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metro cars

This weekend we spotted a photo on Facebook that looked unusual. No, it wasn't the new USB plugs on the buses or the new live-time display screens.

An AZUR metro train on the green line.  

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You've heard of sightings, stories, and even seen pictures, but is it real? No, I'm not talking about ghosts or yetis or sasquatches (which we all know exist, anyway), I'm referring to the new AZUR trains on the STM metro network, which have quickly become something of an urban legend in Montreal.

Why? Well, because after all the hype that camewith the introduction of the new trains on the tracks last Sunday, few Montrealers have actually had the chance to ride the AZURs, leading some to question their existence. At least those referenced in this Gazette piece on the topic.

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Come next year, it will be out with the old and in with the new, at least in the metro. By early 2016, the STM plans to get rid of the outdated MR-63 cars and replace them (finally) with the much-anticipated Azur models. There's just one hitch: the STM doesn't quite know what to do with the old metro cars.

Not wanting to simply dump the old cars in some gigantic trash can, the STM is seeking out a way in which the MR-63 metro cars can be recycled and preserved, rather than just destroyed. Ideally, the STM is hoping to find a company with a repurposing plan that will honor the metro cars that have been carrying Montrealers to their destinations since 1966, that is also eco-friendly, reports Métro.

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Update: We received a few clarifications on some points in our article from Philippe Déry (an official STM rep) and we listed them below.

Bad news for Montreal's newest metro cars. The new AZUR metro cars, meant to roll out onto metro tracks this fall, are simply too big and too heavy for the existing metro system.

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