AMT COMMUTER - GO TRANSIT
AMT Agence Metropolitaine de Transport
AMT News Editor Jean-Francois Turcotte
On May 2nd Kevin Burkholder snapped RBRX F59PH 18523 on the CP Adirondack Sub with AMT train 90. Agence Métropolitaine de Transport has several F59PH’s on long-term lease as their delivered group of ALP45DP’s are still not in service. The AMT Candiac Line train 90 is seen inbound to downtown Montreal with RBRX F59PH 18523 (ex-GO Transit) leading the Bombardier-built AMT bi-levels through Delson, Quebec.
On May 11th at Massena, NY, CSXT train B975-11 (re-crewed B775-10) rolls past the Massena Yard office on the Montreal Subdivision with the CSXT SD60 8667 leading CSXT B40-8 5958 and a trio of spacers bracketing brand new AMT ALP45-DP’s 1367 and 1366.
IN REVENUE SERVICE: Nil
AMT's Newest F59PH’s Arrive in Montreal
Ten former GO Transit F59PH locomotives (ex-GO 543, 544, 545, 548, 549, 550, 552, 553, 555, and 556) were moved in April from Mimico yard in Toronto and are now stored at CN Pointe St-Charles yard. These have been purchased by AMT and will eventually displace older and less fuel-efficient F40PH’s and GP40FH-2’s. They may also be used to increase service on the Vaudreuil line during the Turcot interchange construction.
GO 555 was from the third series of F59PH built for GO in mid-1990’s (serial number A4921) and rated at 3300 HP. The F59PH’s numbered between 536-568 all are 3300 HP.
The week of May 7th CP put into place a new diversion track so that they can begin to replace the Decarie Blvd. Bridge in NDG, Montreal. Obviously, the AMT trains will have slow orders while negotiating the bypass. The new span to be constructed will be similar in appearance to the existing one (a deck girder bridge), and will be able to host three mainline tracks for the AMT suburban trains heading to Candiac, Blainville-St. Jerome and Vaudreuil-Hudson. Clearances for motor vehicles will be raised as access is required to the new McGill Super Hospital being constructed on the site of the former CP - Glen Yard. This project is not without controversy, as AMT have said this new bridge may eventually have to be rebuilt once again in a few years to accommodate a fourth track should the Vaudreuil-Hudson AMT train get upgraded. Ironically, when Glen Yard was in its glory days in the 1940’s-1960’s a third track existed between Montreal West Station (from the South Junction lead), all the way east to Westmount Station and into Glen Yard. Out of service since the late -1960’s it was removed around 1970. The third South Track still exists from the old Glen Yard Limit to AMT’s Lucien L’Allier Station in Downtown Montreal.
Clifford Lincoln, spokesman for the Train de l'Ouest coalition, said May 4th shuttle and commuter service should be fused. The group pushing for more West Island commuter trains is urging Quebec to reject a new proposal for an elevated light-rapid transit system linking Trudeau Airport and downtown Montreal. Aéroports de Montréal pitched the idea May 4th admitting its earlier airport shuttle plan – using Canadian National tracks and Central Station – was not feasible. The latest airport proposal would cost $1 billion, money that should be spent on the Vaudreuil-Hudson train, which serves West Island commuters, said Clifford Lincoln, spokesperson for the Train de l’Ouest, a coalition of environmental groups and West Island municipalities. He said tracks could then connect the Vaudreuil-Hudson service to the airport, which is close to the Dorval commuter train station. “The fact that the (airport’s previous plan) fell through is an opening for Quebec to say: ‘Listen, money is finite, the maximum we can do is fund one project. Let’s fuse the two,’ ” Lincoln said. Quebec can’t “afford two $1-billion train projects, especially when they’re in the same corridor,” he added.
The airport and Montreal’s commuter-train authority, the Agence métropolitaine de transport, tried to develop a joint project but could not agree on a route and went their separate ways in 2010. The airport light-rapid transit system would follow Highway 20 and the Ville Marie Expressway; its downtown terminal has yet to be determined, James Cherry, chief executive of Aéroports de Montréal, said last week. The LRT, which would require government funding, would be modelled after Vancouver’s Canada Line. Cherry said West Island commuter trains could theoretically share the airport LRT’s infrastructure.
Quebec is already spending $22 million on engineering studies for a $1-billion plan to upgrade the Vaudreuil-Hudson line. The proposal would create a dedicated commuter corridor between Ste. Anne de Bellevue and Lucien L’Allier station downtown. This would allow the AMT to bypass freight trains and significantly boost service, now concentrated at rush hour. The AMT wants to triple the number of trains, which will serve the new McGill University Health Centre superhospital and connect to the Vendôme Métro station.
hat started on May 23rd, AMT service to Vaudreuil-Hudson, St-Jérôme and Candiac is not impacted and trains run as planned.
GO Transit News Edited by Daniel Dell’Unto
GO Transit MP40PH-3C 647 was noted in transit on CN 393, leaving MacMillan Yard on May 5th. Upon further investigation, it was moving under Railmove Northwest Inc, billed for interchange to UP to Boise ID. Note that it is unknown exactly why this locomotive is actually on the move, but it could possibly be related to the future Tier-4 repowering. GO Transit has partnered with Cummins in retrofitting 11 of their MP40 locomotives with Tier-4 compliant diesel engines, the first of which is due for testing in late 2012/early 2013. It is possible that Motive Power Industries is involved in the retrofitting (hence the Boise routing), as having a 3rd party such as Cummins do the retrofitting directly may void parts of the warranty. (With info from B.Frisina, B.Miller, and D.Stowe).
On the CN Dundas Sub May 5th, Joseph Bishop snapped GO 647 dead-in-tow on CN 393 as it passed through Lynden, ON destined to Railmove Northwest Inc.
Both of the Barrie line trains (801/800 and 803/802) run with L10L's, typically with an F59PH at both ends. Prior, they ran with an F59 at the cab car (west/north) end, and an MP40 at the rear (south/east) end. The initial reason for this was to avoid slippage on leaves and dirty/wet rail on certain lines, but it has become a common practice.
Deliveries continue with the latest GO Transit bilevel order, currently in the high 2700's. 2789 was spotted enroute to GO at CPR's West Toronto yard for interchange on May 9th. What's interesting is it was tagged with graffiti somewhere along the way. It will likely be delivered to Bombardier staff at the VIA Toronto Maintenance Centre, who give the bilevels a final inspection (as well as clean the tagging off the sides in this case) before it is delivered to GO for revenue service. Incidentally, GO Transit is usually pretty quick in buffing off graffiti that may find its way onto its equipment (with info from B. Frisina and D. Garcia).
As part of their celebration of 45 years of GO Transit service, GO has posted a number of older historical photos on their website and facebook page. Included are various images of inaugural ceremonies and groundbreakings including station groundbreakings and openings, trains on the first day of service, publicity photos, as well as a number of equipment photos including vintage single-level Hawker Siddeley cars and GMD GP40TC locomotives:
With the CP TCRC strike beginning at 00:01 on May 23rd, in the days leading up to it it appeared there would be no GO service on the Milton line (whose trains are operated by CPR crews and dispatched by CPR RTC's). Initially, the union volunteered to keep operating GO trains but management turned the offer down. GO Transit was warning Milton line passengers to find other means of transportation, and suggesting alternate routes to take (bus services, Lakeshore West and Kitchener line trains). But shortly before the deadline a deal was struck to keep GO and other commuter operations on CP running. Milton line GO trains operated as usual on the 23rd, despite the strike.
The new 5381-5386 set was delivered to the TTC in mid-late May. This set was the first built but not delivered to the TTC, instead going to Bombardier's Millhaven ON facility for testing.
The 5391-5396 set (recently at Millhaven after overhaul by Bombardier, mentioned in the last CRO) were spotted on property in early May. This was the second trainset completed, but the first delivered to the TTC. However, it had to leave the property for modifications after extensive testing in non-revenue service.
Set 5551-5556 tested in early May, and then entered revenue service mid-May.
© CRO June 2012