Thursday, March 15, 2018

Quebec’s RTM lays out investment plan to boost rail reliability

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Quebec’s RTM lays out investment plan to boost rail reliability Réseau de transport métropolitain

The Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) in Quebec detailed a five-year plan to improve service reliability along all rail lines and includes investments in infrastructure, rolling stock, operations, maintenance, as well as an enhanced winter operation plan.

RTM says that in addition to the CA$450 million (US$344.7 million) program, it would implement a service guarantee program that will offer user compensation options in the form of discounts or free train tickets; the details of which will be revealed later.

"This plan, well underway when the Ministre des Transports, Mobilité durable et Électrification des transports publicly called upon us a few weeks ago to find solutions to specific problems, aim to find sustainable solutions to specific problems for the benefit of our clients," said Raymond Bachant, RTM's director general.

RTM explained its goal is to deliver a punctuality rate above 95 percent, but prefaced that can only happen with constant coordination with Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. RTM says the improvement plan was developed with its freight railroad partners, as well as input from the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain, the ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports and Bombardier Transport.

Highlights of the plan include replacing electrical components in switching systems to prevent snow buildup and freezing, bridge repairs on the Deux-Montagnes line, additional storage tracks, as well as a locomotive test and wheel reprofiling building at Lachine Maintenance Centre. Additionally, a new maintenance center will be built for the Mascouche line.

The passenger service provider also plans to refurbish MR90 cars on the Deux‑Montagnes line, purchase 20 additional two-level cars and replace 10 F59PH locomotives with new diesel locomotives that can pull longer trains and have a better green footprint.

Regarding the new winter operation plan, RTM says it will work to prevent delays caused by switch and signaling problems with additional staff and equipment acquisitions.