12th March 2014 Conference The Hatton London, UK CBTC from the start: 28 years of SkyTrain in Vancouver Ian R Graham Manager (retiring) Operations Planning Expo/Millennium Lines BC Rapid Transit Company, Burnaby, Canada 12th March 2014 Conference The Hatton London, UK CBTC: More than a signalling system Ian R Graham Manager (retiring) Operations Planning Expo/Millennium Lines BC Rapid Transit Company, Burnaby, Canada Vancouver in context • >3 decades of history and development since 1980 – a different starting point now. • Green field – a clean start. • No regional interoperability issues. • Proprietary technology, but generally applicable experience. Vancouver, Canada • Canada’s 3rd largest city • metro area 2.5 million in 2013 • 3 million by 2027? • was 1.5 million in 1980 (SkyTrain decision) Technology • Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), now part of Bombardier – small lightweight cars – steerable trucks – linear induction motors (LIM) • SelTrac S40 inductive loop ATC system (Thales) – full operational dependence on primary system – no axle counters or other “backup” systems. – ongoing evolution of functionality around the original system principles Expo/Millennium Lines • 1986: 21 km / 15 stns / 114 cars / 20M pass/year • now: 49 km / 33 stns / 258 cars / 80M pass/year • 2016: plus 11 km / 6 stns / 28 cars • future: discussions of extensions; $$$? Canada Line: same but different • opened in 2009 • separate line (non-interoperable), but integral part of the transit system • P3 project with 30 year concession • 19 km / 16 stns / 40 cars (larger) / 40M pass/year • Rotem cars, with AC rotary motors • Seltrac ATC, similar to Expo/Millennium • generally similar operational approach 5 km 5 mi Evergreen Line (2016) Broadway-UBC (future) Canada Line (2009 - separate P3 operation) Surrey extension (future) The commitment to automate • Automation experience in the 1970’s • High dependence on signalling in “manual” systems • An attendant to watch a machine drive itself? • Eliminating the cab – no turning back Unattended Train Operation (UTO) • SkyTrain is: – not only automated – not only driverless – it operates trains primarily in unattended mode • Unchaining the driver from the cab makes a fundamental customer service difference. • The SkyTrain system is not unstaffed; – not about eliminating staff or unions Operating staff levels • BCRTC total 600 staff for O&M • Operations staff on duty (per shift) for: – 33 stations, 49 km, 22-57 trains • Field: – 38 SkyTrain Attendants (STAs) – 4 Field Supervisors – 1 Duty Manager • Control: – 7 Control Operators (ATC, power, alarms, communications) – 1 Duty Manager Original issues and concerns • No driver to view the track ahead – full track segregation – intrusion detection system (no platform screen doors) • No on-board personnel – passenger security features (intercom, alarm, PA) – door safety (positive interlocking; “pushback” feature) – system reliability and redundancy • Unattended stations – design, CCTV, communications; passenger self-service • => organizational confidence / public acceptance CBTC/UTO achievements (1) • throughput – – – – 108 sec. sustained AM/PM 3-hour peaks 96 sec. average, inner 6 stations, 2-hour AM peak 95 sec. target future headway 80 sec. “recovery” headway at terminus => 75 sec. potential • increased service frequency – same operating cost with shorter trains at higher frequency =>less waiting time for passenger • travel time (average in-service speed) – optimized and consistent speed control =>shorter travel time • headway consistency – all “drivers” are the same => variation and bunching are reduced CBTC/UTO achievements (2) • delay recovery – no recovery (rest) time required for drivers at end stations; insertion of spare trains in front of delayed train • schedule adjustments – additions or reductions based on demand • special events – additional trains without extra drivers (some extra staff may still be needed to manage crowds and supplement fare collection) • alternative service (planned / unplanned) – preplanned for maintenance, or unplanned for emergencies CBTC/UTO achievements (3) • safety – automated train control minimizes routine human error, although giving up opportunity for human discretion • fleet productivity – higher average speed and reduced end-station turnaround means fewer vehicles, and smaller yard, to serve the same ridership • yard flexibility and productivity – automation of storage lanes and some maintenance tracks allow trains to be launched, returned, and inspected, with minimal driving CBTC/UTO achievements (4) • fault response – SkyTrain Attendants (STAs) can deal with many train faults while the train is still in service, minimizing delay or disruption • passenger emergency – STAs can respond to passenger emergencies • customer assistance – STAs available to assist customers with directions, information, fare payment, etc. Ongoing and future challenges • Proprietary technology • Technology obsolescence and upgrades • Maintenance and upgrades of aging system • Growth – getting better to stay the same • “More than a signalling system” -- CBTC is not a “get and forget” system Conclusions A rapid transit system is always a “work in progress”. CBTC, and the related commitment to UTO, has provided Vancouver with a successful, well-used, efficient rapid transit system, and provided a relevant reference point to other cities around the world.