A kink in the Turcot revamp
Plans to beef up train service affected by Dorval Circle delay
The delay of the Dorval Circle project is now also affecting train users.
The project to reconstruct the interchange for cars has been promised for more than a decade, and still has no firm timetable. And while the interchange remake is expected to improve traffic flow for cars, a plan to improve service on the Vaudreuil- Hudson train line can’t go ahead until the circle reconstruction is completed.
Promised as a measure to encourage public transit during the five- year reconstruction plan for the Turcot Interchange, the Agence métropolitaine de transport pledged to add at least four new trips per day, including possibly one late- night departure.
The project to improve service on the line was supposed to be in place in 2013, but was delayed until 2014, and then again until 2015.
Now it seems the Turcot construction, to begin in earnest in June, may be completed ahead of the mitigation measure to improve public transit for those who drive on Highway 20.
Before it can add more trains, the Agence métropolitaine de transport must add tracks and update infrastructure on the line, in accordance with requests by CP, which owns the train line, so that rail traffic can run more smoothly.
However, most of that work has already been completed, or is scheduled to be done by the end of the year.
Agence métropolitaine de transport spokesperson Fanie St- Pierre said the final question mark in the more than $ 70 million project is to add a third track at Pine Beach station in Dorval.
“We have the money to do it, and it is inscribed in our three- year capital budget ( ending in 2017), but we can’t say when it will happen, because it has to be done only once work is completed on the Dorval Circle.”
The Dorval Circle project, which has been promised for more than a decade, still has no firm timetable. The project’s design, however, appears to be known and it includes the demolition and reconstruction of a train overpass.
Vaudreuil- Hudson, the AMT’s second busiest line, currently has 27 daily trips on the line during weekdays and less than a handful on weekends, compared with 49 daily weekday trips for the busier Deux- Montagnes line.
Work to improve the line has been progressing gradually over the years. A $ 35.7- million project to build a third track on the 4.8- kilometre stretch between Vendôme and Montreal West is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The third track i s necessary because under the current track configuration, one delayed or broken- down train can paralyze the three lines that use the tracks — Vaudreuil- Hudson, St- Jérôme and Candiac, as well as freight trains.
Some of the work — to move a fibre- optic conduit, improve drainage, add protective barriers to pillars holding up elevated walkways and acquire land to expand the platform of the Vendôme station — had already been done. St- Pierre said the agency expects to be able to lay the track this year, and install the linking lanes and signalling infrastructure by the end of the year.
The new track at Pine Beach is the last part of a $ 38.2- million plan to improve its signalling and switching infrastructure in the West Island, and add a new rail access to the Lachine rail yard in order to pull the trains of the St-Jérôme, Candiac and Vaudreuil-Hudson lines for maintenance.
A new lane to take off defective rolling stock was added in Beaconsfield and Ste-Anne- de-Bellevue.
The AMT also has no firm timetable for a promised new $ 10- million station in Lachine, on Victoria Ave. near the Lachine Canal, as a pilot project. The new station, to be paid by Transport Quebec as yet another Turcot mitigation measure, also could be several years away.
The AMT has identified the site for the future station and parking lot but now must negotiate with the owner for a purchase price. Once it has come to a decision, it will pur- chase the land and then conduct a call for tenders. St- Pierre said the timeline for the new station will only be known once a price has been agreed upon with the landowner.
AMT measures to ease traffic during Turcot reconstruction may not be in place until the work is complete.