Commuters on the Dorion/Rigaud commuter rail line are accustomed to late trains.
But their brand-new double-decker train cars will arrive on time – before the end of June, as promised last fall, the Agence métropolitaine de transport said Thursday.
Bombardier has so far delivered 19 of the 24 new cars that will go to the line this spring but they must undergo routine testing before going into service, AMT spokesperson Martine Rouette said. When the 24 cars are in place, just under half of all the cars on the line will be new ones.
The new cars, which can accommodate more passengers and will replace older cars, will increase rush-hour capacity by 30 per cent. They also are more comfortable and expected to be more reliable than the aging fleet.
Dorion/Rigaud is the AMT’s second busiest line, used by 16,000 people daily.
Rouette denied a news report suggesting the AMT is delaying introducing the new cars on Dorion/Rigaud because it doesn’t have the required inspection facility or maintenance personnel.
A new, $7-million inspection facility in Vaudreuil-Dorion will be completed in the coming days, she said. As for maintenance, Bombardier is taking over the work from CP and CN on June 30. But Bombardier personnel will do maintenance on new cars put into service before then.
The AMT ordered 160 new cars from Bombardier in 2007 at a cost of $386 million.
So far, 30 are in service, all on the Mont St. Hilaire line.
The St. Jérôme/Blainville line will get new cars this summer, Delson/Candiac in the fall, Rouette said. More new cars will go to Dorion/ Rigaud later. Thirty cars are for the new Repentigny/Mascouche line, known as the Train de l’est, due in 2012.
Unlike the other lines, Deux Montagnes, the AMT’s busiest route, is electrified. It uses cars built in 1995.