Vancouver teams with Bombardier for Olympic trams

Vancouver residents and visitors to the 2010 Winter Olympics will be able to try out a modern streetcar (tram) demonstration service during the Games.

Canadian-owned Bombardier Transportation has signed a sponsorship agreement with the City of Vancouver to provide two Flexity Outlook streetcars for the city's Downtown Streetcar 2010 Demonstration Project during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Bombardier will also provide operations and maintenance services for the 32m-long vehicles during a 60-day period of passenger service between 21 January and 21 March, 2010.

The trams will be on loan from the Brussels Transport Company (STIB) in Belgium, which operates a 68-vehicle fleet. In January 2008, STIB awarded Bombardier a contract for 87 additional Flexity Outlook vehicles.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan said: “This sustainable transportation showcase is an important first step in realising our vision for the future of the streetcar – a clean, sustainable public transit option for which we believe the day has once again come.”

Sullivan also announced that the City of Vancouver has received permission from the Olympic authorities to name operation of the demonstration service 'The Olympic Line – Vancouver’s 2010 Streetcar'.

The project will connect Granville Island to the Canada Line Olympic Village Station (Cambie Street and West 2nd Avenue).

The City of Vancouver is investing $8.5m to upgrade the Downtown Historic Railway (DHR) infrastructure, including a $500,000 contribution from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which owns and operates Granville Island. This funding will be used to replace the ageing and deteriorating DHR rail infrastructure between Granville Island and West 2nd Avenue. The investment creates the opportunity to demonstrate modern low-floor streetcar technology during the 2010 Winter Games while ensuring the continued future operation of the heritage railway after 2010, and making an investment in a future potential streetcar service along the alignment.

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