June 18, 2019 5:16 pm
Updated: June 18, 2019 7:43 pm

REM link to West Island ‘on time and on budget’ to be in service as of 2023

WATCH: Work to build the new electric train network known as the REM is moving ahead as planned and on schedule. As Tim Sargeant reports, the entire project is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2023.

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Work to build the $6.3-billion electric train line — the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) — is progressing and is still scheduled to finish on time by the end of 2023.

While reaching that goal might not be easy, there are thousands of workers and officials involved in making the deadline.

In the West Island alone, there are 250 workers on site to build the line to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport.

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More than 14 kilometres of tracks will be elevated with three stations above ground: des Sources; Pointe-Claire and Kirkland. The station at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue will be at ground level, while the Technoparc station in the Saint-Laurent borough and the Trudeau Airport station will be underground.

READ MORE: REM officials lay out mitigation measures for commuters as construction ramps up

A special boring machine will start digging a 3.5-kilometre tunnel between the Technoparc and Trudeau Airport stations this fall.

In Saint-Laurent and Pointe-Claire, massive orange launching beams are on site to help assemble thousands of 50-ton concrete segments used to help support the elevated network.

READ MORE: Montreal commuters grapple with REM construction in downtown core

The beams help workers build part of the rail lines and speed up construction. The process can be seven to fourteen times faster than traditional methods.

“It’s really pretty efficient to build this aerial structure,” Jean-Vincent Lacroix, REM Spokesperson told reporters.

The REM project, covering Greater Montreal, is the largest mass transit network since the opening of Montreal’s Metro in the 1960s.

READ MORE: Expand REM to Laval, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Highway 25: Quebec government

The work schedule is divided into three segments:

The South Shore span, including trains running over the new Samuel de Champlain Bridge, is slated to be delivered by the end of 2021.

WATCH: What will REM trains look like

The downtown section, which is mostly underground, and part of the Deux-Montagnes line, is due by the end of 2022.

And the rest by the end of 2023.

“We feel we are on a good track,” Robert Nadeau, the REM Deputy Project Manager, told Global News.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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