Each and every time you've taken the Orange Line in the last four months, you prayed for the chance to ride the shiny, new AZUR trains. If you did, you definitely took a selfie, but the rest of us who never happened to be in a station when the one-and-only AZUR on the tracks was running have been left wanting.
All that is going to change, though, because your chance to ride an AZUR train has effectively doubled, as the second AZUR has finally been put onto the tracks of the STM metro network.
With the testing phase of the first AZUR officially complete, the STM has announced they're ready to get more AZURs rolling out onto the tracks, with a new implementation schedule already planned out. So while we'll only have two AZURs running through the metro in May, that number will continue to rise with each passing month.
A major jump in quality and technology in comparison to the old metro cars (although not everyone agrees), the AZURs offer a lot to passengers as we'll all hopefully discover in the near future. For a timeline on all-things AZUR and what's to come, check out our brief rundown below:
- February 7th, 2016: The first AZUR train is introduced into the metro network. Testing is set to last 61 days, with the train needing to travel 5000km without any major service issues in order to prove its functionality.
- May 18, 2016: 100 days passes since the first (and only) AZUR begins testing, no word is given as to why a second train has yet to be introduced. Some Montrealers get miffed/frustrated by the fact that they've still never been able to get on an AZUR.
- May 25, 2016: The second AZUR is finally put into service after an extended testing service of the first, which traveled a full 23,000km without any serious delays. Internal automation for the train (e.g. ventilation) and needed software updates are cited as the reason for the extended testing period.
- June-December 2016: One new AZUR train will be sent to the STM garages and put onto service every month. If the receiving and implementation of the new trains goes smoothly, the one-a-month rate may increase by the end of 2016.
- 2017: The remaining AZUR trains (about 43, following the established delivery schedule) will be put onto the STM metro network. AZURs will replace the existing MR-73 cars on the Orange Line, with AZURs then being placed onto the Blue Line. A combination of MR-73s and AZURs will run on the Green Line.
- 2018: All 52 AZUR trains, which are made up of nine cars each, will be operational within Montreal's metro network by 2018, as the STM has promised in a recent press release.