SkyTrain Terminology and Radio Frequencies by SpiderRider3


Glossary of SkyTrain jargon as well as a list of radio frequencies to monitor to listen to SkyTrain communications with a scanner.

More Info
									Appendix A – SkyTrain Radio Frequencies
These are the radio frequencies to enter into your scanner to monitor the SkyTrain. See your scanner’s
owner’s manual for instructions on how to input them.

Frequency     Use
410.2875      CHANNEL 1 – Expo Line track operations
410.0625      CHANNEL 2 – Millennium Line track operations
410.4875      CHANNEL 3 – Expo and Millennium line maintenance and back-up repeater
411.0625      Millennium and Expo Line PA channel – Used to make announcements and for emergency
              intercoms aboard trains (usually you can only hear the controller’s side of the
              conversation and not the passenger who activated the intercom)
412.8625      Canada Line track operations
413.0625      Canada Line Operations & Maintenance Centre
413.4125      Canada Line onboard intercom; OMC to Train (due to the low power of the antenna on
              the train it’s usually only possible to monitor this frequency)
418.4125      Canada Line onboard intercom; Train to OMC

Appendix B – Procedures and Technical Information
This chapter goes over the technical jargon used by SkyTrain attendants as well as some of the
procedures and techniques they use

These codes are used by transit personnel to report various types of emergencies and situations. They
are used by combining a status color code with the type of emergency. For example, a report of a
possible unauthorized entry into the guide way would be a YELLOW TANGO.

Code                   Definition
ALPHA                  Police (Municipal or RCMP, not Transit Police)
BRAVO                  Suspicious package or bomb threat
CHARLIE                Collision
DELTA                  Derailment
ECHO                   Ambulance
FOXTROT                Fire/fire department
INDIA                 Human contact with a train (contact with animals are not reported as INDIA)
TANGO                  Unauthorized entry into the track area
SYSTEM SERVICE HOLD    All trains along the Expo and Millennium line held at stations
SYSTEM SERVICE RESTORE The end of a System Service Hold
WHISKEY                Weapon
WHISKEY GOLF           Weapon: gun
WHISKEY KILO           Weapon: knife

Color                                                Status
Yellow                                               Unconfirmed
Red                                                  Confirmed
Green                                                Clear of emergency
Additional Terminology
Non-emergency jargon used over the radio or between staff members.

Term              Definition
ATC               Automatic Train Control system
Crew on/off       When an STA uses their key to manually open or close a door on a train, sometimes
                  outside of a station.
Crew train        A train that is run behind the last revenue train to pick up employees so that they
                  can get home at night.
Dwell (time)      The amount of time the doors stay open at a station.
EB                Emergency brake
FCP               Firefighters Command Post
GIES              Guide way Intrusion Emergency System
GIMS              Guide way Intrusion Monitoring System
HMU               Health Monitor Unit
Hold              The delaying of a train at a station.
Hostler panel The panel at the end of each train which houses controls used to manually drive the train.
Hot lunch         Vomit
HVAC              Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning
Inbound           Track carrying trains towards Waterfront
ICTS              Intermediate Capacity Transportation System (a VERY fancy way of saying SkyTrain)
Mainline          The SkyTrain control center (not the be confused with OMC, the facility which
                  houses Mainline)
Mark 1            The first generation of SkyTrain vehicles (the old, boxy looking ones)
Mark 2            The second generation of SkyTrain vehicles (newer ones with rounded corners)
Mark 3            The third generation of SkyTrain vehicles (like Mark 2s, but black with light up maps
                  above the doors)
Outbound          Track carrying trains away from Waterfront
OMC               Operations and Maintenance Center, the facility outside Edmonds and Bridgeport
PCU               Power Conversion Unit
PIES              Platform Intrusion Emergency System
PTE               Permission To Enter (the track area)
Sleeper           Someone sleeping on a train
STA               SkyTrain Attendant
TIDES             An early version of the GIES in use exclusively at Stadium outbound. Uses a laser to
                  detect unauthorized entry into the track.
Timed out         A train which has lost its connection with the control center (see below)
Toolbox           Safety meeting for staff
TP, TAPS, GVTAPS Transit Police
Track section     A unique, numbered section of track that is approximately 5 meters in length. Track
                  sections are how the ATC system keeps track of where each train is. Don't read the
                  numbers upside down!
TVM               Ticket Vending Machine (or Ticket Kiosk Thing)
VIP               Visually Impaired Person / Special Needs Person
VOBC              Vehicle OnBoard Computer
VPD               Vancouver Police Department
Walkthrough       The checking of a train’s occupants for casualties after an emergency braking.
Voice Protocol
If the attendant at one station needs to call the attendant and another station, they state the station
they are calling and then the station they are calling from. If an attendant needs to call another
attendant personally, they say the surname of the co-worker they’re calling followed by their own
surname. The control centre operates under the callsign “Mainline”.

The SkyTrain’s Automatic Train Control software runs on OS/2 and loads from a floppy disk.

System Service Hold
There are many reasons why a system service hold may be called, but most common are if a train has
timed out, a passenger has entered the track area and/or been hit by a train, or if a piece of debris has
fallen into the track preventing the safe passage of trains. A system service hold was called in 2010 when
a branch broke off of a tree near Brentwood Town Centre station and fell onto the track.

When a system service hold is called, all trains on the Millennium and Expo lines are held at the nearest
station with the doors open. These are the most fun during the winter months when temperatures may
drop below zero. Once the situation is dealt with, the control centre announces a System Service

Timing Out
When a train times out, it’s lost its contact with the computer system. This will always be announced to
passengers as a problem train. Trains timing out are becoming increasingly common and one of
SkyTrain’s biggest mysteries are what “problem train” actually means. A system service hold will usually
be called, and this is what causes the huge delays. An attendant will manually drive the train over a
reentry point for the computer to reconnect with the train.

Solitary Door Confinement
If a door becomes jammed or the mechanism is broken, a door on the train can be isolated and the train
can continue to be in service without the door opening. The train which infamously left a station in 2009
with its doors open had all of its doors isolated.

Translink makes a huge effort to encourage passengers to never enter the track area. To enter the track
area safely, an attendant radios the control centre and asks for a PTE: permission to enter (the track
area). They read out the number for the section of track they will be entering and the control operator
acknowledges that it’s safe to enter by repeating the track section, as well as time, and granting the PTE.

Vaness Pocket
The Vaness Pocket is a small pocket track near Edmonds station. It is at a low grade and surrounded on
each side by dirt. Trains with suspicious packages or electrical problems are parked at this track until the
bomb squad or technician, respectively, checks the train. The idea is that if a suspicious package was to
detonate, this is the area of the system where it would cause the least damage.

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