First REM runs on tracks (video)

REM runs first train on tracks

On Wednesday January 27th 2021, an important milestone was reached, REM runs first train on tracks. First REM runs, (with only two cars), was tested on part of a 3.5 km segment on the tracks in the South Shore. It is officially the very first time an REM car has run on the system. In the next few weeks, there will be more tests run and the project will become more visible.

First REM runs on tracks- Photo Alstom & C. Fleury

The cars in this test segment had all the components of the automated system (telecommunications, electrical and control system, etc.) as they will be throughout the REM’s 67-kilometre network – as well as the two stations (Brossard and Du Quartier) that are equipped with platform screen doors. This segment is located on the South Shore, between the maintenance center and Milan Boulevard. The tests will last for approximately 13 months, allowing the cars and system components to be tried out and verified under different climatic conditions in the metropolitan area.

Montreal REM testing its first train

At first, the trains will run at low speed on the tracks in order to test how it functions and then gradually move on to test interfaces between each of the components of the whole system. The speed of the trains will slowly increase – from 5 km/h to approximately 90 km/h and then finally to 100 km/h. However, even if the REM is an automated system (and therefore without driver), a driver operator and a test team will be on board for the tests. As soon as the automatic mode is activated, the control center will be able to take over and initiate automated driving.

Here are different elements of the system that will be tested:

  • Power supply (traction power, power management by the electrical substations, pantograph – catenary contact, the electrical cable that supplies the trains)
  • Acceleration and braking of the cars
  • Accuracy of stopping between the carriages and the platform screen doors
  • Accuracy of stopping between the carriages and the platform screen doors
  • Quality of ride comfort, to ensure that there are no collisions or vibrations
  • Communications for passengers on board the trains

Work on the REM began in April of 2018. Across the island, Montrealers began to see the project progress with their own eyes. Even with construction causing major headaches for commuters at times (with all the lane closures and detours), it has been a remarkable sight as more and more parts of the structure became visible.

By: Bonnie Wurst – [email protected]

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