Since I had to miss the big reveal of the Canada Line’s City Centre station this week, I’ve been eager to see what other people had to say about it.  Gordon Price was disappointed with the architecture–both with the station’s awkard fit into its surroundings and with smaller design details.  That is disappointing.  The Millenium Line stations–like Peter Busby’s Brentwood station–make a clear case for making Skytrain stations actually look like the hubs of public life they are.  But maybe that proposal to put some art in the stations will help on that score.

But the much more serious criticism of the station is one Price seems to share with Richard Eriksson, blogging at Countably Infinite.  Eriksson puts the problem this way: “The stations constrain the size of the trains to the two car trains, where on the Expo Line and Millennium Line, 6 car trains can fit snugly. . .”  You might think that’s fine, since the trains on the Canada Line are only supposed to have two cars each.  But a rail line like the Canada Line increases its capacity by adding cars to trains.  So when in the future–not if, but when–the Canada Line needs to increase its capacity, it’s going to mean digging more holes around stations.  If you take the long view, it’s cheaper and easier just to dig a bigger hole when the crews are down there the first time.  Or as Price puts it, “the platform, like the cars, is undersized by contemporary metro standards – and I suspect we’ll find out the real cost of that in the not-too-distant future.”

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