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Réseau express métropolitain (REM)

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According to the geniuses behind this project, trains will be uncoupled and will run shorter off peak. So don't worry, crushloads are to be expected all day all night all the time.

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On 9/4/2019 at 5:33 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

Part of me is still not very convinced that the REM would work very well capacity wise... because I think the problem is that the REM will be used a lot by those working downtown, but these people usually have a similar schedule, so during rush hour there will not be enough room, but off-peak trains will run empty...

If any exo lines had frequent (≤15 minutes) all -day, every day service this might be an issue. But one would be surprised how many people - both in-town and in the burbs - don’t follow a strict “commuter” schedule, or need to get downtown. Show-up and go rail transit in the West Island might take a short while to catch on, but I can’t help but think it’ll be a net-positive for Greater Montreal.

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2 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

Indeed, it seems like today, the ridership is quite diverse  and schedule definitely isn't the same for all commuters. However, if we look at the schedule of the Deux-Montagnes line, we can see that nonetheless, the 8 to 4 (or 5, I don't know which expression people use) downtown-working category of ridership is still quite a large proportion, judging by the number of trips offered at AM rush vs. off-peak periods. 

So what I mean is, the diverse schedule of riders doesn't mean that there is no peak and that the peak capacity problem will be resolved, especially with a train of such little capacity.

As this is a public transit discussion site, I don't think anyone is fundamentally against any transit projects. However, I do think that there are a few serious  problems in this project, and that's where the voice of dissatisfaction comes. One side is the political issues and the economic nature of the developer. On the other side, you have, say, the treatment of current train users. Other problems would be, say, the capacity issues of the new train... or the technology chosen... or the decision to transform a heavy duty rail line to a light rail, etc.

The thing I am also afraid, is that the REM will bring up more condo developments around the line. That is also adding more riders onto the system, and I doubt there is any residual capacity at rush-hours.

So to sum up... off-peak, it's definitely a plus. Peak hours? not sure. 

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Since we are here... you can see more detailed informations regarding the transition plan on this site of Mobilité Montréal: https://mobilitemontreal.gouv.qc.ca/mesures-dattenuation/mesures-dattenuation-pour-le-rem/. They even tell you how many departures are added on certain STM routes but I'll leave that to the STM topic!

I for one was always against this project. The project in flawed, was rushed to serve as an election platform and is going to be plagued with problems. Just look at the political train in Ottawa. They are opening the system despite not being able to operate it a full day without a major problem.

The DM line was not perfect, but could of been improved with higher capcity trains instead of this stupid project, which cuts the Mascouche Line in half and takes away the no transfer option to get downtown for people like me living in the east end. Once again, a transit projects that put the residents of the eastern part of Montreal at a disadvantage. Hopefully now with Chantal Rouleau as a rep of the Transport Quebec will bring something to the east end. She is the former bourough mayor and resident of Pointe-Aux-Trembles.

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The REM will still have much more capacity than the current networks. Only on the Deux-Montagnes line, between 6 am and 9 am, the capacity will more than double. On the South Shore, it will be 56 160 places. I do not think there will be capacity issues in the short or medium term. Even in the long term, the frequency can be increased to 1.5 minutes giving 93 600 places.

Yes the Deux-Montagnes line could have been upgraded for much less but 1. the frequency would not be as high, 2. the operating costs would be higher and 3. we would not take advantage of the integrated network that the REM brings. Connecting the South Shore to the airport in one trip is extraordinary.

Even if I think that the REM will be positive for the entire metropolitan area and especially for the Deux-Montagnes line and west island where I'm currently losing a lot of time, I still have some fears. I do not know if the financial model is suitable for the project. However, I think it is far too early to pronounce on whether it is good or bad. To my knowledge, a government trust fund that is funding a transit project is a first. The biggest mistake that could be made now would be to approve a REM 2 (to Chambly or Laval or East) without knowing the outcome of phase 1.

On 9/11/2019 at 10:00 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

On the other side, you have, say, the treatment of current train users.

This is a good point, yes I will have to spend an hour more in the bus and metro every day in January. But at the same time I wonder: how to transform the DM line into REM while guaranteeing a similar journey time? I see construction more as a "mal nécéssaire" that will end up be profitable for us and future generations.

On 9/11/2019 at 10:00 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

Other problems would be, say, the capacity issues of the new train... or the technology chosen... or the decision to transform a heavy duty rail line to a light rail, etc.

What bad decision in my opinion from CDPQinfra to call it a light rail! It's a subway more than anything else! Dedicated tracks, automatic, fast, high floor and capacity.

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20 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

As a starter, the speed at which this project is progressing doesn't look very kosher...

A mass transit design-build project is new for Montreal. For myself, I'm happy to see such a good progress.  4 years of closure is enough, let's hope it will not take longer!

It's interesting to compare a smaller period, I never thought about it. However, there have never been more than 4 trains per hour, even with the old schedule (2009, 2011 and 2014). Also, 200 person by car seems a lot, normally there are less people standing because of how the car is made (I'll try to count tomorrow!). For the REM car, they will benefit from a different seat layout wich will allow people to stand up between doors which is currently hard on Azur or MR-73 cars.

Even with 2000 place by departure, the REM still gives between 6400 more places (2,5 minutes, 600 capacity) and 23200 (1.5 minutes, 780 capacity) each hour.

And I agree with you on the transition network. This should have been the responsibility of CDPQinfra since day 1 and we have been left without options for way too long.

20 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

I'm not saying I'm against this project. I just want to bring something up.

There is nothing wrong with that, and even, I like it! It allows me to learn more and I imagine it's the same for everyone following this discussion.

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You will never see more than 90~100 persons standing in a MR-90 cars (I've tried 4 different departures in the last three days). This document is old and my guess is at the time they counted people between the seats (try to put 126 dots on the schema without using the end of the car).

image.png.86799afe1a551094aecfc15032d7d3ca.png 

On 9/15/2019 at 10:33 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

Finally, I'm not a big fan of the perimeter seating. Compared to Azur it might make the traffic more fluid, but feet do interfere with standee capacities. Bus but not metro, if you read this the TTC actually found that perimeter seating in the bus decrease the overall passenger capacity.

The rear of the bus is actually quite different from the middle of metro car. When you are in the middle, you can exit from the rear or the front, in a bus, only from the front. In the Metropolis, they could put seats up front but there is the view (my personal favourite 😉). I'll suggest you the following video which explains the different seats layout for NYC subway.

In the end, it's not a question of who lies. There is no doubt there will be more capacity, maybe not as big in a 10 or 30 minutes time frame on the DM branch, but still important enough. Also, TOD are placed where there will be less users or more space (Rive-Sud, Pointe-Claire, Kirkland, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue).

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Without multiquoting the above... IMO the reason it will take time for DM riders to adapt to a show-up-and-go metro is exactly the result of decades of forced rush hour - inadequate off-peak scheduling. So, yes, IMO many will indeed leave that 8-8:30 tranche of (fairly) frequent MR90/multilevel departures once they realize life doesn’t centre on making that 8:36 departure. That said, a very large portion of riders on the system as a whole will likely come from the southern trunk and the southwest branches, with no legacy “commuter train schedule” conditioning.

One other opinion: a one-seat ride for tens of thousands of residents between all these points in Greater Montreal at the expense of forcing a two-seat ride on some 2500 beyond-Mont-Royal exo5 commuters a day isn’t necessarily a terrible thing in the bigger picture. Much like the attenuation measures, “on ne saurait faire d’omelette sans casser des oeufs.”

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Now, could I see the “Line 6” segment of exo5 some day being converted into a REM branch? Yes, it’s a possibility, but I’m not sure it will make financial sense for CDPQ until the potential ridership numbers on the branch were triple what exo5 carries today. This would force a two-seat ride on just the few hundred users from the three off-island stations, while possibly being an impetus for development along sections of the corridor that the current line does nothing to promote.

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10 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

So we'd need new access toward Downtown at some point, or extending the REM platform. Or... why does everything has to happen in Downtown?

CDPQ has an answer to this, and its answer is why it required capture of the land plus-value around its station. Auxiliary economic hubs such as Saint-Laurent―Dorval and Brossard get most of the net job growth in the metropolitan area, while downtown is still the flasghip of them all, concentrating a 30-something % of the jobs located in hubs. In a nutshell : downtown is still the big thing, so people need to get there; peripherial hubs are growing fast, and people need to get there too ― and will get there. 

The capture of the land plus-value is a good give-and-take agreement with the developers : we provide transportation for the workers and inhabitants of your projects, you provide us with riders for our multi-billion train. It's the best way of reaching the goals of 40% growth in TOD areas set in 2011 for the metropolitan area. I strongly doubt the slow, unefficient, one-way, ridiculously scheduled and, most of all, car-dependent commuter rail system would have ever attracted a quarter of the jobs and homes the REM will ever attract.

11 hours ago, SameGuy said:

Now, could I see the “Line 6” segment of exo5 some day being converted into a REM branch? Yes, it’s a possibility, but I’m not sure it will make financial sense for CDPQ until the potential ridership numbers on the branch were triple what exo5 carries today.

I agree. Despite what péquistes think, CDPQ did not make a political stand prefering west island to the east; the political choice of developing the west over the east predates of many decades the train. There are more jobs, that are more concentrated, with also people living there working downtown as well as in the west, yet there are more people and jobs are more scarce in the East. So CDPQ aims (it's a key word here, I don't think it will happen day 1) at having riders in both direction, all day long. It has no interest in building a moneypit one-way, commuter, suburban rail system ― they leave it to the state, which does nothing about transit in the end, rather autoroutes. 

From a metropolitan planning point of view, REM's a damn pretty good deal. But it is a political hot soup.

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On 9/19/2019 at 11:17 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

Oh, and also it's going to be all in dedicated corridor, double tracked, without level crossings... would take forever to have if we are still stuck with DM line, you know Quebec very well.

I’ve often said this in several other fora and social media threads: I’m very aware that REM is plagued with issues and controversies. As @ant6n says, “this project is such a mess.” As well, I’m very aware that this is, first and foremost, a revenue-generator for CDPQ. Public transit as revenue source? That’s pretty novel. Secondarily, it’s a real estate speculation project. BUT, with ALL that said, I am firmly in the camp that believes if the Caisse didn’t walk up to the transport minister’s office with bags of cash in hand and a plan to realize the two long-deferred rail projects, not a single rail tie would be laid towards anywhere in the West Island in our lifetimes. Will I accept a flawed project that will still improve transit options over a large, currently-underserved area? Or should I wait decades more for something that we know will never happen? I’ll choose the former.

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15 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

Public transit companies developing real estate as money generator... it’s probably going to become the norm now.

You might want to open your history books again. Transit operators played a major role in developing cities and their suburbs. Mont-Royal comes on top of my head, but Rosemont, La Petite-Patrie, Villeray, Ahuntsic, Lachine and even Pointe-aux-Trembles, parts of Beauport and someplace along M&SC line had developments that were started by tramway tycoons who bought land to profit tramway operations, and sent trams to then-remote areas to profit real estate operations.

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Same. MTR in Hong Kong is just one example of a transit operator getting into real estate above and around its stations, so that isn’t of concern. And CDPQ already owns a successful RE investment company in Ivanhoé Cambridge, and that company is also rather well connected in partnerships with others (Cadillac Fairview, Devimco, Carbonleo). I expect more of these tie-ups around planned nodes (and possible future infill stations). I wonder if they’ll once again have a stake in a Les Jardins Dorval multi-use development in concert with new owners Strathallen, if the feds and TQ decide the Dorval Circle station is justifiable. Also I expect an announcement about RioCan partnerships (Kirkland, especially) before the system is fully operational. 
 

Rather, one hopes other issues are addressed or mitigated: proper integration with a feeder bus network is of prime importance. STM bus routes in most parts of the West Island are still too meandering for real transit use. Nobody wants to take a laconic 45 minute bus ride just to get from the Pierrefonds to the nearest train station, but in many cases that’s reality. A look at TTC would show us what an effective grid system looks like, and it is entirely adaptable to our situation on the West Island and VSL. My other concern is indeed the fare system, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere. Zoned fares for REM seem rather unfair, considering that the Metro covers about the same amount of territory on the island for the normal base fare and monthly title. A CAM user can get anywhere from PaT to SAdB with no extra fares or fees. I have my fingers crossed that ARTM realizes this. Ditto for the airport “gate fee”: Something similar to Translink’s YVR AddFare would be reasonable, making a single fare ~$10 leaving the airport, but no extra cost to monthly pass users or departing flyers.

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23 minutes ago, webfil said:

You might want to open your history books again. Transit operators played a major role in developing cities and their suburbs. Mont-Royal comes on top of my head, but Rosemont, La Petite-Patrie, Villeray, Ahuntsic, Lachine and even Pointe-aux-Trembles, parts of Beauport and someplace along M&SC line had developments that were started by tramway tycoons who bought land to profit tramway operations, and sent trams to then-remote areas to profit real estate operations.

Yes, this is well understood, but we are discussing it in the modern context.

The tycoons of the past definitely helped found and build cities and towns, and basically created sprawl. The entire notion of “commuter trains” in North America (as opposed to just “trains” elsewhere) was based on the premise of tycoons establishing ersatz “rural living” communities for for white, middle-class office workers, and sold to them based on fears and apprehensions of these people who saw the central areas starting to look and sound “less like them.”

Over the last 40 years or so, the continued public investment in asphalt to build public roadways to service these private communities has led to a steady stream of people from all backgrounds seeking that “American Dream” in the suburbs, while the private passenger railways and trams disappeared and public investment in transit remained sparse. It kind of seems organic that private (or para-public) investors are stepping back in to redevelop both the inner cities as well as offering to operate for-profit transit systems while benefiting from ancillary real estate revenue along these transit lines.

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12 hours ago, Frozen Yogurt said:

Conception might be late but construction is on schedule or ahead of schedule for some parts (according to CDPQi).

If the tunnel needs a new wall, it's gonna be a completely different story... To be continued.

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On 4/29/2020 at 8:33 PM, Frozen Yogurt said:

That *might* be it, (another) tentative tunnel closure date is set: May 11, 2020. So Friday May 8 is the last chance to see commuter trains going through the tunnel. https://rem.info/fr/actualites/covid-19

Also quite possibly the last chance to see our dual mode locomotives used in electric mode.

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On 5/3/2020 at 10:15 PM, Chris_the_traveller said:

Also quite possibly the last chance to see our dual mode locomotives used in electric mode.

 
 
 
 

If VIA Rail's high frequency train plan goes ahead and shares tracks with the Vaudreuil-Hudson line, maybe the ALP-45DP will be used in electric mode?

Otherwise maybe exo will exchange some locomotives with GO for their partial electrification in the future.

On another subject, Ben Lomon shared a photo that shows some MR-90 cars without pantographs. Is it the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the conversion to simple non-powered cars?

 

 

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3 hours ago, FelixINX said:

If VIA Rail's high frequency train plan goes ahead and shares tracks with the Vaudreuil-Hudson line, maybe the ALP-45DP will be used in electric mode?

Otherwise maybe exo will exchange some locomotives with GO for their partial electrification in the future.

On another subject, Ben Lomon shared a photo that shows some MR-90 cars without pantographs. Is it the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the conversion to simple non-powered cars?

 

 

I highly doubt they will convert them to non-powered cars. They have an order of Chinese Double Deckers on the way and have some spare ones already in Pointe-St-Charles just to the right of Ben's photo.

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The REM project will bring some platform changes at Côte-Vertu, this is preliminary information

- The three platforms currently used by STLaval at Côte-Vertu South terminal will be used by the 964 shuttle
- Laval buses are moved either to the STM 17 / 475  platform or to where the layover area on Edouard-Laurin
- STM  Bus # 17 will be moved to a new stop on Decarie near the SAQ
- STM Bus 475 is moved and will share the platform with the 72
- The 968 shuttle gets exclusive use of Quai 13 kicking out the 468 out of the terminal on a new stop on Décarie north of Côte-Vertu

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Wait... people are complaining about trees being cut in an autoroute ROW?

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