Réseau express métropolitain

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Réseau express métropolitain
Réseau express métropolitain logo.png
OwnerCDPQ Infra
LocaleGreater Montreal
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines1 (3 branches)
Number of stations26
Daily ridership190,000 (projected)[1]
Operation will start2021 (First section between Rive-Sud to Central Station)
Number of vehicles212 Alstom Metropolis[2]
System length67 km (42 mi)[3]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification1500 V DC overhead
Top speed100 km/h (62 mph)

The Réseau express métropolitain (REM; English: Metropolitan Express Network; previously known as Réseau électrique métropolitain) is a rapid transit system under construction in the Greater Montreal area around Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The system will link several suburbs with Downtown Montreal via Central Station. It involves the conversion of the existing Deux-Montagnes commuter rail line to rapid transit standards. A station at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport will serve as the terminus of one of the four branches.

The 67 km (42 mi) light rail system is projected to cost CA$6.3 billion. It will be independent of—but connected to—the existing Montreal Metro, operated by the STM. Trains on the network are expected to be fully automated and driverless, and it would become the fourth longest automated transportation system in the world, after the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit, Vancouver Skytrain, and Dubai Metro.[4]


On 13 January 2015, Quebec premier Philippe Couillard and Michael Sabia, CEO of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) agreed to a partnership in which the crown corporation would assume financing for major transportation projects in the province, with $7.4 billion planned to be spent on infrastructure from 2014 to 2024.

On 22 April 2016, Sabia and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre unveiled the project, then known as the Réseau électrique métropolitain, to the media. A completion date for a first portion of the system was put forward for December 2020. On 22 June 2016, CDPQ Infra published two requests for qualification: one for the engineering, procurement and construction contract and the other for the rolling stock, systems, operation, and maintenance. The estimated value of the two contracts are $4 billion and $1.5 billion respectively.[5]

On 25 November 2016, CDPQ Infra announced the addition of three new stations to the project. The Bassin Peel, McGill and Édouard-Montpetit stations will significantly improve Downtown Montreal service and further integrate the REM into the Metro system through fluid and efficient connections to the Orange, Green and Blue lines. The announcement will adjust the price tag of the entire project to a total $5.9 billion.[6][7]

On 15 June 2017, the Government of Canada pledged $1.28 billion to finance the project,[8] thus completely securing the financial portion of the REM. On the same day, Sabia announced that construction on the project was to start at the end of 2017. On 1 December 2017, the CDPQ extended the tender process on the project to the end of January 2018, citing a need for additional discussions with the bidders.[9]

The REM will use automated Alstom Metropolis trains, similar to the ones built for the Sydney Metro.


On 28 June 2016, CDPQ Infra launched two public tenders in parallel: one for "Engineering, Procurement and Construction" (EPC, or "Ingénierie, Approvisionnement et Construction des infrastructures" (IAC) in French), and a second, for "Rolling Stock, Systems and Operation and Maintenance Services" (RSSOM, or "Fourniture du Matériel Roulant, de Systèmes de conduite automatique et de Services d'Exploitation et de Maintenance" (MRSEM) in French).[10][11] Following a prequalification phase, the Caisse's subsidiary announced, on 10 November 2016, the qualified candidates that would be allowed to submit a bid:

According to the media, the final bids were submitted to CDPQ Infra on 27 October 2017.[14] On 10 November 2017, the date of the planned announcement of the selected contractors, the procurement process was "postponed indefinitely," according to the Caisse's subsidiary, to provide more time for the analysis and evaluation of the bids received.[15] On 8 February 2018, CDPQ Infra finally announced its selection: Groupe NouvLR consortium for the EPC contract (SNC-Lavalin Grands Projets, Dragados, Aecon, Pomerleau, EBC and AECOM) and the Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montréalais for the RSSOM contract (Alstom and SNC-Lavalin O&M).[13][16] The contracts' value is estimated to be around $6.3 billion, out of which approximately 80% account for the EPC contract.[17]


Preparatory work began in late March 2018.[18] On 12 April 2018, the project broke ground officially.[19]


The primary route is based around the Mount Royal Tunnel, where new underground stations are proposed to be built to connect with the existing McGill and Édouard-Montpetit Metro stations. New connections with commuter rail would be built near the A-40 to the Mascouche line.

Southeast from Central Station, the line would follow existing rail lines past Cité du Havre and across to Nuns' Island and then use a rail deck constructed on the new Champlain Bridge to cross the St. Lawrence. Three stations in Brossard on the South Shore would be built: Panama, Du Quartier (for the DIX30 commercial district), and Rive-Sud; and one station, Chevrier, is part of future plans.

The northwest branch would be a direct conversion of the existing Deux-Montagnes line, with the doubling of the tracks beyond Bois-Franc station. New branch routes on the West Island would begin near the A-13, with the airport branch making a stop in Technoparc St-Laurent before terminating at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and the other branch would follow an existing rail corridor through Pointe-Claire and Kirkland before it would end in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

In the city centre, three stations would be built to interconnect with existing Metro lines; McGill would connect with the Green Line,[7] Édouard-Montpetit would connect with the Blue Line,[7] and Bonaventure Gare Centrale would connect with the Orange Line.

REM system and stations


The REM will consist of 26 stations on 3 branches. Twelve of these stations are currently on the Deux-Montagnes line and will become part of the REM after being converted to rapid transit standards.

Deux-Montagnes branch[edit]

Station Opened Parking spots Connections
Deux-Montagnes 1995 1,256[20] Exo
Grand-Moulin 1925[21] 304[22] Exo
Sainte-Dorothée 1995 975 STL
Île-Bigras 1995 45 None
Roxboro-Pierrefonds 1944 1,140 STM
Sunnybrooke 1994 400 STM
Bois-Franc 1994 740 STM, STL
Du Ruisseau 1994 1,060 STM, STL
Montpellier 1918 None STM
Correspondance A-40 2021 (planned) None AMT Mascouche icon.png Mascouche line.
Mont-Royal 1918 None STM 16, 119, 165, 435.
Canora 1918 None STM 92 on Jean Talon Street, 160 (less than 200 metres or 220 yards south at Wilderton Ave. / Bates Rd. east bound & Wilderton Ave. / Barclay St. west bound[23]), 372 on Jean Talon Street.
Édouard-Montpetit 1988 None MtlMetro5.svg Édouard-Montpetit, STM 51, 119, 368.
McGill 1966 None MtlMetro1.svg McGill, STM 15, 61, 125, 168, 358, 420.
Central Station 1943 None VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg, AmtrakAmtrak, AMT Mont-Saint-Hilaire icon.png Mont-Saint-Hilaire line, MtlMetro2.svg Bonaventure.

Downtown Terminus (Terminus RTL), Société de transport de Montréal (STM) 150, 355, 358, 410, 430, 435 (Express), 715, 747 (Express), 36, 61, 168, 420 (on University Street), 74 (on rue de la Gauchetière), 107 (on Peel Street).[24]

South Shore branch[edit]

Station Opened Parking spots Connections
Central Station 1943 None VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg, AmtrakAmtrak, AMT Mont-Saint-Hilaire icon.png Mont-Saint-Hilaire line, MtlMetro2.svg Bonaventure.

Downtown Terminus (Terminus RTL), Société de transport de Montréal (STM) 150, 355, 358, 410, 430, 435 (Express), 715, 747 (Express), 935 (within walking distance along René Lévesque Boulevard), 36, 61, 168, 420 (on University Street), 74 (on rue de la Gauchetière), 107 (on Peel Street).[24]

Bassin Peel 2021 (planned) None STM
Île-des-Soeurs 2021 (planned) None STM
Panama 2021 (planned) Unknown Terminus Brossard-Panama
Du Quartier 2021 (planned) Unknown RTL
Rive-Sud 2021 (planned) Unknown RTL, Exo

Airport branch[edit]

Station Opened Parking spots Connections
Technoparc 2022 (planned) None Unknown
Montreal–Trudeau Airport 2022 (planned) None Connection to Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue branch[edit]

Station Opened Parking spots Connections
Des Sources 2023 (planned) 500 STM
Pointe-Claire 2023 (planned) 700 STM
Kirkland 2023 (planned) 2,500 STM
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue 2023 (planned) 200 STM, Exo


In a report prepared by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) and released on 20 January 2017, the project was criticized. In the words of journalist Denis Lessard, "the BAPE poured cold water" on the project.[25]

Notably, the BAPE pointed to a lack of crucial information being provided on the project's financial model, environmental impact, and impact on ridership levels throughout public transit networks around Montreal. Without such information, the BAPE declared that it was "premature to authorize the realization of this project".[26]

The BAPE also estimated that CDPQ Infra did not meet its obligations for transparency, as it had failed to provide information in a timely fashion on the ridership levels of the REM's three antennaes (route branches).[26]

The CDPQ Infra was also reproached for not studying the impact of the REM on existing public transit authorities.[26] CDPQ Infra was criticized for not being able to answer questions like how much tickets would cost, whether municipalities on the REM would themselves have to pay for the necessary infrastructure for access to it, and whether municipalities also have to contribute to the REM's operation.[26]

A lawsuit filed by Coalition Climat further alleged that the REM project violated federalism for a lack of federal assessment that harmed citizens' environmental rights by contributing to noise pollution and urban heat islands. The lawsuit was dismissed by the Quebec Superior Court on 13 December 2017.[27]


  1. ^ "Sommaire des previsions d'achalandage du REM" (PDF). www.cdpqinfra.com. CDPQ Infra Inc. February 2017.
  2. ^ "Les trains du REM seront construits en Inde" (in French). 12 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  3. ^ Magder, Jason (22 April 2016). "Electric light-rail train network spearheaded by Caisse de dépôt to span Montreal by 2020". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Réseau électrique métropolitain". cdpqinfra.com. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  5. ^ Briginshaw, David (30 June 2016). "Tendering starts for Montreal rail project". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  6. ^ Magder, Jason (25 November 2016). "Three REM train stations added to proposed route through downtown Montreal". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Wanek-Libman, Mischa (28 November 2016). "Proposed Montréal REM project grows by three stations and CA$400M". Railway Track & Structures. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Inc.
  8. ^ "The Government of Canada confirms a $1.28-billion investment in the Réseau électrique métropolitain". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Citing 'value for money', Caisse extends bidding for REM electric-train project". Montreal Gazette. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Ingénierie, Approvisionnement et Construction des infrastructures du Réseau Électrique Métropolitain de Montréal" (PDF) (in French). 28 June 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Fourniture du Matériel Roulant, de Systèmes et de Services d'Exploitation et de Maintenance du Réseau Électrique Métropolitain de Montréal" (PDF) (in French). 28 June 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Appel de qualification : résultats" (PDF) (in French). 10 November 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.;
  13. ^ a b "Main partners". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  14. ^ "REM: les offres finales des soumissionnaires déposées aujourd'hui" (in French). 27 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  15. ^ "REM: le choix des consortiums reporté". 11 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  16. ^ "REM: les offres finales des soumissionnaires déposées aujourd'hui" (in French). 8 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  17. ^ "CDPQ Infra awards contracts for Montreal REM". 8 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  18. ^ https://rem.info/en/news/south-shore-preparatory-work-gets-underway
  19. ^ http://news.morningstar.com/all/canada-news-wire/20180411C5798/media-invitation-rseau-express-mtropolitain-official-groundbreaking.aspx
  20. ^ RTM. "Gare Deux-Montagnes".
  21. ^ "Transit History of the Banlieues de Montreal, Quebec". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Gare Grand-Moulin". RTM.
  23. ^ "Bus - Schedules". stm.info. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Maps". stm.info. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Train électrique: le BAPE jette une douche froide sur le projet de la Caisse - Denis Lessard - Politique québécoise". lapresse.ca. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d "Train électrique: un projet prématuré, selon le BAPE - Bruno Bisson - Montréal". lapresse.ca. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Challenge of Caisse de dépôt's REM train project rejected by Superior Court". montrealgazette.ca. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.

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