Long-awaited safety improvements coming to Montreal West train station

Click to play video: 'Long-awaited safety improvements for pedestrians coming to Montreal West train station'
Long-awaited safety improvements for pedestrians coming to Montreal West train station
Safety first is the plan for the facelift of the Montreal West train station. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports on the much-anticipated improvements – Apr 14, 2023

Long-awaited safety improvements are coming to the Montreal West train station.

Construction to extend the underground pedestrian tunnel that connects the north and south platforms is on schedule and on budget, according to Exo spokesperson Jean-Maxime St-Hilaire.

The pedestrian tunnel extension and new glass structure entrance on Sherbrooke Street are expected to cost almost $30 million.

The tunnel currently runs under part of the tracks linking two of the station’s three platforms.

The extension will span the entire distance and link Broughton Road on the south side to Sherbrooke Street on the north side.

“We are building this new entrance on the north and south side of the tracks so they don’t have to walk through this level crossing to get to their platform,” St-Hilaire said.

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“It will be safer and it will be better this way.”

One of the busiest stations on the Island of Montreal, three sets of tracks run through the station, carrying thousands of daily passengers on three different train lines.

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More than 100 trains on a daily basis travel through the station and converge with pedestrians and vehicles at the two level crossings on Westminster Avenue and Elmhurst Avenue.

It’s a hazardous situation during rush hour for a number of daily users, St-Hilarie admits.

“The amount of kids and students that come through here, added to the local traffic, I think more safety improvements are sorely, sorely needed,” commuter Kevin Thiruchelvam said.

While no incidents have been reported, according to Exo, the transit authority has hired two police officers at both level crossings to monitor the area.

“It’s unfortunate that the intersection was poorly designed and it’s a waste of police time and police money,” commuter Miki Harrah said.

In a move to improve safety surrounding the station, once the tunnel is complete, commuters will no longer be able to access the centre platform from the street level crossing from either side.

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Commuters will have to use the two official entrances to access the platform situated between the tracks.

The tunnel is expected to be completed by early summer, according to Exo.

The new building will not be completely accessible.

While elements for an elevator system are incorporated in the new build, the site will not have access to a lift.

Exo says it is currently working on finding ways to install a lift system in the older building to connect the north and south side of the tracks.

Construction of the third platform is slated to be finished in late August, in time for the return to school.

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