In December, Pueblo Grande Museum staff had the opportunity to take a tour of the new Sky Train maintenance facility. Staff were able to tour with the Phoenix Sky Harbor representative and the representative from Bombardier, the company that Sky Harbor has contracted with for the next 10 years to operate the Sky Train. Bombardier has been operating these types of systems around the world for over 40 years.
The facility is beautiful and was built with the future phases of the Sky Train project in mind. There is office space for all of the employees it will eventually take to run and maintain the entire 5.5 mile line by 2020, as well as room to expand the maintenance areas for more trains. Stage 1 and service to terminal 4 will be opening in about a year to the public. Starting in March you will begin to see the Sky Trains on their track, with regular rider-less routes beginning in September 2012.
Each silver and black car will be able to hold 53 passengers with luggage and will take approximately 5 minutes to get from the station at 44th Street to Terminal 4. Just in the first year of operation, Sky Harbor estimates they will have over 6 million riders. They are also planning to have a SkyCap service at the 44th Street and Washington station to help passengers check in baggage. Passengers will be able to comfortably ride the light rail, then walk through an air conditioned pedestrian walkway to the Sky Train station, check in their bags and be dropped off 5 minutes later to Terminal 4 with plenty of time to grab some coffee or do a little shopping before boarding their plane. Not only is this environmentally friendly but incredibly convenient for travelers!
For those who have a layover at the airport they could easily hop on the Sky Train, walk across the street and visit the museum for a fun and educational visit. If you have to have a layover, why not learn a little about the area!?!
For more information on Sky Train visit the official page at http://skyharbor.com/phxperspective/Construction.html
Posted By Stacey Mays, Visitor Services Supervisor