Photo cred - Tim Adams

Open for nearly 50 years, the Montreal metro system has a decently long history. In almost half a century, the metro has seen some significant changes, and some disasters, a lot of which you probably have never heard about.

Compiling seemingly everything you would ever need to know about the Montreal metro system, the site Metro de Montreal is your one-stop resource for Montreal metro facts and trivia. From major events like line extensions, to minor details like the longest distance between stations, the website is thorough to say the least.

While a little bit outdated (the site still lists a $2.75 metro fee) the factoids on the site are still quite interesting and relevant to any metro rider. There's tons to learn on the site itself, but we've compiled a list of 40 we think you'll find pretty interesting. Check 'em out below.

1. Montreal's metro was the first on the planet to run only on rubber tires.


2. Before the metro, trolleybuses were the main mode of transport in the city. The last trolleybus was in use until 2:28 a.m. on 28 June 1966.


3. The official opening date of the metro was October 14th, 1966.


4. The original setup of the metro system included a total of 26 stations: 10 green line stations (Atwater to Frontenac) + 15 orange line stations (Bonaventure to Henri-Bourassa) and three yellow line stations.


5. To build the metro back in the 60's cost the city $213.7 million - which was apparently a good deal back then.


6-16. The rest of the network got filled out as time went on. Below are the opening dates:

  • Préfontaine to Honoré-Beaugrand - June 6th, 1976

  • Lionel Groulx to Angrignon - September 3rd, 1978

  • Lucien L'Allier to Place-Saint-Henri - April 28th, 1980

  • Vendôme to Snowdon - October 7th, 1981

  • Côte-Sainte-Catherine - January 4th, 1982

  • Plamondon - June 29th, 1982

  • Namur to Du Collège - January 9th, 1982

  • Côte-Vertu - November 3rd, 1986

  • Acadie to Snowdon - January 4th, 1988

  • Cartier to Montmorency - April 28th, 2007

Photo cred - Olivier Boivin-Carrier


17. In total, the metro is made up of 71 kilometers of track, 65.33 of which are usable by passengers.


18. Every year, the Montreal metro travels about 59 million kilometres.


19. The metro network is controlled and monitored by STM employees in a secret location somewhere in the downtown area. To keep the control centre secure, the location is not public knowledge.


20. 759 cars make up the metro network.


21. Each metro car is 2.5 metres wide.


22. A 9-car/full length metro train weighs in at 325 tonnes.


23. The maximum a metro train can hold is 1260 riders, with 360 able to sit.


24. At full length (three sections) a metro train measures in at 152.4 metres/500 feet, which is the exact same length as a metro station platform.


25. A metro train can hit a maximum speed of 72km/h


26. The three-note sound you hear before a train starts moving is called a "peak chopper," a device used to prevent a power surge.


27. Other than trains, 83 vehicles in total take to the metro system, including: diesel tractors (25), marshalling motor cars (1), a dust collector train (1), a switch broom (1), platform cars (50), and vacuum cleaner cars (40).


28. Each metro station was designed by a different architect to create a metro system varied in design. There is an official policy for this architectural decision, put in place by ex-City of Montreal urban planning director, Claude Robillard.


29. Berri-UQAM and Jean-Drapeau are the two stations furthest from each other with the longest tunnel distance at 2.5km.


30. On the island of Montreal, the longest distance between two stations is 1.45km, from Place Saint-Henri to Vendôme.


31. The shortest distance between two metro stations is between McGill and Peel stations, which is only 297m long.


32. Charlevoix is the station most submerged/deepest into the ground. Its lowest platform is 29.6m below the ground.


33. All heat in the metro system is created solely from the movement of the trains, passenger body heat, and from nearby buildings, and not from an internal heating network, thus making it impossible to regulate the temperature.


34. Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke is the metro station with the longest name, tallying in at 31 letters.


35. The busiest day for the metro system was on September 11th, 1984, when the Pope held a visit at Jarry Park, with two million Montrealers using the metro.


36. Jacques Guillon is the designer who created the metro's iconic arrow logo.


37. The strange peanut-y smell of the metro network emanates from the oil used to treat the metro's unique wooden brake shoes.


38. At rush hour, 71 trains run on the metro network for a total of 606 cars.


39. The only metro car crash to occur in the network was on December 9th, 1971. A train operator was killed and a fire started, destroying 27 trains and creating $7 million in damages.


40. "Il fait beau dans l'metro" was the first slogan used to promote the metro system. How true does that statement ring today? hmm....


Kudos to this reddit thread for pointing us towards Metro de Montreal and all of its amazing tidbits of information.

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte 


Looking for more? Click here for The Montreal STM Metro Map Of 2054 >

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