Trains to and from Vancouver Airport (YVR)

Vancouver Airport (YVR) is an international airport in Canada serving the city of Vancouver, and is located on Sea Island, in the area of Richmond. Vancouver is a popular city along the western coast of the country, and its airport serves as a major gateway between Canada and Asia and between Canada and the U.S. The airport is a hub for a couple of airline companies as well. Vancouver Airport trains are the latest addition to the ground transport options available for passengers, and provide a very important and convenient link to the Richmond and Vancouver city centres. By train is also a popular way to travel in the city, and to cities located in British Columbia (and further) and in the United States.

Passengers could arrive at one of three terminal buildings at Vancouver International Airport. The South Terminal is the more remote terminal of the airport, and is served by a few regional airline companies. It is also a hub for float planes, helicopter operations and corporate charters. The main terminals of the airport are known as the Domestic and International Terminals, and a shuttle bus runs from these terminals to the South Terminal, and in the alternative direction, three times per hour. Passengers from international destinations and from U.S. destinations will arrive at the International Terminal and passengers from local destinations will arrive at the Domestic Terminal. These terminals are located alongside each other. Between them is the Link building, which provides access to the Vancouver Airport train station, and the trains which travel on the Canada Line of the SkyTrain light rapid transit system of Vancouver.

Vancouver Airport trains

Vancouver International Airport is the only airport in Canada with a rail connection, even though it is not the largest in the country. It is, however, the second largest, after Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airport handles around seventeen million passengers per annum. The Canada Line was completed in 2009, and is the newest of the three rapid transit lines of Vancouver. It begins at the Waterfront Station, and heads south towards Richmond and Sea Island, the location of Vancouver Airport. From Bridgeport Station, there are two lines, one to the airport train station and the other to the Richmond-Brighouse Station. The new line has fifteen stations, and a length of 19.2km, or 11.9 miles. At Waterfront Station, there are connections with the other two lines in Vancouver, known as the Expo Line and the Millennium Line. The Canada Line cost a total of $1.9 billion to build, of which $300 million was contributed by the Airport of Vancouver. The Canada Line trains are fully automated, and use conventional electric motors, which are slightly different to the trains on the other two transit lines.

The Link Building for the airport was completed in 2007, and provides an easy connection to the airport train station from both the Domestic and International Terminals. Passengers arriving at the Domestic Terminal will need to go to Level 3 from the Level 2 Arrival area and follow the signs marked ‘Canada Line’ to reach the Link Building. Passengers may also ask for directions or assistance from the Customer Care staff at the airport who wear red or green vests. Passengers arriving from the U.S. or other international destinations should exit the terminal at the International Arrivals Greeting Area, and take the escalator or elevators up to the Canada Line platform just before the entrance to the parking garage. Signs will also read ‘Canada Line’.

Vancouver Airport trains travel to Downtown Vancouver in just twenty-six minutes, and to Downtown Richmond in just eighteen minutes. A variety of tickets can be purchased for travelling on the Canada Line or on the Expo and Millennium Lines, and the tickets can generally be used on the city buses, the SeaBuses or on the SkyTrain network. Single tickets purchased for train journeys from the airport are subject to an additional charge of $5.00. This charge has been applicable since January 2010, and is referred to as the Canada Line YVR AddFare. Passengers who are using prepaid fares will not be charged the AddFare. These fares include DayPasses, FareCards, FareSaver tickets, U-Passes, Employer Passes and the BC Government Bus Pass Program. A few of the more popular choices are available for purchase from the airport 7 Eleven and Pharmasave in the Domestic Terminal, on Arrivals Level 1. The AddFare is implemented and collected by Translink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority, and is not for airport profit. Passengers who will be travelling more regularly on the city’s transportation systems will find the FareSaver tickets, FareCards and DayPasses to be cheaper options.

The various types of tickets can be purchased at any FareSaver dealer in Metro Vancouver, and the trains provide a valuable form of transport to Vancouver Airport as well, for the arrival of departing passengers.

The SkyTrain system of Vancouver is operated by Translink, and is the main form of public transport in the city. The Expo Line was built in 1985, and has twenty stations. It runs from Waterfront Station to the King George Station in Surrey. The Millennium Line transports passengers from Waterfront Station to the Columbia Station in New Westminster, and then continues through North Burnaby and East Vancouver. It ends at the VCC-Clark Station. The city trains are available at each station every two to seven minutes during peak hours, and operate from 05:00 to 01:30 on weekdays and at reduced hours over weekends. All trains are accessible to disabled passengers.

Long-distance trains are available from Vancouver as well. The Amtrak Cascades Line takes passengers between the cities of Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, as well as a few smaller towns along the way, and VIA Rail Canada trains leave from the Pacific Central Station for Winnipeg, Edmonton, Jasper and Toronto. Trains travel to areas north of Vancouver as well, such as Whistler, along the famous Sea-to-Sky corridor.

The Vancouver Airport trains are the quickest and most convenient way to travel to the city centres nearby, and are used by thousands of passengers every year.