Usually a freshly completed paving job is a good thing, but work recently done at commuter train stations on the Deux-Montagnes Exo line is sparking outrage.
On a recent walk by the Deux-Montagnes train station, long-time commuter- train user Bruno Leroux noticed it had a fresh new look.
“I saw that they put new pavement on the platform,” he told Global News.
The platforms had been resurfaced with a sleek new layer of asphalt. Immediately, Leroux was puzzled and upset, because work to completely redo the station as part of the massive REM light rail project is set to begin in mid 2021.
“As we know, everything here will be destroyed for REM construction next summer,” he said.
He took his anger to the popular Mouvement/Rally Train Deux-Montagnes group where train users congregate, and posted a few pictures of the paving job. Dozens of people shared in his outrage. Users of the old commuter train system have been repeatedly frustrated as work on the new system has made their journeys to work far longer.
“We’ve been asking for months for them to put some more buses to go downtown, not to redo the pavement of the platform,” Leroux explained.
He pointed out the new paving work even totally hides a yellow line showing people where to safely stand clear of the coming train. Train users reported the same paving work had been carried out at other stations between Deux-Montagnes and Bois-Franc, which will all be redone during REM work.
“It’s a waste of money for sure,” said Leroux.
Although the fresh paving job has drawn a lot of criticism from train users, authorities say there’s a very good reason for it.
“In order to eliminate all risk for clients in case of a fault in the electrical network, it was necessary to pave the cement platforms,” explained Exo spokesperson Gina Guillemette.
She said Exo had paved five stations that are still in use on the Deux-Montagnes line, because the new asphalt acts as an insulator and eliminates conductivity.
Leroux said he doesn’t buy it.
“The train has been an electric train for the past 25 years. Why do they suddenly need to change the pavement on the platform? It was already an electric train,” he said.