Why are there delays on the Deux-Montagnes line?
There are several reasons for the recent service disruptions on the Deux-Montages line.
Since June 25, 2018, REM work has required exo to operate the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche trains on a single track on a stretch of about 3 km between Montpellier station and the Mont-Royal tunnel. A double track allows trains to pass each other and contributes to smooth operational flow.
Operating on a single track gives exo less leeway in the event of a prolonged incident. Here is an example of the domino effect of a single track:
Medical intervention on July 13, 2018
- 3:35 p.m.: a passenger on train 939 heading to Deux-Montagnes collapses.
- 3:37 p.m.: the train has to stop on the single track. An exo inspector begins CPR to resuscitate the passenger.
- 3:38 p.m.: the departure of train 941 to Deux-Montagnes is delayed.
- 3:55 p.m.: emergency services arrive at the scene.
- 4:15 p.m.: emergency services leave the scene. Train 939 can resume operation after being stopped for 39 minutes.
- 4:50 p.m.: the departure of train 945 to Deux-Montagnes is delayed.
- The departures of trains 947, 949, 951, 953 and 957 to Deux-Montagnes are also delayed. Train 946 (to Gare Centrale) is cancelled.
- Between 3:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., 15 trains left Gare Centrale for Deux-Montagnes. Of these 15 departures, 8 were delayed because the times where they could pass another train on a double track train no longer matched. As a result, that day the order of train traffic had to be changed.
- Some trains on the Mascouche line were also affected.
As well, the rail cars on the Deux-Montagnes line, the MR-90, have passed over half of their useful life and are not running optimally due to their advanced age. A mechanical and electrical upgrade of the MR-90 cars has begun. However, since the rolling stock is used to maximum capacity, the crews can only remove a limited number of cars at a time from service to perform the work. As a result, cars that need repairs must be kept in service. Equipment breakdown is one of the reasons for service disruptions.