AMT COMMUTER/GO TRANSIT/WEST
AMT Agence Metropolitaine de Transport
AMT News Editor Jean-Francois Turcotte
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AMT is proceeding with overhaul of ten GMD-built F59PH locomotives (nos.
1340-1349 inclusive), acquired from GO Transit in 2011. These 23-year old units
have travelled between 700 000 and 900 000 miles over their passenger service
career in Toronto and Montreal,
The work is being done by Brookville Equipment Corporation over a two years
period, in their Brookville, PA shop. Units 1340, 1343, 1346, 1347, 1348 and
1349 will be done first. Units 1341, 1342, 1344 and 1345 are currently in
service, and will be done later.
At press time, AMXX 1347 and 1349 had departed Montreal.
On April 16th one of the first six, AMXX 1349 was photographed on a
westbound CN freight on the Kingston Sub, destined to MacMillan Yard in Toronto.
On April 24th, Ken Goslett snagged another unit (AMXX 1347) leaving
Montreal on CN 377, being transported from Pointe-St-Charles, QC to Brookville
Locomotive in Brookville, PA via Toronto.
AMT and CN reached an agreement allowing the ALP-45DPís to operate again on CN
trackage. AMT will fund 75% and CN will fund 25% of the lower-class trackage
upgrades required for safe operation of these heavy and powerful units. AMT is
now targeting retroducing the ALP-45DP on the St-Hilaire line by June 2013 and
on the Deux-Montagnes line by Fall 2013 Ė on the latter, the ALP-45DP will enter
service after work is completed on the Jct de líEst grade separation.
In the mean time, the ALP-45DPís are now widely used on the Vaudreuil-Hudson and
St-Jerome lines, in diesel mode. In late March, AMT began using a single unit
on most trains (it earlier used one unit at each end). A single ALP-45DP can
power up to 8 Bombardier Multilevel cars (3000ís) or up to 10 Bombardier Bilevel
cars (2000ís). However, they do not seem powerful enough to power 10
Multilevels and still meet the published schedule, in diesel mode at least.
Other diesel-powered lines continue to use F40ís (St-Hilaire) and F59ís (Candiac).
ALP45-DP 1365 with BBRX reporting marks (Bombardier) was photographed on a
CN WB at Blair Street in Oshawa on April 1st, and was sitting at GO
Mimico yard April 3rd. The loco is destined to CRCR, a rebuilding
outfit located in TMC. They are a certified Bombardier warranty facility. It
evidently needed some repair work. The AMT Dual-Mode locomotive will also be
used to publicize a planned electric transit service to Toronto Pearson
International Airport. The line will not be using AL45-DPís of course and will
likely use EMU sets.
Planned service increase on the St-Jerome line in July
AMT and CP are putting the final touches on the trackage and signaling
improvements on the St-Jerome line, which saw CTC being installed from Outremont
to St-Jerome, double track being restored from Maurice Richard (St-Martin Jct)
and Ste-Rose, as well as new signaled sidings in Ste-Therese, Blainville and St-Janvier
(Mirabel). In July 2013, AMT will start taking advantage of these improvements
by increasing the train set count from four to six, allowing increased peak
hours service frequency. AMT will also introduce evening and weekend service.
AMT Multilevels on the Deux-Montagnes line by Fall
As reported earlier, CN and AMT reached an agreement that will allow the
ALP-45DP back in service on the St-Hilaire, Deux-Montagnes and eventually the
Mascouche line. This is a necessary step to use Bombardier Multilevel cars on
the overcrowded Deux-Montagnes line at last, which is expected to happen by
Fall. AMT intends replacing at least two train sets made of 10 MR90 E.M.U. by
Multilevel cars (most likely trains 924/926/904/932 in the morning rush),
increasing the seat count from 900 to 1400 per train. The displaced MR90 will
then likely find their way to a much-needed mid-life overhaul. However,
increasing service frequency on the Deux-Montagnes line is postponed until 4.7
miles of electrified second main track can be added between the current end of
the double track at Val Royal (mile 8.5) and the south end of the
Roxboro-Pierrefonds siding (mile 13.2).
Ready the complete story by Andy Riga in The Gazette.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/Double deckers Deux
AMT irate over train delays, publicly blame CP
Over the last few years, commuter train service has become increasingly
unreliable on lines using CP trackage and employees (Vaudreuil-Hudson, Candiac
and St-Jerome lines, all converging to a Montreal West Ė Lucien líAllier
funnel), which has sparked angry comments targeting at AMT by many users
hampered by late or cancelled train service.
After a disastrous afternoon rush which, on April 18th, saw a broken
rail being replaced between Montreal West and Vendome at the worst possible
time, AMT apparently had enough too and fired an angry-toned letter at CP which
blamed the railway for poor maintenance planning, numerous signaling problems
and switching errors and, perhaps not unsurprisingly, tensed labor relations
since Hunter Harrison took the helm and started shaking up the venerable
Ready the complete story by Andy Riga in The Gazette.
Champlain Bridge LRT
On April 19th 2013, AMT and Quebecís Minister of Transportation
reaffirmed their intention of building a light rail line on the new Champlain
bridge by 2021. The new line would link downtown Montreal to the south shore
suburb of Brossard, near the DIX30 commercial district and would cost around
2B$. The Federal Government has committed 5B$ build a new Champlain Bridge
downstream from the existing structure the bridge, but declined to participate
in funding the LRT line.
Freshly painted AMT Cab Car 708 rolled out of the Ontario Northland Railway
paint shop in North Bay Ontario on April 9th. The ONR just completed a
full refurbishment on the car inside and out, and will return back to Montreal.
ONR GP9 1604 is shown backing the car into the yard while crew members flag the
crossing for the move. The car will then be parked on the yard lead at the south
end of the yard and joined
with CN tonnage arriving from Englehart on the afternoon 214.
During the month of April, continuous welded rail was being delivered to parts
of the (CP/AMT) Westmount Subdivision, which is used by suburban trains in and
out of Downtown Montreal).
A third main track will also be laid between Vendome and Montreal West to
increase capacity and provide some redundancy.
Montreal Commuter Vignette
Glenn Courtney photographed CN
train #955 with a pair of CN Box Cab electrics are stopped at the station in Val
Royal, QC while the switch is thrown which will allow it to go around the
loop, and head back to Central Station in downtown Montreal.
STM Cote des Neiges LRT
On April 24th 2013, the city of Montreal finally released a
long-awaited, yet previously hidden report detailing the planned implementation
of its first modern streetcar line that will run on Chemin de la Cote des Neiges
from Jean-Talon to downtown, including a loop line around the historic
neighborhood on Boul.
Rene Levesque, Berri, de la Commune and Peel streets.
Link to the report, (documents in French):
In short, the 13.2 km line would have 32 stations and run on dedicated r.o.w
over its whole length (with road and parking space being shrunken to make way
for the rails and stations). A maintenance and overnight parking facility would
be built near the intersection of Jean-Talon and de la Savane. Ridership is
estimated at 26.6M of daily riders, providing a 88% cost recovery ratio. Total
cost is estimated at 849M$, which amounts to 64.3M$ per km.
Since no funding mechanism has been identified so far, the new line would enter
service in 2021 at earliest.
The line on Cote des Neiges would be the first of a planned light rail network
that would also see a new line built on Park Avenue and along the CP r.o.w. to
Marche Central, as well as possible future extensions further East on
Notre-Dame, Pie IX and Henri-Bourassa, and further West to Lachine along the
Municipal party Project Montreal is also suggesting building new light rail
lines on Boul. St-Laurent, Mount Royal Avenue, Masson St and within Centre St on
In partnership with IMA Outdoor, in early April GO had announced it
will begin installing free Wifi at its train stations. Clarkson and
Pickering were the first with it installed and activated, with
Oakville following. In a year's time GO expects to have all of its
65 train stations equipped with Wifi, however trains and buses will
not be getting it at the present due to complications with offering
reliable service to those modes.
According to GO transit, seasonal weekend GO Train service from Toronto to
Niagara Falls and back will start on June 29th, and also run on Victoria Day
weekend and Thanksgiving weekend this year. They note that the specific stops
are "Union Station, Exhibition GO Station, Port Credit GO Station, Oakville GO
Station, Burlington GO Station, St. Catharines VIA Rail station, and Niagara
Falls VIA Rail station" only. Summer seasonal schedules have yet to be posted.
Also included in the improvements is a St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake GO
shuttle bus run that will meet with trains at St. Catharines Station.
In addition to this, weekend Toronto-Barrie train service on the Barrie line
will also commence in June, with a GO bus connection from Rutherford Station to
GO has also announced in April it will be increasing the frequency of its
weekday Lakeshore line service, up from every hour to every half hour from
Burlington to Oshawa. This is in part allowed by improvements GO has been making
to the corridor over time to facilitate improved service, including
infrastructure upgrades and adding additional trackage.
Urban Toronto posted shots of the Metrolinx Union-Pearson express rail link
around Pearson Airport, including construction on the elevated portion of the
line leading into the airport section. It is initially expected to open
operating DMU's, with possible future electrification of the line and
neighboring Kitchener (ex-Georgetown) GO line.
And back in late March, CN has sold a segment of the Oakville Sub rail line to
Metrolinx (GO Transit) for $52.5 million CAD. The line was mostly used by GO
Transit commuter trains on the Lakeshore West corridor. The CN press release
states the portion Metrolinx is acquiring is "from near Fourth Line in Oakville
west to a point just east of where CNís freight main line joins the Oakville
Subdivision at Brant Street in Burlington", although some actually report the
portion sold as being from Canpa to Burlington West. Metrolinx previously
purchased the section from the Union Station Rail Corridor to Canpa in Mimico
for $72 million. Just like previous sales, CN will retain freight operating
rights to service customers along the line.
The West Coast Express runs between Mission, BC (MP 87.0 CP Cascade Sub) and
Vancouver's Waterfront Station (MP 129.1 CP Cascade Sub Monday to Friday. There
are five trains that travel West from Mission in the morning and the five trains
return to Mission in the Evening.
For further information and schedules please check out the West Coast Express
In this monthís report Iím covering the Eastern most Station for the
West Coast Express in Mission City, BC.
The location for the photos in this report is at MP 87.0 on CPís Cascade
Mission City can be a very busy location for rail traffic. Both Commuter trains
and freight traffic with the odd VIA Passenger train pass through this area.
The Riverside Sub Junction is located in Mission City.
The tracks cross the Fraser River on the South side of Mission City.
Technically this junction is a wye in Mission City.
Directional running has made this area rather interesting in the past few years.
West bound CN and CP trains headed for the Southside of Burrard Inlet would
cross over the Mission City Railway Bridge and head through the yard at Port
Coquitlam, BC and further into the Port of Vancouver.
Trains destined for the North side of Burrard Inlet would stay on CNís Yale Sub
through CNís Port Mann yard in Surrey, BC and over the Fraser River at New
Westminster then onward to North Vancouver.
The minority of trains head South from Mission would be the CP Sumas turn weigh
The majority of traffic comes off the CN Yale Sub heading north to the CP
Westbound trains headed for the Port of Vancouver come over to the CP side and
Eastbound trains, mainly empties head over to the CP Cascade Sub over the
Those Eastbound trains are headed for the scenic Fraser and Thompson Canyons.
In some of the following photos, youíll see where the eastbound trains coming
off the Riverside Sub access the Cascade Sub.
A follow up story in the future of rail fanning around the Mission City area
would be in order at a later date showing this area much more in depth.
MISSION CITY WEST COAST EXPRESS STATION (MP 87.0 CASCADE SUB)
All Photos by Mark Forseille.
Looking Northwest from the footbridge over the CP Cascade Sub shows this view of
the WCE Mission City Station Platform.
Both photos looking Eastward from WCE Station platform. The track visible
between two triple block signal towers is the Riverside Sub track entering the
Both photos looking Westward from WCE Station platform. The Riverside Sub
enters the Cascade Sub close to Mission West at MP 87.9.
Both photos are taken from the North side of the Mission City WCE station
Some of the WCE Platform signs at the Mission City Station.
An angry recycling character ad, Thanks for riding the West Coast Express, a
Mission City Name sign and a Fare Paid Zone sign.
If our readers have any West Coast Express photos that youíd like to share on
the CRO, please send them to me, and weíll post them in a future CRO report.
AMTRAK IN CANADA
Edited By Terry Muirhead
Andy Cassidy submitted photos of northbound AMTRAK train 510 led by AMTK 821
passing Cumberland at Mile 144.25, on the CN New Westminster Subdivision on
April 11th, 2013.