AMT MONTREAL COMMUTER
( Jean-François Turcotte)
The first Bombardier dual-mode ALP45DP locomotive was released from the plant at Kassel, Germany.
These locomotives have been ordered by both AMT and NJT.
Late in September, CRO received these detail photos of the first production AMT / NJT dual-Mode lALP-45DP. Produced by Bombardier BBD the front end is based on the Traxx series loco which have been in production in Europe for over 10 years and up to now, was available in either all electric or all diesel. They are built in Germany and Poland. It has two Caterpillar engines and is a joint production for NJ Transit and AMT. These can fit inside the Mount-Royal AMT tunnel. AMT’s units will be numbered in the 1350 series. It is Interesting to see both commuter liveries combined on the first built!
Guy-Pascal Arcouette August 21st photo shows a comparison of the ex-GO Transit F59PH's in RBRX patch and AMT livery side by side.
In September, ex-VRE F40PH-2 #V-30 is now in service on AMT as AMT 310. The unit which had been painted green, is now in full AMT-livery.
AMT Hudson Trains 111/112 have been upgraded to 3000-series cars, the old train using 700 series s has been cut in 2 parts and they have sent to the AMT Candiac line. Here are two shots of AMT action at Lucien L'Allier Station on September 1st by Marc Chouinard.
Montreal Airport shuttle vs West Island service: A War of Words is warming up between Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), AMT and a group of West Island citizen and elected officials. Since 2006, AMT and ADM have been planning a new rail shuttle linking downtown Montreal with Dorval’s P.E.T.Airport, using a purpose-built electrified double track line. Two main routing options were considered. The first would run along CP’s Vaudreuil and Westmount subdivisions to a vastly improved Lucien L’Allier station. The second would run along CN’s Montreal subdivision through Turcot, St-Henri and Pointe St-Charles to Central Station. ADM strongly favoured the CN-routing, citing Central station’s better location and amenities, whereas AMT insisted on running along the CP route to Lucien l’Allier station, citing lower costs and shorter travel times. Moreover, AMT intends to use the new rail link to boost its own suburban service to the West Island, while maintaining service at its busy Montreal West and Vendome stations (which the CN routing bypasses). In April 2010, ADM terminated discussions with AMT and started promoting a competing project under which it would be the sole user of the new rail link to Central Station. Much to AMT’s dismay, the Quebec Government (which ironically is AMT’s owner) recently freed 200 million $ for ADM’s project, still far short of expected price tag of 600 million $. By mid-September, AMT president Joel Gauthier fired a well-planned attack at ADM’s Airport Shuttle project, denouncing its modest rider ship projections, low cost/benefit ratio and interference with CN and VIA traffic. Citing the growing demand for faster and more frequent commuter rail service in the West Island, Gauthier intends to win the support of the population and elected officials by promoting the Train de l’Ouest: a vastly expanded service to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue joining with the Airport Shuttle service at Dorval, serving Montreal West, Vendome and Lucien l’Allier. Under such scheme, a third main track would be built all-the-way up to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. Two main tracks would be dedicated to passenger trains. Suburban service would run every 30 minutes off-peak and every 12 minutes during peaks, thus increasing the number of departures per weekday from 25 to 86. Airport shuttle service would run every 20 minutes. Presumably, some suburban service would continue running past Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue to Vaudreuil and Hudson. CP freight traffic, currently averaging 16 trains a day, would run along the passenger trains with minimal interference, using the third main track. The price tag for AMT’s Train de l’Ouest project currently stands at 874 million $, of which 77 million have already been allocated. The projected rider ship is 12 million riders yearly.
While AMT publicly states its willingness to strike a deal with ADM, the battle over the Airport Shuttle routing may yet be far from over and the coming months should prove interesting.
Work for a new grade separation is well under way at Junction de l'Est (Eastern Jct), where CN's single-track St.-Laurent subdivision crosses the electrified double track hosting AMT's busy Deux-Montagnes line. According to the plan, the Deux-Montagnes subdivision will be depressed in a short half-depth trench while the St-Laurent subdivision will be elevated above the trench. Existing connections between both lines will be maintained; the Western quadrant connection is used by CN 564 (technically speaking L56421) to reach the Doney spur at Val Royal, while the Eastern quadrant connection will be electrified and used by AMT's future Mascouche line (a.k.a. Le Train de l'Est).
As of mid-September, the Gohier siding and the Eastern quadrant connection had both been pulled-up, while CN workers were moving utilities in anticipation of building a temporary deviation of the Deux-Montagnes line to maintain service while the trench is being built. The grade separation is expected to enter service in late 2011.
On August 27th, AMT’s famed 900-series double deck gallery cars made their last trip on the St-Jérôme line, arriving at Lucien l’Allier station on train 172 at 07:35. The same afternoon, a new set of bombardier Multi-levels replaced the 900’s on the 16:10 departure (#191). The gallery cars were built by Vickers in 1969 and branded as CP’s “Town Train”. For years, they were a fixture on CP’s Dorion commuter trains, until their permanent relocation to the Blainville line in 1997. While most of the cars are currently stored at AMT’s Vaudreuil yard, they will not be retired immediately. A set is still running on the St-Jerome line (as on Train #193 on Sept. 17th with F59PHI 1320 - 924 - 921 - 925 - 926 - 923 - 901 for example). Unlike the 1000 and 1200-series GO-Karts which are done for good, the 900’s may eventually re-enter service, despite the massive affluence of Bombardier Multi-levels on the roster.
While testing AMT trackage the CP TEC train arrived at Rigaud probably the last time for some time on the M&O sub between Hudson and Rigaud and seen coming into Hudson, QC. An inside view of TEC 64 at Vaudreuil beside the AMT yard and one from on the CP St-Lawrence Bridge. (Guillaume Levasseur-Raymond photos).
© CRO October 2010