Olympic Line was a 1.1 mile (1.8 km) demonstration streetcar line in
operation during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The line connected Granville
Island to the Sky Train Olympic Village station. The line operated
over a portion of the Downtown Historic Trolley right-of-way, newly
upgraded to accommodate the new operation. The line consisted of
approximately one mile of single track with a mid-point passing siding.
There were no intermediate stations, the line simply serving as a
high-capacity shuttle between the two locations. Operations was 18 hours
a day, seven days a week, with a six minute headway. The line was but one
part of an elaborate multi-modal transportation plan put in place during
Olympic Line demonstration was intended to build interest in the 10 km of
streetcar routes that have been approved by the Vancouver City Council.
Preliminary Engineering and Design are already underway for the first 3
km line, which will include the recently upgrading trackage being used
for the Olympic Line.
A pair of
Bombardier Flexity streetcars were borrowed from Brussels,
Belgium for the two-month demonstration. The 100% low-floor
streetcars are 105 feet (32 meters) long, and consist of five
modules supported on three trucks. As seen in the pictures
below, the attractively styled cars are quite comfortable and
have been a real hit with riders.
When the games
concluded the cars returned to Brussels, and operation of
the Downtown Historic Railway resumed. The trolley operations keep the track active while development continues on Vancouver's
first permanent streetcar route.