STM's new AZUR Metro to undergo daytime testing
Montrealers won’t be able to step aboard new Metro cars before end of 2015
The STM announced Tuesday it will begin daytime testing of its new AZUR Metro cars.
Two AZUR trains, made up of nine cars, will run on the rails during the day on the orange and blue metro lines. Passengers will not be allowed on the trains during the testing period.
Prototypes have already been running on the tracks in the overnight hours for the the last 15 months.
Once daytime testing is complete, simulated runs will take place before STM customers will then be allowed aboard.
"There is still a long way to go and tests to be carried out, but we are on the right track," said STM Chair Philippe Schnobb, as he and political leaders including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti took a tour of the new train.
The STM says if all test runs go well, commuters can start to board the AZUR trains on the orange line by the end of the year.
The AZUR cars will replace the iconic blue and white MR-63 cars that have been in service since 1966.
The STM ordered a fleet of 468 new cars from the Bombardier-Alstom consortium at a cost of $1.2 billion.
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At first, it was expected the trains would be in service by the end of 2014 but some tunnels had to be widened in order to support the bigger capacity of the new trains. There was a further delay when Bombardier said in January 2015 that Alstom, its supplier, hadn't been able to deliver a key software component.