Guess what Montreal? The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here. The first Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) passenger cars have finally arrived and are getting ready to be tested!
Wrapped in a "plastic cocoon," we can't actually see the cars right now but "they will be revealed to the general public in the coming weeks," REM spokesperson Emmanuelle Rouillard-Moreau told MTL Blog.
Here's what we know.
The REM trains will next undergo testing in Brossard
Four cars are currently being prepared in Brossard for winter testing that will truly test the mettle of Montreal's most exciting public transport project since the STM metro.
"In the coming weeks, they will be checked, coupled (i.e. assembled to form 2 pairs of 2 cars or 2 train sets) and prepared for the test period," said Rouillard-Moreau.
A series of tests is also planned on the 3.5-kilometre stretch of track running from Brossard station to the Malo-Leduc overpass "in order to verify all the components of the future automated system."
What will the REM trains be like?
The fully automated, air-conditioned, universally-accessible and Wi-Fi-connected vehicles are said to provide a user experience like no other.
Montrealers will be able to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city at the front of the train thanks to a giant bay window.
The trains will be fast and reliable, according to the REM, with a train passing every 2.5 minutes at peak rush-hour in the busy sections.
How's construction progressing?
So far, there's been significant progress made on the network, with construction crews working at a breakneck pace to finish everything in time for the 2023 opening date.
Most recently, the REM construction revealed parts of the Mount-Royal tunnel.
The REM also began its tunnel boring operation near the Montreal-Trudeau Airport. A three-kilometre tunnel some 30-metres below the surface is slowly beginning to take shape between the REM's Marie-Curie station in the Technoparc sector and the airport.
Who's excited to ride Montreal's new rapid-transit system?