GO news editor Daniel Dell’Unto:

AMT news editor Jean-Francois Turcotte:


AMT - Agence Metropolitaine de Transport

MT news editor Jean-Francois Turcotte:



Departing Ste-Therese Bound for Montreal Park Acenue Station, Lorence Toutant clicked AMT 180 heads downgrade at Mile 21.8 on the Parc Subdivision with 8 brand new 3000 series Bombardier Multilevel cars on June 10th.



The first of the new Bombardier-built dual mode locomotives arrived in Montreal (after arrival at the Port in Newark, NJ), to VIA MMC in early June.   AMT  ALP45DP 1350 is part of a tag-on order with New Jersey Transit.  The  AMT locomotives weight 288000lbs (130 metric tons) each.  The engine sits on a multi axle float to support the weight during the crossing of the ocean, and they sit the engine on a crib inside the ship tied it down .  On arrival in Newark ,they roll the float under the crib and raise the engine and roll out of the vessel to the trackage in the yard, three cranes then  to lift on to the track  We have included a comprehensive BBD video that  outlines in detail the complex challenges in transport of this engine to North America from Europe. In mid-June AMT 1350 was  semt to American Motive Power (AMP) in Pointe St. Charles for short term storage.



AMT’s Roadmap to Electrification


On June 9th, as AMT’s first dual-mode ALP45DP #1350 was being unveiled to the media in Pointe St-Charles, highlights of the long-sought study on electrification were also being made public.

The study reveals electrifying the Mascouche, Vaudreuil and St-Jérôme lines would produce the highest economical benefits, mainly by shielding AMT against future fuel cost hikes, saving AMT up to 150 million $ over the next 30 years. It would also remove from the atmosphere 95000 tons of greenhouse gases per year, plus numerous other pollutants such as soot and nitrogen oxide, as well as reduce the noise levels for residents along the tracks. AMT also expects the conversion to produce minor run time improvements (up to 14%) because of the electric motors’ faster acceleration.

However, both south shore lines (Candiac and St-Hilaire) are not likely candidates for electrification, mainly because of the high infrastructure costs to adapt CP’s St.Lawrence Bridge and CN’s Victoria Bridge (the latter up to 93 million $ alone).

Quebec’s Transport Minister Sam Hamad confirmed the same day that Quebec would fund the step-by-step electrification of the Mascouche, Vaudreuil and St-Jérôme line by 2020, at a cost up to 1.5 billion $. Partner Hydro-Québec will provide the electricity from renewable hydraulic and wind sources.




AMT increases Service to Compensate Mercier Bridge Closure:


On June 14th, Quebec’s Transport Minister unexpectedly closed the Mercier Bridge to all southbound traffic on account of structural faults. The closure will last all summer, and will undoubtedly deepen further the nightmare south shore commuters must endure (nearby Champlain bridge is also experiencing a faulty structure).

AMT responded by increasing service on the Candiac line using the parallel but unaffected CP St.Lawrence Bridge. Link to the expanded schedule, starting on June 16th 2011:




Added trains are #70, 72, 73, 74, 75 and 77. Regular service is normally run with 3 train sets made of F40 or F59 locomotive and 5 new Multilevels (3000 series). A fourth train set and perhaps a fifth train will be required to provide the extra service. Fortunately, AMT has no rolling stock shortage at present times, with all 700 and 2000 series coaches in temporary storage.

In mid-June AMT begun double tracking the CP line in Laval, (Blainville/St. Jerome commuter line), north of St. Martin Junction, (CP Maurice Richard Control Point), all the way to St. Rose, in Laval. There are surveyor's markers indicating the second track and machinery positioned for the job.  Panel track is positioned near the Decarie Bridge for the temporary railway span on a fill near the McGill Hospital Glen site, (CP Westmount Sub).  The new bridge like the old one will be a three track bridge.  As well it's official, AMT has purchased the CP (Montreal & Ottawa) M&O Sub between Dorion and Rigaud, QC.

Lorence  also caught Montreal-Hudson AMT train 111  passing the west mileboard for Vaudreuil (mile 3.1 of the M&O subdivision).  Leased from New Jersey Transit, AMT GP40FH-2 4143 is pulling  eight new Bambardier multilevels with help from AMT F40PHR 271 at the rear.

Mike Berry clicked AMT 293 and  AMT 310 lead a deadheading train east through Montreal West, over the Westminster avenue crossing. This is rare, recently the AMT has had an engine at each end, not two at the front. Taken June 10th.  The same day Mike caught AMT 4117, on lease from NJ transit, leading a westbound through Montreal West at rush hour. The train will terminate at Hudson, current end of the line for the (ex-CP M&O) Lakeshore line


 Alex Mayes photographed former AMT FP7A 1301 (ex-MUCTC 1301, nee-CP 1427/4071) on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley's “New Tygart Flyer” crossing the Tygart River as it backs out of the Elkins, WV boarding area on May 29, 2011.  The four hour excursion takes passengers on a 48 mile round trip on the former Western Maryland Railway's GC&E Sub along Shavers Fork of the Cheat River.  At High Falls of the Cheat, passengers can detrain to walk to the 18 foot high, 150 foot wide scenic falls.  Although both FP7s on this train wear the Western Maryland Railway's black and gold scheme, neither are former WM diesels.  The lead unit, No. 243, was originally Canadian Pacific No. 4071, the trailing FP7, No. 67, was originally Clinchfield No. 200.   Lead FP7 No. 243 is flying American flags in observance of Memorial Day.



GO news editor Daniel Dell’Unto:

 GO Transit commuter trains from Kitchener to Toronto, Ontario are on schedule to begin by early December 2011. A one-way trip from Kitchener to Union Station in Toronto will take two hours for an estimated cost of  $14.60, the same as the current bus fare. A one-way trip from Guelph, Ontario would cost $11.70. The GO Transit commuter trains will operate over the Goderich-Exeter Railway’s (GEXR) Guelph Subdivision from Kitchener to Georgetown and then over CN trackage into Toronto. Plans are for two trains departing each morning, Monday to Friday and the two trains will return in the afternoon and evening. There is currently no weekend service scheduled, however a schedule may be released within two months. Construction has begun on a $5-million layover facility in Kitchener that will see the storage of GO Transit trains overnight. The transit hub will be served by VIA Rail, Grand River Transit, Greyhound and GO Transit.

 GO is also launching increased service on its Barrie train line starting in September, Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne announced Wednesday. There will be another morning and evening train daily to serve 650 more commuters on the line that already attracts 12,000 riders a day."But I think the numbers will go way beyond that. Every time we expand service, the ridership outstrips the service," said Wynne. Barrie will also get another station in the fall. The Allandale station on the waterfront will provide 120 more parking spots, in addition to the 620 at the Barrie south station. ... Although the additional trip is good news, local councilors are already clamouring for weekend service, something that isn't yet scheduled, she said. Since it restored the Barrie service in 2007, GO has been running eight trains a day up the line - four in each direction. The trip takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes with stops. The Barrie train was cut in 1993 but has exceeded ridership expectations since GO re-launched the commuter service.

 The Toronto Transit Commission continues to receive its new Toronto Rocket subway cars from Bombardier. They are trucked down car-by-car via flatbed truck from Bombardiers Thunder Bay plant to the TTC's Wilson Yard, unloaded and assembled into their respective trains.

 As of mid-June, deliveries are up to the 5420 and 5430 groups. The trains delivered have not entered revenue service as of yet, but some can frequently be seen running as test trains. It is expected they will initially enter service on extra rush-hour runs, to avoid unfamiliar crews getting them during crew changes/swaps on regular runs.

 Tenders were issued in April/May for the sale and disposal of 37 H4 class subway cars, and up to 33 more H4 class subway cars. The oldest subway cars on the system, the H4 cars were built by Hawker Siddeley Canada (whose heavy rail division eventually became Bombardier) in 1973 and operate on the Bloor-Danforth line, mainly in rush hour and are expected to be the first cars retired when the new Toronto Rocket trains enter service. Of the 88 built, 44 remain in service with a number of others retired or converted to work cars.

 The governor of Lagos, Nigeria recently made a trip to the TTC to tour the facilities and inspect some of the subway cars that will be made surplus by future new Toronto Rocket deliveries. It is expected the H6 class cars, built in 1986-1989 by UTDC/Can-Car Rail (formerly Hawker Siddeley) are the ones considered for purchase for a new Lagos light rail line.


 © CRO July 2011