GO news editor Daniel Dell’Unto:

AMT news editor Jean-Francois Turcotte:

August 2011

AMT - Agence Metropolitaine de Transport

AMT news editor Jean-Francois Turcotte:

During late July, AMT operated diesel powered test trains using dual-mode ALP45 1350 and F59PHI 1329, with eight new Bombardier coaches and four older AMT 2000-series coaches.  The high speed tests were conducted between St-Eustache and Des Prairies, QC.   

 As of July 4th Châteauguay buses began transporting downtown Montreal-bound passengers to a South Shore AMT commuter train station, instead of being forced to cross the traffic-clogged Mercier Bridge to the Angrignon Métro station on the island of Montreal. Authorities also appear close to opening a new commuter-train station in Kahnawake to shuttle people from the Mohawk community and other Mercier-trapped areas to and from Montreal.  But many barriers remain to a long-term public-transit solution for the region southwest of the half-closed Mercier – a region that’s home to more than 110,000 people.  It does not look like a long-discussed commuter train service between downtown Montreal and Beauharnois will be restored soon.  As well the Châteauguay bus shuttles to the train are a temporary measure while two of Mercier’s four lanes are closed; once they reopen, the shuttles may disappear.

 Here’s what is and isn’t being done for cities southwest of Montreal Island:  Six rush-hour buses daily – three morning, three afternoon – run between Châteauguay’s bus terminal and the Ste. Catherine train station. From there, commuters can ride the Agence métropolitaine de transport’s Candiac line to Montreal. The shuttle is free; the train is not.  Until now, buses would take passengers only to the Angrignon métro, across the Mercier. That’s because if Châteauguay buses served AMT stations, the city of Châteauguay would have to pay a portion of the Candiac line’s operating costs, something the city is trying to avoid.

Under AMT rules, if a city’s residents make up more than seven per cent of a line’s ridership, that city must pay a share of its operating costs. The AMT, a provincial agency, pays 60 per cent of the train’s operating costs. The remaining 40 per cent comes from municipalities served.  For example, if half a line’s population comes from one city, that city must pay half of the 40 per cent that comes from municipalities.

AMT temporarily suspended service on the Deux-Montagnes line on the July 1-2-3 extended weekend,  allowing workers to complete two temporary track deviations at Jct de l'Est, where the electrified Deux-Montagnes line subdivision intersects with the St-Laurent subdivision.  A picture of the unfinished track layout appeared in the July CRO issue.

 The deviations allow AMT and CN to maintain service while digging a steep-graded trench to carry the Deux-Montagnes subdivision below the St-Laurent.  AMT's Deux-Montagnes line is the most heavily used on the system, carrying up to 30000 riders per weekday.  CN's St-Laurent subdivision is a secondary mainline carrying 6 to 10 daily freight movements and 6 weekly VIA trains."

Some rare mileage for the AMT on July 23-24th :

CP & Chenail, (a local contractor), were resurfacing tracks 2 & 3 at Westminster Crossing.  Track 1, the closest to Montreal West Station was lifted in the early 1970s.  The crossing was closed and road vehicles were detouring over to Elmhurst Crossing to the east.  AMT was still running the Lakeshore/Montreal-Vaudreuil run.  The trains used the North Junction Lead, (Track 4/now the third track), til St. Luc Junction, (Rosedale Ave-Cavendish Blvd), then switched onto track 3 and headed back south til the Westminster Ave. Hump Bridge and then the train crossover onto the Farnham Connector, (Connection), Sub and headed west via the curve near Cote St. Luc Shopping Centre.  Imagine, in some way the return of the Lakeshore train on the Adirondack/St. Luc Branch Subs for a very short period.  Pre Windsor Station, the Lakeshore commute would make its way this way from Viger and its predecessors.



GO news editor Daniel Dell’Unto:

GO F59PH 564 was noted freshly refurbished outside the VIA Toronto Maintenance Centre shops shops in July. Identical to the previous rebuilds (units 558, 559, 561, 562), it was never refitted with an electronic bell and has kept its original mechanical bell. GO is keeping some of its later GMD F59PH units, its fleet of which has largely been retired and sold off due to new MPI MP40PH-3C deliveries.

 New GO Bombardier bi-level deliveries have been progressing. This order is for regular coaches from 2753-2768, and a single cab coach car 254. They will be identical to the previous orders from GO which include slightly updated seats, powered end doors and LED exterior platform door lights.

 The City of North Bay ON and Ontario Northland employees are pushing the province to review the awarding of a recent $120-million GO bilevel refurbishing contract to CADRail in Lachine, Quebec:

After many months of delays, the first of the Toronto Transit Commission's new Bombardier Toronto Rocket subway trains has officially entered revenue service. Set 5411-5416 was unveiled at Downsview Subway Station on Thursday, July 21st, and operated in service afterwards. Currently, only one set is in service during rush hours but more are expected once deliveries speed up and more operators are familiarized.

© CRO Aug 2011