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REM trains arriving in Montreal


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Reece Martin was at yesterday's event for the unveiling of the first REM vehicles. He made a great video showing the new trains and all the interesting new features. I invite you to go check it out!

The REM have also released more details on the specs and features of the new trains. I have attached it below.

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12 things to know about the rolling stock

rame-deux-voitures.jpg

1. Metropolis 🚈

212 Metropolis cars will be commissioned on the REM network. Each departure will use a four-car train at peak hours and two cars at off-peak hours to save energy.

2. Weight and size 📐

Length: 76.20 m (250’) at peak hours
Width: 2.94 m (9’8’’) or 17% wider than Azur cars
Height: 3.90 m (12’10’’) excluding the pantograph
Maximum weight: 232 tonnes

3. Capacity 📈

Theoretical capacity: 600 passengers
Maximum capacity: 780 passengers
Seats: 128
This represents over 100,000 trips on the main Rive-Sud–Bois-Franc segment during morning rush hour (6 to 9 a.m.).

4. Frequency 🕒

Maximum frequency upon commissioning: 2 min 30
Maximum system frequency: 1 min 30
This means it will ultimately be possible to increase the frequency (and hence the capacity) so that the demand can be met without building new infrastructure.

5. Speed 💨

The average speed in motion will be 51 km/h. The REM will be able to reach its maximum speed of 100 km/h at a number of locations, such as on the Samuel De Champlain Bridge and on the West Island.

6. Automated

The REM is fully automated (maximum GoA 4 level). The driverless network is therefore permanently operated and monitored from a Command Centre. These systems ensure one of the highest levels of reliability and safety in the world. A number of lines in Vancouver, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore and in many other cities have been using similar systems for about 20 years now.

7. Electric 

The network is powered by a 1,500 V catenary and the engines consume over 300 kilowatt hours. This mode of electric transport will emit no greenhouse gases (GHG) and will reduce emissions by 680,000 tonnes over 25 years in operation.

8. Accessible 

One of the REM’s unique features is that the 26 stations will offer universal access and be equipped with elevators. Cars have been designed to meet specific accessibility requirements. A life-sized model was reproduced in Montréal and was tested by people with reduced mobility to make sure that everything was in order before manufacturing began. Reserved spaces may be used for strollers, baggage or bicycles. Colours were carefully chosen to make effective use of contrasts and make elements such as doors and grab rails easy to identify for people with visual difficulties.

9. Platform screen doors 🔐

Platforms will be protected by screen doors that will open and close at the same time as the metro doors. This technology is often used in Europe and Asia, but this will be a first in North America. In addition to increased passenger safety, these screen doors prevent objects from being dropped onto the tracks—one of the main causes for delays in the metro. This feature guarantees reliable service for your commutes!

10. Capacity indicator 👉

Capacity indicators above the screen doors will indicate which cars are full and which are not. This will distribute passengers better and make them more comfortable since they can choose the right cars before boarding.

11. Wi-fi, heating and air condition 👍

The REM will be heated in winter (by means of ventilation and heated floors) and air conditioned in the summer. Unlimited, high-speed Wi-Fi will be available, which will be useful for both daily users who want to listen to their programs and tourists coming from the airport.

12. Designed for winter 

Russia, Finland, Poland… Alstom has successfully led railway projects to completion in countries that have extreme winter conditions. Every possible feature has been designed for operation in Montréal’s conditions, including heated door thresholds and floors, heated automatic couplers at the ends, ice protection equipment, heated windshields and ice scrapers on the pantographs. In 2020, Alstom will conduct static tests on the metros, the equipment and their features in one of the best climatic chambers in the world (in Vienna), and dynamic testing will then take place in Montréal prior to commissioning.

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Then yesterday they released 5 points on the trains. (A lot of repeat from the above, but with more detail and information).

Five things to keep in mind regarding REM cars

1- Characteristics of the car 

The first cars arrived last October and you had the opportunity to see them today. What you saw was the first four cars of a fleet that will eventually be made up of 212 cars. And you will certainly see many other cars arrive in Greater Montréal in the coming months! 

The REM is an automated light rail system made up of Alstom Metropolis-type cars. This model has proven successful and over 5,000 cars carry passengers every day in cities across the world such as Paris, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Dubai and Sydney. This model has certainly proven to be reliable. Read on and discover how the car was adapted for Montréal in terms of its design and also to ensure year-round performance even during harsh Québec winters. Indeed, the design and operational features were specifically adapted to ensure the system can perform in winter conditions.

When operational, each departure will use a four-car train at peak hours and two cars during off-peak hours to save energy.

A few interesting facts about REM cars: 

  • Length: 76.20 m (250’) at peak hours
  • Width: 2.94 m (9’8’’) or 17% wider than Azur cars
  • Height: 3.90 m (12’10’’) excluding the pantograph
  • Maximum weight: 232 tonnes
  • Theoretical capacity: 600 passengers per car
  • Maximum capacity: 780 passengers per car
  • Seats: 128
  • The average speed in motion will be 51 km/h. 

For your comfort, the cars will be air-conditioned in summer and heated in winter. A WiFi network will be accessible so you will also be able to catch up on your favourite TV shows during your journey. 
The network will be powered by a 1,500 V catenary and the engines will consume over 300 kilowatt hours. This mode of electric transport will emit no greenhouse gases (GHG) and will reduce emissions by 680,000 tonnes over 25 years.

2- Cars designed and tested for winter

The Montréal car was specifically adapted for the city's climate of hot, humid summers and very cold winters. 

The following characteristics were designed with these extremes in mind:

  • Heated door thresholds and floors;
  • Heated automatic couplers at the ends;
  • Ice protection equipment;
  • Heated windshields;
  • Ice scrapers on the pantographs, etc.

Furthermore, over the coming weeks, you will be able to see the first cars travel along a 3.5-km segment from the Brossard station to just before the Panama station. This segment is referred to as a "representative segment" since it reproduces all of the system components that will be found on the 67-km REM route and allows for testing of various elements of the network. Over a 13-month period, the entire system will be tested, from stations and platform screen doors to catenary, rails and the automated system. 

The cars will also be put through their paces during static tests of the metros, the equipment and their features in one of the best climatic chambers in the world in Vienna. During these tests, the cars will be subjected to major temperature fluctuations and also to extremely low temperatures.

3- Universal access

One of the REM’s unique features is that the 26 stations will offer universal access and be equipped with elevators. Therefore, the cars were designed to meet specific accessibility requirements.  

A virtual model and a life-sized model were created in Montréal and tested by several people with reduced mobility to make sure that everything was in order before manufacturing began. Eight spaces in each four-car train will be reserved for people with reduced mobility or may be used for strollers, baggage or bicycles. The colours were carefully chosen to make effective use of contrasts and make elements such as doors (dark green) and grab rails (fluorescent yellow) easy to identify for people with visual difficulties.

4- Design inspired by Montréal

The car design is also particularly interesting because it was inspired by the city of Montréal, its iconic landmarks (Mount Royal and the St. Lawrence River), and its history (Expo 67). The public chose the most popular design during a 2018 survey. The Saint-Laurent model came out on top (42%), ahead of the Expo (29.5%) and the Mont-Royal (28.5%). The most prevalent comment was that the public preferred this clean, timeless design, as well as its headlights, which evoke the cables of the new Champlain Bridge. 

The team also opted for one of the largest wraparound windows at the front of a light rail so that all passengers including young children can enjoy the views since the REM will travel mainly above ground.

5- An automated system that offers breathtaking views of Greater Montréal

A final feature: The REM will be fully automated, meaning it will have no driver and will be operated from a command centre. This technology is widely used today and has shown the highest reliability rates in the world. The REM will benefit from the most advanced automation technology, the GoA4 system. 

System automation is also beneficial when it comes to departure frequency. The current anticipated frequency on the central segment is 2 min. 30 sec. during rush hour and 5 minutes during off-peak hours. The system will be able to adjust the frequency as required in order to serve a greater number of users at specific times. For example, if the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup, we could increase the departure frequency to cater for a higher number of passengers. 

Lastly, since there will be no driver on board, you will be able to ride at the front or the back of the train and enjoy the view from one of the largest wraparound windows in a light rail system. From the elevated structure, you will fly over the traffic while enjoying several impressive views across the city.  Find out more about the views and landmarks you can enjoy from the comfort of the REM by reading this article

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Montréal made sure they would get vehicles that are appropriate for our Winters. I was stunned to read in a La Presse article, that there are many important features that seem not to be included in the ones Ottawa ordered. Our cars in in Ottawa, contrary to what was advertised, are poorly equipped for Winter. I am wondering what this will have as an impact on their lifespan. The REM, I am sure, will be more reliable under harsh conditions.

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