Outbound train at Mont-Royal Station
|System||Agence métropolitaine de transport|
Mascouche railway station
|Opening||December 1, 2014|
|Operator(s)||CN Montrain Division|
|Line length||52 km (32 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The Mascouche line is a commuter rail line in Greater Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is operated by the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), the umbrella organization that plans, integrates, and coordinates public transportation services across this region.
Commuter service on part of the line was operated by the Canadian National Railway from 1946 until 1968. The AMT resumed passenger service on the line December 1,2014.
In March 2014, the AMT started running dynamic tests on the new line, which opened for passengers on 1 December 2014.
This line was announced in a press conference on March 17, 2006, and follows a major campaign by the residents of eastern Montréal and the north-eastern suburbs to restore commuter rail service.
The 51-kilometre (32 mi) line uses the Mount Royal Tunnel and Canadian National track from Montreal's Central Station to Repentigny. New track was built from Repentigny to Terrebonne along the Quebec Autoroute 640, before turning alongside the former Canadian Pacific (now the Chemins de Fer Québec-Gatineau) line at Mascouche. The journey time between Mascouche and downtown Montreal is 61 minutes.
Originally estimated at $300 million and expected to open in 2008, the line costed $670 million and opened in 2014. It will eventually have 13 stops (10 new, three existing) and offers 8 departures in each direction per weekday, mainly during rush-hour.
On May 14, 2007, the AMT and New Jersey Transit put out a joint call for tenders to purchase dual-powered locomotives. In Montreal, the locomotives will switch to electric power at Ahuntsic to enter Mount Royal Tunnel to Central Station. This international project is the first of its kind in North America. Twenty locomotives of type ALP-45DP are being delivered to the AMT from Bombardier Transportation.
Two former commuter train lines ran along part of the route of the line. No ridership statistics for either are available.
A temporary service dubbed the "Métropolitrain" was organized by the STCUM from May 15 to October 12, 1990, while Autoroute 40, the boulevard Métropolitain, was being rebuilt. It ran on Canadian National track from near the Du Collège metro station to Repentigny with an intermediate station near the Sauvé Metro station. Two trips ran each way in each weekday rush hour. There was no direct service to central Montreal. As there was no existing regional transit coordinator at the time, the line was never very successful.
- Ste-Croix and St-Louis (Du College Metro)
- Ahuntsic railway station (Sauvé Metro)
- Saint-Leonard, at boulevard Lacordaire
- Rivière des Prairies
- Pointe-aux-Trembles (Bout-de-l'Île)
CN Montreal North commuter line
CN operated a commuter service from Central Station to Montreal North from 1946 until November 8, 1968. An electric locomotive and several coaches ran one round trip a day in each direction, in rush hours only. Stations going east along the CN St Laurent Subdivision from Eastern Junction where it meets the Deux-Montagnes line were:
- Boulevard, at boulevard St. Laurent, which divides Montreal into East and West
- Ahuntsic, site of current VIA Rail station
- Sault-au-Récollet, near rue d'Iberville
- St. Vital, at boulevard St. Michel
- Pie-IX, at boulevard Pie-IX
- Ste. Gertrude, at boulevard Ste. Gertrude
- Montreal North, at boulevard Lacordaire
Ridership was never very high. Near the end, most remaining passengers preferred to switch to the Sauve Metro station on the Orange Line of the Montreal Metro which opened October 14, 1966. Congestion on that part of the line was one of the reasons the Train de l'Est was inaugurated.
List of stations
The following is the list of proposed stations:
This list may be updated as more information is released.
De l'Acadie, Pie-IX, and Lacordaire stations have been renamed Ahuntsic, Montréal-Nord, and St. Léonard respectively, to avoid confusion with the Métro stations bearing the same names. The latter two were again renamed to their current names.
Criticism of route
Most observers agree that the proposed route from Montreal to Repentigny makes sense for several reasons, including the use of existing infrastructure. The route from Repentigny to Mascouche has been criticized for several reasons, including:
- The need to build (some[who?] say unnecessarily) 12 km of track from Repentigny to Mascouche.
- In the Le Gardeur sector of Repentigny, the new track passes very close to a large General Dynamics munitions plant, where explosives are stored and processed. Both GD and Natural Resources Canada, which regulates explosives in Canada, have raised safety and security issues. AMT has built a large canopied shelter wall and berm between tracks and plant.
- The proposed route does not serve cities east of Repentigny, particularly L'Assomption and Joliette. Those cities have bus service to Repentigny.
- Some say[who?] that AMT could serve Mascouche more cheaply, easily, and quickly by using the CP line that leaves the Saint-Jérôme Line at St. Martin Junction in Laval, also serving the eastern part of that city. AMT plans to reroute the Saint-Jérôme Line to Central Station by 2020.
- AMT train de l'est Project page, with map.
- Communiqué from the city of Repentigny (In French)
- All Aboard for Montreal Nord
- Mascouche Line Project Details