December 2011

AMT - Agence Metropolitaine de Transport

AMT news editor Jean-Francois Turcotte:

AMT “Hot” Tunnel:

AMT’s Mount Royal tunnel has been the hot topic of debate and discussion over the last month. The tunnel is currently used solely by the Bombardier-built AMT electric multiple unit sets, but will start hosting Mascouche trains hauled by the new dual mode ALP45DP locomotives starting in 2013. Despite operating through the tunnel in electric mode, each locomotive can still carry up to 1700 gallons of flammable diesel fuel, a fact that has alarmed the media and elected officials, because the 3.1miles-long tunnel does not have any ventilation shaft, emergency exit or fire suppression system. In 2007 AMT ordered in a risk evaluation of the tunnel, which has not been released to the public despite the media’s insistence, fuelling the debate.

Many observers call for the tunnel to remain 100% fuel-free, which would require a full and costly electrification of the not-yet-in-service Mascouche line. It would also disavow AMT’s controversial strategy of using dual-mode locomotives. On the other hand, while the tunnel doesn’t comply with the most recent safety standards, it still is structurally sound. Moreover, the dual-mode ALP45DP’s have been custom-designed precisely because they will be operating through the non-compliant Mount Royal and Hudson River tunnels, and include advanced safety features such as a built-in fire suppression system in the engine room. This is a far cry from the VIA FP9A’s that were pulled through the tunnel with CN box cabs until 1995.

Historical note: in 1946, two deadheading sleeping cars caught fire upon leaving Central Station, resulting in 4 deaths. It took 10 hours for the firefighters to extinguish the fire – and no flammable diesel was involved back then.

AMT “dual-mode” ALP45DP status as of Dec 1st. 2011:


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 - on property

AMT 1355 - on property


Charles DeJean clicked the AMT test train with the new ALP-45DP  Bi-power locomotive doing some sharp curve tests at Exporail in St-Constant, QC  The AMT test train is photographed on the Exporail lead through Stella Jones cresoting plant November 22nd.


Ron Visockis caught AMT F59PH 530 westbound at Beaconsfield, QC hauling the new Bombardier cars on June 17, 2011 and AMT4140 with another W-B.

Former AMT FP7A’s on the move: 


On November 13th the Michigan Air Line Railway placed on the CSXT interchange at Wixom, Mich. WCOR 1304 and 1306. These are FP7s ex-Montreal Transport that h Wellsboro and Corning Railroad ave been sitting in Walled Lake, Mich. for several years. Units are going to G. Silcott for work then on to the Tioga Central.


On October 14th. 1982, coasting on the Vaudreuil Sub  STCUM liveried FP7A 1304 hits the curve at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC  (Peter Cotterill photo).


AMT Vignette

 In November 1997, AMT was leasing VIA F40PH-2’s.  During that time on November 17th  VIA 6450 died and AMT 1306 was called up to save the train where Tim Mayhew shot the proceeding on the west island. AMT 1306 eventually got repainted into the AMT Riverrain livery and was sold after retirement.  VIA F40 6450 was to be retired three years later due to an open switch accident on Jan 30, 2000) at Miramichi NB . As well the first three cars have also been retired.

GO Transit

(Edited by Daniel Dell’Unto)


Paul Tatham caught the first GO train on the Guelph sub in 20 years as it passed his house at Mile 44.8. The run was to train crews before the start up date of Dec 19th.



In conjunction with Cummins, GO is planning to re-engine 11 of their MPI MP40PH-3C locomotives with new Cummins QSK95 Tier 4 compliant diesel engines:

The latest and last regular bilevel coach of the current GO Transit order, 2770, was noted on property in late October. That leaves the 3 accessible bilevel coaches and single cab control coach yet to be delivered. As of mid-November, accessible coaches 2547 and 2548 have been interchanged to CN for delivery to GO, and 2549 is enroute in Thunder Bay on CP. Cab car 254 has yet to be released.

Walter Pfefferle caught  GO 644 blowing through the Long Branch Go station in late September.

Toronto Transit Commission


Toronto TTC 4400-series Streetcars: Mock-ups of Toronto's next generation of streetcars  went on display mid-November  giving TTC  riders a chance to step into their new light rail transit trolleys at their Hillcrest yard. The modern streetcars are lowfloor to ensure full accessibility, air conditioned, and will carry almost two times the number of passengers current streetcars can hold.


Here is a photo of the older cars they will be replacing.




© CRO December 2011