Commissioning of most REM stations will be postponed to the end of 2024

In a press release issued Monday morning, CDPQ Infra — which is leading the light rail project — confirmed that the branch, which will connect the South Shore to downtown Montreal, will remain operational for next fall, but not all other stations until late 2024 see the light of day. The opening date of the branch, which will go to Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau airport, is to be announced in the autumn.

Rather than opening in three phases from fall 2023 to fall 2024, 18 of the 26 stations — located in downtown, west Montreal and on the North Shore — will simultaneously welcome their first users in late 2024, according to the latest estimates from project officials SEM.

Given in an interview MontrealJournalthe Caisse acknowledged that the delays will result in higher costs and that the latest estimate of US$6.9 billion will not be reached.

This isn’t the first time problems with the tunnel under Mount Royal have delayed the completion of this project. In November 2020, CDPQ Infra organized a press conference to announce that unforeseen events in the tunnel, in addition to issues related to COVID-19, forced an initial postponement.

The coming months will test the REM itself, but also the teams that will ensure its proper functioning.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Deschênes

The workers had then discovered explosive residues, which made the work difficult, not to mention the general state of decay of this centuries-old tunnel, especially under the road McGill College.

In light of this observation, CDPQ Infra has redesigned its work plan to bring its entire network – excluding the airport part – into operation before the end of 2024. The vehicle test sequence has been reviewed but cannot begin earlier in the summer of 2024 in the tunnel. Tests are already underway on the junction between Montreal and the South Shore.

CDPQ Infra also noted that the REM would not have reached Deux-Montagnes before 2026 if the order of commissioning stations from south to north had been maintained.

The team of SEM also indicated that discussions are ongoing with the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) and with the Mobilité Montréal in order to assess the situation during the total closure of the Deux-Montagnes exo line and taking into account obstacles related to the exo- maintain mitigation measures put in place on the Mascouche Line. These two commuter lines used the tunnel under Mount Royal before it closed.

Leave a Comment