Montreal’s light rail link to the South Shore will not open this fall as planned, sources say

It looks like Montreal’s new light rail network link to the city’s South Shore will not be operational this fall as planned.

Sources told Radio-Canda that the project has been postponed until the spring. The REM project manager, CDPQ Infra, is expected to officially announce the delay Friday morning.

This announcement comes at a time when commuters to and from the South Shore expect significant delays when the province’s Department of Transportation closes three lanes in the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel for at least three year.

This is not the first time that the opening of the Metropolitan express network (REM) was delayed because the connection between Brossard and Montreal’s Bonaventure-Central station via Île-des-Sœurs was originally scheduled to be inaugurated at the end of 2021.

It was postponed to spring or summer 2022, and then to this fall.

From the station located near Quartier DIX30 on the South Shore of Montreal, the electric train will have two stops to head north, cross the Champlain Bridge and stop at Île-des-Sœurs before head towards the city center.

It will offer commuters a public transit alternative to driving in rush hour traffic or taking the bus.

Eventually, the light rail network will cross the city, but the project has seen its fair share of setbacks over the years.

Just last month, construction came to a screeching halt when the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail du Québec (CNESST) ordered a halt to work on the overhead catenary system on 67 kilometers of track for that investigators are investigating an incident that caused no injuries, but caused considerable damage.

Indeed, a railway maintenance vehicle experienced a technical failure of its connection system. He rolled down the slope of the Champlain Bridge and crashed into the Île-des-Sœurs station.

As for the rest of the network, 18 of the 26 total stations were scheduled to open gradually in three sentences between fall 2023 and fall 2024.

CDPQ Infra later pushed back that plan so that they all open simultaneously by the end of 2024.

On the REM information site, it is still indicated that the first trains should begin to run in 2022 from the South Shore to the Bonaventure-Central station.

Jose P. Rogers