November 22, 2016 3:55 pm

Bombardier signs deal to operate Montreal’s AMT network

WATCH ABOVE: The AMT is considering purchasing double-decker train cars and while some commuters hope to benefit, others question if it's money well spent. Global's Tim Sargeant reports.

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Bombardier has inked a deal with Montreal’s suburban transit authority, the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT).

The Quebec company will continue to maintain the fleet of 264 railway cars and 41 locomotives for the AMT, but as of July 1 will also operate the trains using its own employees.

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The deal means the transportation giant will operate trains on Canada’s three largest suburban rail networks.

The eight-year agreement, which took effect last Friday, is worth $331 million and includes a two-year option to extend the contract.

READ MORE: Tens of thousands of AMT passengers frustrated by empty promises

The aircraft and railway manufacturer already operates trains on the Go Transit system in Toronto and West Coast Express in Vancouver, said spokesman Marc-Andre Lefebvre.

It employs 125 workers in Montreal, some 900 in Ontario and about 50 in Western Canada for railway maintenance and operations.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) expects to hire about 100 people to run the trains for AMT’s commuter services on six rail lines that stretch beyond the Island of Montreal to outlying communities.

WATCH BELOW: Public transit in Montreal

Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) and Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) indicated a year ago that they no longer wanted to operate the locomotives even though they owns some of the railway tracks, the AMT said.

“Upon reflection, we decided that the best strategy was to contract all our activities to one supplier,” said agency spokeswoman Fanie Clement St-Pierre.

Bombardier could hire the CN and CP conductors.

READ MORE: Group fights to launch $1.5B lawsuit against STM, AMT

The AMT said the contract with Bombardier could be modified if the Caisse de dépôt builds a 67-kilometre electric train network priced at $5.5 billion that will service the Deux-Montagnes line as of 2020.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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