TMR residents worry new LRT trains will be 'living nightmare'

When Montreal's new light rail system begins operations in 2020, 500 trains a day will roll through the Montreal enclave of the Town of Mount-Royal. That's one every two to three minutes, 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

When LRT is launched in 2020, 500 trains a day will roll through Town of Mount Royal

Catalin Zimbresteanu lives about five metres from the train tracks. About 500 trains will roll past his house each day once the light-rail system arrives in 2020. (CBC)

Some people who live in Town of Mount Royal say they fear all the extra noise that the new light-rail system will bring to their neighbourhood when trains start rolling in 2020 will make it a "living nightmare."

"We'll get 500, 600 trains a day, starting at five in the morning until one o'clock at night," said Catalin Zimbresteanu, whose home is about five metres from the rail line.

There is a commuter train that runs on those tracks already, however, right now it only goes by a few dozen times a day.

But once the new electric trains begin rolling, that number will increase to about 500 trains a day — one every two to three minutes, 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

"It's a real disaster for the local population here," said another resident, Pierre Mourot, who lives about 25 metres from the train tracks.

Mourot said that although the LRT trains will be less noisy than the current commuter trains, the problem is their frequency.

Public meetings planned

Concerned residents have formed a group, and they've been going door to door in TMR, informing people about what's to come.

Mourot says he and other residents are not against the project itself — as long as it is not too disruptive.

The new light-rail train system would have 27 stations stretching from the South Shore to Trudeau airport and into the West Island. (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec)
At a meeting in June, the group was told by CDPQ Infra, the consortium building the LRT system, that a three-metre-high wall would be built near the existing tunnel where the train leaves, but apart from that, nothing will be done to mitigate the noise until after the project is complete.

CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of the project's promoter, Quebec's Caisse de Depot, is trying to quell the residents' fears.

"I think the best way is to have a continuous dialogue with them," said CDPQ Infra spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix, stressing that the light-rail technology means quieter trains.

Lacroix said the consortium plans to hold more public meetings.

"We cannot resolve everything in one meeting. It's a complex situation."

With files from CBC Daybreak and Kate McKenna