REM stations starting to take shape on Montreal's South Shore
The rail network connecting the South Shore to Bonaventure/Central Station is set to finish in 2021
Work on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light-rail network is going according to plan and on schedule, representatives from the consortium in charge of the project told media during a site visit on Thursday.
The rail network, made up of 26 stations along 67 kilometres of track, is set to be completed by 2023, with the first leg from the South Shore to Bonaventure/Central Station set to finish by 2021.
Jean-Vincent Lacroix, REM's communications director, said that extensive testing will take place on a "representative segment" of 2.5-kilometres for the next 10 - 13 months.
"We have the chance with the REM to build a network from A to Z, that needs to be tested beforehand so it goes as smoothly as possible," said Lacroix.
He said they are particularly focused on testing the rail line during temperature fluctuations.
The design of the stations will borrow inspiration from some rail lines in Europe where they use sliding doors to keep people from accessing the tracks when there is no train.
Lacroix said that this will help protect people, as well as their personal items, by keeping them off the tracks.
Lacroix said that train cars will be serviced at centres currently under construction in Brossard and Saint-Eustache between 1 and 5 a.m. so that trains will be able to circulate 20 hours a day, seven days a week.
Once the section of the REM servicing the South Shore is running, the next legs of the project will see the Island of Montreal track ready by 2022 and rails on the North Shore done by 2023.
As work continues across the island, REM has released a drone video showing the descent into the Edouard-Montpetit station tunnel, slated to be 70 metres below street level.
Watch drone video showing the interior of the tunnel here:
With files from Radio-Canada