November 2011

AMT - Agence Metropolitaine de Transport

AMT news editor Jean-Francois Turcotte:

The third AMT ďdual-modeĒ ALP45DP was shot by Ralph Bonanno sitting at the Oak Island Yard following ship offload at Newark, New Jersey. As it is not wearing any numbers yet, this unit is either AMT 1352 or 1353, as both are expected in Montreal by the late October. AMT now has at three ALP45DP locomotives on the property, with at least three more still enroute from Europe:

AMT 1350 - being tested

AMT 1351 - in transit from Vienna, Austria following weather endurance testing

AMT 1352 - on property

AMT 1353 - on property

AMT 1354 - in transit from Kassel, Germany - currently on CSX

AMT 1355 - in transit from Kassel, Germany - currently on CS

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu wants to fast-track train project: 

AMT has contracted Ontario Northland to refurbish 24 1989-built Bombardier single level cars (#701-708 and #720-735). All cars were pulled from regular service upon introduction of the Bombardier Multilevel cars (3000ís) in early 2011.

AMT is reporting that ridership on its train network was up 19% in September 2011 from September 2010. The Candiac line even experienced a spectacular 58% surge, owing a service increase following partial closure of the Mercier Bridge this summer. While pleased, AMTís president Joel Gauthier also stated that current ridership levels are straining the networkís capacity to its limit.

Fortunately, help is on the way, with Bombardier ALP45DP #1350 and Multilevel cars being regularly tested on the Deux-Montagnes line in recent weeks, and at least two more ALP45DPís on their way from Germany. They are expected to enter service soon to relieve the MR90ís.

On the St-Jerome line, work is progressing nicely on CTC installation, double track extension and sidings construction, all of which will allow two additional trainsets to enter service in 2012. Other minor capacity improvements are expected on the Vaudreuil and St-Hilaire lines. AMT is also considering building multi-level parking lots in some West Island stations to relieve overcrowding in the parking lots.

Citizens and elected officials of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu are aiming for a fast implementation of a commuter rail line linking their region with downtown Montreal. The effort is led by the Eco-Train St-Jean-sur-Richelieu ( - web site in French.  St-Jean is currently served by buses operating on a short headway at peak hours, but service is most often delayed by the chronic congestion plaguing the Champlain Bridge. Delays are expected to reach unbearable levels over the next decade, hence the request to supplement buses by a fast train service.

Two scenarios are considered. The first would extend AMTís Candiac line 14 miles east on CP/MMAís Adirondack subdivision, reaching Iberville, on the opposite bank of the Richelieu River. The second scenario would diverge from AMTís St-Hilaire line at Southwark, using CNís Rouses Point subdivision through Greenfield Park and Brossard to reach St-Jean, then onto the Adirondack subdivision into Iberville.  The latter scenario, while attractive, is however unlikely: CNís Victoria bridge is currently operating at full capacity during peak hours and could not host additional trains without costly improvements.

On the other hand, extending the Candiac line seems a no-brainer, as no major upgrades would be necessary. AMT could simply lengthen Candiac trains from 5 to 10 cars to handle the increased crowd from St-Jean. A drawback however is that service would terminate at Lucien líAllier Station instead of the much superior Central Station.  Eco-Train is pushing for service to being by late 2012 or early 2013.

In October, CP contractors installed a new lead track between Ballantyne (at St-Luc Yard) and the AMTís Sortin Yard. CP is cutting in a new switch on the south side of Ballantyne where AMT trains come off the Vaudreuil Sub to enter Sortin Yard. There is also a siding for covered hoppers carrying plastic pellets at the same spot.


Edited by Dan DellíUnto

(Thanks to Dan Garcia, Brendan Frisina and Michael Da Costa).

GO has started using "L10L" trains on morning Barrie trains 800 & 802 and afternoon runs 801 & 803. An additional locomotive (typically one of the rebuilt F59's) is coupled to the west end of the trainsets. This is done to cope with fall leaves on the tracks causing wheelslip issues on the Barrie line (equipment cycling results in 800's trainset doing a Lakeshore East run as 441). This practice will continue until mid-November. Dan DellíUnto shot it October 7th  The GO Barrie line train #803 is seen departing Rutherford GO Station, with rebuilt F59PH 559 added in front of cab car 251, with 637 pushing on the rear.

The last two F59PH's in for refurbishing, 557 and 563, were in the shops in late September getting work done. Units 557-564 are being refurbished for continued use on the GO Transit system. Units 520-556, which were all on roster until a few years ago, have been replaced by GO's fleet of MP40PH-3C units and retired & sold off.

The 10 GO F59PH units (543, 544, 545, 548, 549, 550, 552, 553, 555 and 556) that were sold directly to AMT in August 2011 have been stored at VIA's TMC due to space constraints by AMT. The units have been tarped, had their exhaust stacks covered and new batteries installed. It is expected they could move as early as November.

 It's been a year since it derailed, but MP40PH-3C 610 is nearly ready to return to service. This MP40 was the one that derailed while pushing a morning Richmond Hill train in October 2010, on CN's Bala Subdivision.

Bombardier Bilevel 2769 was noted at GO's Willowbrook Yard in late September. It is part of GO's most recent bilevel purcahses: cars 2755-2770 (regular coaches), 2547-2549 (accessible coaches) and coach cab car 254.

The latest GO bi-level deliveries:

2768 interchanged for delivery, to CN at West Toronto September 21st (likely delivered to GO)

2769 interchanged for delivery, to CN at West Toronto September 28th (confirmed delivered to GO)

2770 interchanged, received by CP at Thunder Bay October 3rd (en route to CN/GO for delivery)

Cab car 254 and accessible bilevels 2547, 2548 and 2549 have not been released for delivery as of early October.

For a roster of the most recent GO bilevels:


Walter E Pfefferle caught GO 622 heading past the location of the now gone Sunnyside station in Toronto Ontario on Sept. 26 2011.


Track is laid and switch is cut in for the two GO Storage tracks just west of the Trillium Pk spur switch in Kitchener at King Street West. The ballast is in, but not temped yet. . . The GO office is built, not finished and protective fencing around the compound has posts but not wired yet. The tracks dead end on the west end at Park St.

At the current CN/VIA Station at Weber St: Fri they closed Ahrens Street crossing. That is the one on the East end of the existing VIA/CN platform. Apparently GO will be constructing a new platform from the Kitchener Station eastward to near Margaret Ave overpass.

Warren Mayhew submitted these shots he took of GO train activity while in downtown Toronto October 7th:

GO MP40 634 arriving inbound on off the Barrie or Georgetown line at Bathurst St in the morning.

GO MP40's congregate at Bathurst St! The two units sitting on the left are waiting to deadhead west to Willowbrook, the unit in the middle is heading west as well, possibly on a morning westbound or out of service train. The train in the background is from either the Barrie or Georgetown lines with a load of passengers bound for Union Station. 

Side view of GO 628, your typical MPI MP40PH-3C, at Bathurst St.

GO Transit trainsets resting at Bathurst North Yard after rush hours. 600, 635 and five other sisters wait for the PM rush hours to start.

 In this view of Union Station, one can see the cutout section in the roof of the train shed for the large glass atrium, which is part of the ongoing Union Station revitalization project. Tracks 11 and 12 have been closed off until construction is completed, and the VIA trains that normally use those higher-numbered tracks have been relocated to some of the "GO" tracks.

While at Burloak Drive the morning of October 5th, Warren caught GO 561 (with 636) operating in "L10L" configuration doing a Lakeshore West run. Due to equipment cycling, one of the Barrie line trains makes morning/afternoon runs on the Lakeshore corridor, following the morning rush hours.

AirLINX Transit Partners was awarded the contract to design, build and finance a three-kilometer (1.9 mile) rail line for the Air Rail Link. Metrolinx will own and operate the ARL, providing express rail service between Canada's two busiest transportation hubs, Toronto Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The ARL will be in service in time for the TO2015 Pan / Parapan American Games. The service is expected to eliminate 1.2 million car trips in the first year of operation alone. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2012.

The line will branch off the Weston Subdivision (GO Georgetown corridor) and connect to Toronto Pearson with a new passenger station at Terminal 1.

The selection of AirLINX Transit Partners as the preferred bidder is the result of an open, fair and competitive procurement process, which was overseen by a fairness advisor. The consortium's key team members include Aecon Construction and Materials Ltd. and Dufferin Construction Company. Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx will begin negotiating contract details with the preferred bidder. Project costs will be announced publicly following completion of negotiations and financial close, both expected in early 2012. This section of the ARL project will be delivered using the Province's alternative financing and procurement delivery method, managed by Infrastructure Ontario.


© CRO November 2011