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Commuter train improvements in Montreal area


When we assumed responsibility for the commuter train network in 1996, total ridership for the two existing lines – Deux-Montagnes and Dorion-Rigaud – was 6,8 million trips per year. Since then, the network has steadily grown and improved. We’ve added three new lines: Blainville (1997), MontSaint-Hilaire (2000) and Delson (2001). These new lines were added as an alternate solution to roadway projects, and each line uses aging rolling stock. The Context In the last ten years, the commuter train network ridership has grown in leaps and bounds, and now involves 15 million trips per year. Recent improvement projects, including the extension of the Blainville line to Saint-Jérôme, the extension of the Delson line to Candiac and the expansion of several commuterparking facilities are contributing to the network’s ever-increasing ridership. In addition, our major development initiatives, including the “Train de l’Est Project” (scheduled for completion in 2012), the addition of increased capacity to the Deux-Montagnes line, and the new connection between the BlainvilleSaint-Jérôme line and the Mont-Royal Tunnel, will ensure continued ridership growth for years to come. The Problem Already in the fall of 2007, peak-hour ridership was reaching new heights: of the 31 Montréal-bound trains during the morning peak period, 50% of passengers on 18 trains had to stand for lack of available seating. There was an immediate need for more capacity and for a plan to manage the system’s rapid growth. In addition, this growth was putting pressure on our aging inventory of rolling stock, with increasing preventative and corrective maintenance needs. The Solution In cooperation with the Quebec Government, we acquired 160 new multilevel railcars, which is a major step in the improvement of sustainable urban transportation. These state-of-the-art railcars add a new level of comfort to our commuter train, much to the satisfaction of our users. These new railcars will add an additional 43,000 seats to the commuter train network daily. This significant increase in the public transit offer and level of service reflects our deep commitment to sustainable development. Success achieved This historic $386M order has already yielded tangible results: the first wave of multilevel railcars was put in service on the Mont-Saint-Hilaire line in November 2009. Over the next two years, passengers across the network will enjoy the increased levels of comfort and service these new railcars provide. They will also be deployed on the future Train de l’Est line.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Transportation planning