Posted: Jun 5, 2012, 3:38 AM
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Airport transit system could have up to 13 stops
By Andy Riga, transportation reporter
June 4, 2012 11:01 PM
(Image courtesy of ADM's Facebook page)
MONTREAL - The Montreal airport authority’s proposed rapid-transit system could feature up to 13 stations, many of them serving commuters.
The electric train line could have stops at the Fairview Pointe Claire mall, the McGill superhospital, the Georges-Vanier métro station and a new downtown terminal on René Lévesque Blvd., according to a route map provided by the airport.
Aéroports de Montréal chief executive James Cherry announced the train proposal last month but did not disclose the location of stations at the time.
Cherry’s previous attempts to create a train link between Trudeau Airport and downtown Montreal have failed.
Under his latest plan, airport travellers would take express trains with at most one or two stops, while commuters would take trains that serve all stations.
Much of the route would be along Highway 20. On the West Island, between Beaconsfield and Lachine, the train would duplicate the route of the existing Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter line, run by the Agence métropolitaine de transport
The airport does not know the price of its train proposal, but says it would cost more than its previous $700-million plan, which would have taken Canadian National tracks, with Central Station as its terminal.
“Until we know the final plan – how deep it goes into the West Island, how many stations, where does it end up (downtown), it’s very hard to put a dollar figure on it,” said Christiane Beaulieu, a spokesperson for the Montreal airport authority.
The train would be modelled after Vancouver’s SkyTrain Canada Line, much of which is elevated. The Canada Line links downtown Vancouver to that city’s airport. The train also serves commuters.
It was built and is operated and maintained by a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin, the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, and the British Columbia Investment Management Corp.
Similarly, the Montreal train would be a public-private partnership, Beaulieu said. It would require some federal and provincial government funding but would be built, operated and maintained by the private sector.
For a PPP to work, it would require the sizable ridership that would come from a combined traveller/commuter train project, Beaulieu said.
The plan is still at a preliminary stage but the airport has engineering studies in hand, Beaulieu said. She said the airport would not make them public or disclose the name of the engineering firm that prepared them.
“From an engineering, population and feeder-bus point of view, we know this (route) makes sense,” Beaulieu said.
The possible locations of stations, some featuring park-and-ride lots, were determined after talks with the Société de transport de Montréal, whose buses would serve the stations, she said.
Airport travellers would take trains equipped with baggage racks.
There could be one or two intermediate stops between the airport and downtown. One could be in Dorval, for travellers who want access to nearby Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter trains. Another could be at the Georges-Vanier métro station, for those wanting to connect to the subway.
The train’s downtown terminal would be either near the Bonaventure métro station (adjacent to Central Station), or on René Lévesque Blvd., near Stanley St. A parking lot currently occupies the southwest corner of René Lévesque and Drummond, one block west of Stanley.
Beaulieu said engineering studies indicate both locations are feasible. The technology being considered could use a combination of overhead tracks and tunnels, she added.
Two previous airport-authority plans – an exclusive airport train using CN tracks and Central Station and a train that would have shared tracks with AMT commuter trains – fell through.
Quebec is now studying a different train plan put forward by the AMT.
That proposal would see train service significantly beefed up on the Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter line at a cost of up to $1 billion. The study is due by year end.
Beaulieu said the airport plan offers advantages over the AMT’s proposal. The airport train would be electric, so it would be non-polluting and cheaper to operate, she said. It also could target West Island residents around Highway 40 not currently served by AMT trains, she added.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/...#ixzz1wt4GBjlt