A kink in the Tur­cot re­vamp

Plans to beef up train ser­vice af­fected by Dor­val Cir­cle de­lay

Montreal Gazette - - Front Page - JA­SON MAGDER

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.

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