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Stranded on the rails: REM passengers in Montreal sit through 2-hour delay

Click to play video: 'REM passengers stranded on trains after wind storm, power outages'
REM passengers stranded on trains after wind storm, power outages
WATCH: The operators of Montreal's REM train are defending how they handled a power outage that left passengers stranded in the middle of a wind storm. A REM train was immobilized in the middle of the Champlain Bridge for two hours on Wednesday evening. As Elizabeth Zogalis reports, people stuck on the train were left shaken – Feb 29, 2024

REM  passengers were once again left stranded during Wednesday night’s wind and rain storm, some waiting hours on top of the Samuel de Champlain bridge.

Others had to be evacuated in Pointe-Saint-Charles to a Costco parking lot. The outages happened just after 7 p.m. after the grid experienced a power surge, causing three trains to suddenly stop.

“We were stuck on the train in the middle of the highway, no instructions, everyone just looking around,” said Kevin Dalpé, who was on his way home to Brossard when his train crossing the bridge stopped near highways 10 and 30.

“You’re stuck there, you have the wind and the train, and it was one guy who came for like 30 people to get out of the train,” he added.

Passengers on his train were stuck for an hour and a half before someone evacuated them.

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“You have no fence to keep you straight on the platform and also you have the big trucks coming on the two sides,” he said.

It was a nerve-wracking 15-minute walk to the next station, especially for some of the older passengers with mobility issues, Dalpé added, saying there was a lot of wind and everyone had to walk slowly because they didn’t want to fall onto the tracks.

At the same time, passengers were also stuck in Pointe St Charles while another train was stopped directly on the bridge. REM spokesperson Francis Labbé said all three trains were evacuated by just after 9 p.m.

“We didn’t think it would take this long,” said Labbé. He added they are aware passengers are upset but the decision to keep them in the trains was made for safety reasons

“We had a crew ready to intervene but it was safer to stay in the trains because people were protected there,” said Labbé.

According to him, crews are working around the clock to make sure they learn from severe weather.

“Are there more efficient systems we could use? More specific methods that will allow us to get these people back sooner,” he said.

In the meantime, Dalpé wants the REM to succeed but says the next time the weather is questionable, he will take his car.

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Click to play video: 'Commuters, Quebec running out of patience over ongoing REM train service interruptions'
Commuters, Quebec running out of patience over ongoing REM train service interruptions

 

 

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