The consortium composed of Bombardier Transportation and Alstom Transport together with the Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) unveiled Montreal's new metro cars. The first nine-car train was presented to the Government of Quebec, the city of Montreal and other high-profile guests at a celebration of this important moment at Bombardier's La Pocatiere plant.
The consortium is completing trials on the prototype train at the La Pocatiere plant and expects to ship the cars to Montreal in early 2014, where it will begin qualification testing, with the STM, at metro facilities.
The event gave guests the opportunity to tour one of the metro cars with the 600 employees looking on proudly. On behalf of the Bombardier-Alstom consortium, Raymond Bachant, president, Bombardier Transportation North America, emphasized the calibre of the partnership that has made the project a success. "Bombardier and Alstom would like to salute the professionalism, expertise and excellent collaboration provided by our partner, the Societe de transport de Montreal," he said. "These advanced new metro cars will provide STM passengers with the reliable, comfortable and rapid service that a major city like Montreal deserves."
"When the metro was inaugurated over 40 years ago, the City of Montreal in a way entered the modern era. With today's new metro cars, we are clearly in the 21st century. Montrealers will be the primary beneficiaries of a more comfortable and powerful metro, one that makes travel more enjoyable and promotes increased ridership. The metro is vital to Montreal's development. The new cars will soon be an added asset for the city, even as we await the system's extension eastward," stated Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.
According to STM Chairman Michel Labrecque, "This has to be one of the most beautiful trains in the world. We're anxious to get it to Montreal, so we can start the testing process, which will take place over a period of approximately eight months. These cars will certainly be in service for 50 years. They will enable us to not only increase the reliability and quality of services offered to passengers, but also boost ridership in the metro, which currently stands at 900,000 trips per day."
After the ceremony, some guests headed toward the new test track at the La Pocatiere plant, where Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre took the train's controls for a run at standard operating speed, commenting on the power and gentle ride of the new cars.
The STM has ordered 468 of the new-generation cars, with deliveries expected to continue until 2018. They include a series of features that will offer passengers greater comfort, a greater sense of safety, better access, and optimal performance.
More than 150 Canadian suppliers, some of whom are long-standing Quebec companies, are participating in the project, whose Canadian content exceeds 60 percent.