MONTREAL – It took a total of seven years and more than $2 billion and today, Montrealers were able to see the final product.
Sunday morning, commuters caught the first AZUR train, which left from the Henri-Bourassa station.
Passengers got to ride alongside Montreal mayor, Denis Coderre, who highlighted the train’s environmental effects.
“This is all part of the sustainable development strategy,” he said. “All the collectivities, all metropolises, all cities take that same shift and we’ve done this 50 years ago. So I think that great improvement shows that we are true leaders.”
The cars feature larger windows, wider doors and a new suspension system which helps make the transit a smoother ride.
The new trains, manufactured by the Bombardier-Alstom Consortium, also fit more people as there are no separations between each car – allowing passengers to walk from one side of the train to the other.
“For now, the new trains will be on the orange line here, with the MR-73 and after the fifth train, we’ll start getting the old trains out,” said the Société de Transport de Montréal’s executive director, François Chamberland.
The STM said the new train will be rolled out onto the orange line first, then move to the blue line.
“If we can remove cars from the road because they have easy transportation with public transportation and it’s electric- we have no gas going in the air, so it’s helpful,” said Quebec’s Transport Minister, Jacques Daoust. “It is not an expense, it is an investment.”
An investment that will eventually allow the STM to retire the old MR-63 cars, introduced over 50 years ago.
“Like my predecessor, 50 years ago who had his first trip in the metro, now we have our first trip with AZUR, so I feel great,” said Coderre.
For now the STM has only one train in its possession. It will be tested for 61 days, after which more cars will be added.
The rest are expected to be delivered by September 2018.
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