With eight stations that goes to/from downtown Vancouver and Mission, the West Coast Express (WCE) is an interregional commuter railway in British Columbia that provides more than 2.8 million trips per year. Originally launched in 1995, the WCE was due for a comprehensive upgrade to its security system and ticket vending machines (TVMs).
Houle provided all security and TVMs electrical and communications infrastructure upgrade for the eight stations plus central security Control Room located at Waterfront Station. The Control Room enables WCE to see and manage its eight stations. Starting with just three operational screens, the interface was expanded after the system became operational. The comprehensive security upgrade included CCTV, intrusion detection, surveillance recording, and gate and lighting remote control.
At each station, Houle constructed communication kiosks which incorporated digital recording devices and storage. WCE Commissioners utilize the kiosks to obtain a wireless internet connection during site visits. Houle worked closely with the design consultant to ensure all the required equipment would properly fit into the tight physical parameters of each kiosk. Many of the kiosks were installed in extreme weather conditions such as snow.
Houle coordinated and conducted much of the civil work required to accomplish the electrical renovations for the TVMs. Foundation removal, electrical conduit installation, new foundation pouring, and TVM wiring were often completed with a single 8-hour window.
This was a highly technical and largely outdoor project. Extreme weather conditions required special care and attention to technical equipment. The cold also made for unique challenges when working with fibre optic cable and sensitive electronic equipment. Despite extreme weather conditions, Houle still provided quality workmanship.
Houle implemented many operational and aesthetic design decisions that resulted in installations over challenging terrain. All security and electrical work was completed so there were no disruptions to train schedules and commuter service.