Lots of news out of the Agence métropolitaine de transport this week.
- Unveiling the first of 160 new double-decker train cars being built at Bombardier’s La Pocatière plant. The AMT calls these cars “historic”, which may be pushing it a bit, but they are high-capacity and will work on all five lines (meaning they’ll work with diesel locomotives and electrified lines). It’s unclear if these cars will be used in addition to or in replacement of the existing rolling stock. While passenger cars on the three diesel lines look like they were rescued out of a trash bin, the cars on the Deux-Montagnes line are less than 20 years old.
- After announcing in July that children under 12 would be able to ride free during the summer if accompanied by an adult, the AMT has decided to make this deal permanent. Children 6-11 without adult supervision still have to present valid fares, but those with parents (or, I guess, who can charm adult strangers into saying they’re their parents) get to ride free.
- The AMT is now allowing users to charge TRAM passes for zones 4-8 using automatic Opus machines. Before, they were limited to zones 1-3. Note however that the STM machines (those in metro stations) won’t allow this, and that many users in zones 6-8 still can’t use Opus cards because the technology hasn’t been implemented on buses on some transit networks.
- People using the Dorion/Rigaud line might be annoyed with the temporary use of cars without low-level doors. This will affect trains running Monday-Friday outside of the rush hour direction, and will be particularly annoying for people who use the Dorion or Ile Perrot train stations, as they’ll have limited points of entry and exit.
- There won’t be service between Vaudreuil and Dorion on Saturday, Aug. 29 before 6pm.
- The AMT’s Express Île des Soeurs schedule is being changed. Same number of departures at about the same times, but shifted up to 10 minutes in either direction.
the trains look neat but can someone tell me how the double deckers will be able to work on the Deux Montagne line? Won’t they need to expand the tunnel higher up at gare centrale?
“Trains are so popular that there is no seating at the end of the line. People coming into the train have to stand,” said AMT President Joel Gauthier.
M. Gauthier should try leaving from Deux-Montagnes station during rush hour headed for Montreal during the school year. From what I saw last year, there are often already people standing due to lack of seats BEFORE IT EVEN LEAVES THE FIRST STATION.
By the time the train gets to Ville St. Laurent, people are litterally fighting to get on the train, let alone be able to stand in the aisle.
Of course in the reverse direction, the Deux-Montagnes bound rush hour trains in the afternoon have everyone fighting (yes, I’ve literally seen people fight!) just to get on the train — forget getting a seat.
It is extremely common for people to arrive at Central Station in time to get on the 5:10pm train bound for Deux-Montagnes but not bother trying to fight to get on the train and just wait to get on the 5:25 train which shares the same platform.
Right now, there is plenty of space on the rush hour trains but in the next two weeks, you can bet there will be a lot of frustrated users on the Deux-Montagnes line.
The first few trains should really be going to the Deux-Montagnes line not the Mont St-Hilaire line. Of course I have never used the train on that line and could be proven wrong.
You’re right when you mention that most passenger cars were rescued from the scrap heap.Cars on the St-Hilaire and Candiac lines are former Go Transit rolling stock from Toronto bought real cheap then refurbished at the Alstom plant in Pt. St Charles before it closed.They even picked up a few NJ Transit hand-me-downs when they added the additional runs last fall.The engines on St-Hilaire are former Amtrak stock from the ’70’s. No wonder it keeps breaking down !
The problem with the new cars is that they won’t really be able to be used on the Deux-Montagnes line, because they are locomotive-hauled, and the AMT has no electric locomotives, nor is likely to be able to lease some as the only ones compatible are North-American, and transit agencies who use them (in the Northeast Corridor) have no spares.
The AMT has on order several bimode locomotives, that is, diesel-electric-electric by Bombardier, but those engines are unproven technology (1959 New-Haven FL-9s won’t cut it, they did not work on 23 kv overhead) and they are to be used on the “train de l’est” for Mascouche, where they will run under wire for less than 5 miles.
Also worthy to note is the new cars are supposed to be on the St-Hilaire line first. I seriously would have thought they’d be on the Blainville or Candiac lines first. Blainville can’t add any more departures and Candiac can’t lengthen their trains.
About the use of cars without low-level doors (read: without ANY working doors), I’m curious as to why this is only for two weeks. Before this weeks announcement about the new double-deckers, I would have said it was two weeks because the new cars wil be in in two weeks… Those old NJT cars aren’t going to magically disappear in two weeks, or will they surprise another line’s users after that?!
I suspect the reason for the new cars on the St-Hilaire line is because a certain person by the name of Gauthier happens to actually ride the train himself.He lives in St. Bruno. As for the NJT cars, they’ll be around for quite a while. Will be used as spares and in a real pinch can be used on Deux Montagnes one at a time.
Can the NJT cars be used on an electrified line? Will they fit in the Mont-Royal tunnel?
The AMT certainly seems to think so. But I believe they’d need to be hauled by electric locomotives, which would mean waiting for new bi-mode locomotives to arrive.
If I understand properly, the new trilevel cars are eventually destined for the train de l’est, which will be hauled by the bimode hogs.
Now, this is a real long shot, because if those hogs don’t work, the whole line will be inoperative; a “round the horn” (all the way to Lachine) detour may work for the Abitibi/Chicoutimi train, but will backfire badly for a commuter train.
Funny that they’ll dedut on the St-Hilaire line, Isn’t that the line that the AMT president uses??. It’s also happens the line has the fewest problems. Go figure !