News & Reviews News Wire First portion of Montreal light rail network could open in 30 to 45 days

First portion of Montreal light rail network could open in 30 to 45 days

By | June 27, 2023

Final stage of REM testing set to begin Wednesday

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Aerial view of two-car light rail train on bridge
A two-car REM trainset makes a test run in 2022. Final testing for opening the first segment of the light rail system will begin this week. Réseau express métropolitain

MONTREAL — Service on the first segment of Montreal’s Réseau express métropolitain light rail system could begin within 30 to 45 days, CTV News reports.

REM officials shared that news with public transportation areas on Monday as they said the final phase of testing would begin Wednesday on the 10.3-mile, six-station segment between Central Station and Broussard on Montreal’s South Shore.

That final phase of testing will involve simulated service without passengers, with frequencies mimicking those of actual operation, system builder CDPQ Infra said in a press release.

Several days of testing are planned. Once results are evaluated, a start date will be announced.

The C$6.9 billion project, announced in 2016, originally aimed to open its first segment in 2020. The builders have said delays are because of issues including the pandemic, a labor shortage, and problems in converting the 3.3-mile Mount Royal tunnel from commuter rail to light rail use. Most of the rest of the 42-mile, 26-station system is expected to open by late 2024, although the last piece, to Montreal’s Trudeau Airport, isn’t expected to be completed until 2027.

Map of Montreal light rail system under construction
Montreal’s REM light rail system. (Réseau express métropolitain)

2 thoughts on “First portion of Montreal light rail network could open in 30 to 45 days

  1. What’s the story on the old truss bridge setting in the middle of the river? Was it an old circulating bridge they left there rather than scrapping it?

    1. The bridge is part of the old CN route into the port of Montreal, it was replaced by a new route with doublestacks clearance in the early 1990’s.

      It’s been preserved as an historic landmark, like the old Wellington tower visible at lower-right.

      CN’s current line to the port runs further south, crossing Bridge street near the Costco, running undernearth the old #5 grain silo and crossing the Lachine canal near the water locks.

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