REM - Laying Down the Tracks
The fully automated REM system will span 67 kilometres with 26 stations, transforming the Metropolitan Montreal Area transit system.The new, more efficient, frequent and hopefully more reliable service will connect the South Shore, Downtown Montreal, the West Island and Airport Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau. Once completed, the REM will be one of the largest automated transportation systems in the world - after Singapore, Dubai andVancouver.The first trains are expected to be running by 2021.
As the REM project moves ahead, it's hard not to notice the growing number of construction sites alongside parts of Highway 40, to and from the West Island - an integral part of the whole network.And it will soon become even more apparent.
Just a few weekends ago, the magnitude of the work needing to be done became clear when 8 kilometres of Hwy 40 had to be closed in both directions between Hwy13 and St-Jean Blvd. for almost 30 hours. A railway overpass (part of the former Doney railway spur), needed to be demolished. It will soon be replaced by an REM elevated structure. It might have been highly inconvenient for motorists, but it was certainly an impressive feat when considering over 2000 cubic metres of concrete was demolished and all cleaned up in that time.
Now that the overpass has been taken down, they will begin focusing on construction of a 12km elevated structure running along Hwy40. Two new modern structures will be built where the demolished overpass was located and where two REM branches will also meet: the branch running toward the Montréal-Trudeau Airport (an underground route) and the branch running toward Sainte-Anne-deBellevue (elevated route).
So what comes next? What can West Islanders expect? And what will it all look like in the end? - The REM preparatory work in the West Island started in Spring 2018, consisting of geotechnical surveys, location and relocation of public and municipal services - all a prerequisite to design and construct the various infrastructures. In the Autumn of 2018 we already saw the demolition of the railway overpass - which has made way for laying the foundation for a continuous elevated structure on the whole branch, including installation of superstructures, excavation at the Technoparc and boring of the Airport tunnel.There has also been preparatory work towards the Pierrefonds-Roxboro branch since mid-September. Details of the work have not yet been released.
Do you plan on using the REM? Will it be easy for you to access by foot or bus? Is Station Parking an important issue for you? Let us know!
REM Hwy 40 Overpass Demolition ( More photos to see online: www.mtltimes.ca
REM - Airport tunnell - Artist conception