaws which are addressed as required. Then new components are brought in, and a new set of escalators are built on the existing truss framework.
The Granville station is the third busiest in the transit system and the deepest station in the system, at approximately 25 metres.