The ceremonial groundbreaking for the REM at Montreal-Trudeau Airport took place last July and excavation for the underground station is one of the first steps towards its progress. As part of a $250 million redevelopment project, being paid for by the Airport, the parking complex is being rebuilt and workers will soon be digging close to 35 metres below it, to where the station will be located. In the meantime, crews have been busy assembling the ‘Tunnel-Boring Machine‘ that arrived in Montreal on October 30th, a massive machine capable of digging through the type of rock and soil it will encounter 30 metres underneath the surface while excavating a tunnel from the REM Technoparc station in St. Laurent to the airport. The machine has been called a ‘technological marvel’ as it will have the ability to dig 1.70 metres and assemble a ring in just one hour and should be in operation within the next few months. The tunnel and the station are expected to be completed by 2023.
Once the REM is up and running, travel time from the airport to the downtown core is estimated at only 20 minutes – a very welcome change for travellers. As Philippe Rainville, president and CEO of Aeroports de Montreal said in a press release last July, “For over 25 years, we have been waiting for our international airport to be connected to downtown Montreal by an efficient rail link. This structuring project is the first step in an ambitious redevelopment of our access infrastructures that will enable us not only to respond adequately to the growth of passenger traffic at YUL, but also to improve the inter-modality of the airport site to make it more accessible for the benefit of travellers, as well as to put an end to road congestion challenges.”
With the REM, travellers should experience more frequent and reliable services without having to face traffic headaches and stressing out over being late for a departure or arrival. The airport line will also be connected to the three major STM metro lines: the Orange line (Bonaventure), the Green line (McGill) and the Blue line (Edouard-Montpetit) – with all the stations equipped with elevators for Universal access. Nonetheless, many travellers from the West Island, North and South Shores who do not have easy access to a Metro line, will not find it as simple – especially when having to lug heavy baggage along. Parking a car near or at a station might not be an option for many commuters, given the restrictions or lack of spaces. However, the REM can be accessed and once on the system, travel time will be considerably less, but the route not as direct.
Travel times to REM Trudeau Airport station and travel times from different locations of the network
FROM THE WEST ISLAND – Travellers using the REM will have to switch trains at Bois Franc:
– Travel time taking the REM from Kirkland for example to Bois Franc – 14 minutes, then switching trains at Bois-Franc – 3 to 5 minutes, then taking the train from Bois Franc to the airport – 9 minutes.Other station travel times estimated total minutes: Sunnybrooke 20, Roxboro-Pierrefonds 22, Des Sources 22, Pointe-Claire 26, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue 32.
FROM THE NORTH SHORE:
– First take the REM from one of the North Shore stations.
– At the Bois Franc station, switch platforms and take the train heading to the airport. Estimated total minutes: Île-Bigras 25, Deux-Montagnes 32, Sainte-Dorothee 27, Grand-Moulin 30.
FROM THE SOUTH SHORE:
– Take the REM from one of the South Shore stations. *Outside of peak hours in morning and evening, approximately one in every three REM trains will travel to the airport, with departures every 10 to 15 minutes. Estimated total minutes: Rive-Sud 41, Du Quartier 38, Panama 35.
***TRAVEL TIMES TO THE AIRPORT FROM OTHER STATIONS (estimated total minutes):
MOUNT-ROYAL/SAINT-LAURENT – Canora 18, Mont-Royal 17, Correspondance A40 15, Montpellier 13, Du Ruisseau 11, Bois-Franc 9, Technoparc 2.
DOWNTOWN – Île-des-Soeurs 31, Peel Basin 27, Bonaventure-Central Station 25 (20 with express shuttles), McGill 24 (19 with express shuttles), Edouard-Montpetit 21 (16 with express shuttles). All in all, travel time to or from the airport will be significantly reduced – but perhaps not as convient for all.
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