Major milestone for blue line extension: Contract awarded for train control system

Today, the Blue line extension project office awarded the contract for the line's new train control system. The adoption of a communications-based train control (CBTC) system, which is already used by the vast majority of subway network operators around the world, is an opportunity to modernize the Montréal métro's train control system for the entire Blue line.

Train control systems are the brains of underground networks; the use of CBTC will thus be a high‑value upgrade for the Blue line system. The $217,173,941 contract was awarded to Ground Transportation Systems Canada Inc. and includes installation, maintenance and certain options for the CBTC system. The project is funded primarily by the Quebec government, with support from the Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

Replacing the system on the existing Blue line became necessary because the current system is outdated and couldn't be used to operate the extension. The new system consists of devices placed at different points along the tracks and on the train cars themselves that make it possible to detect the location of each train and communicate effectively with them.

The new system will improve train reliability, frequency and passenger comfort when trains stop and start. It will be installed first on the existing Blue line and later on the line extension. The system on the métro network's other three lines will also eventually need to be upgraded.

Progress on the Blue line extension

The Blue line extension is currently under construction. The project office recently issued the final call for tenders for the construction of the tunnel and the excavation of some of the future stations and auxiliary structures (CI12). The project office is currently analyzing the bids received; the bid analysis and assessment results will be available in summer 2024.

The Blue line extension project will add five new stations east of Saint-Michel station, all the way to Anjou, over a distance of some six kilometres.


"Awarding this major contract is another step toward completing the Blue line extension. We've been waiting for this for decades, and now, it's finally happening! This is further proof of our commitment and the significant investments we're making to support and develop public transit in Montréal's east end."

Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Minister and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility

"We're proud to have found the way forward for a public transit project so vital to Montréal's east end. This new milestone shows real progress on the Blue line extension, which has been eagerly awaited for the past 30 years. These five new Blue line stations will see the addition of nearly 15,000 new housing units to the area, fostering growth in Montréal's east end."

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal

"The adoption of a new train control system reflects our shared commitment to efficient public transit for people in the Greater Montréal area. That's why we're here: to meet the needs of our users by delivering fast, reliable, high‑quality public transit."

Benoit Gendron, Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM)

"By 2030, 93% of the STM's infrastructure will be more than 40 years into its useful life. We need to take every opportunity to modernize our network, which is what we're doing by replacing the train control system. The extension will allow all Blue line users to benefit from the new system and its advantages. Modernizing the existing network is the best way to boost the appeal of mass transit while improving service quality."

Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors

"Awarding this contract is a major step toward completing the Blue line extension. The train control system will help coordinate activities at existing and new stations across the Blue line. It's state‑of‑the‑art technology that will benefit both our customers and our operations teams and improve service delivery."

Maha Clour, Lead Project Manager for the Blue line Extension

Source : STM

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