Ground-breaking ceremony for the REM
A great week for public transit in Montréal! Following the announcement of the blue line extension earlier this week, the ground-breaking ceremony for the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) was held on Thursday, April 12, 2018 in Griffintown.
This historic event marks the start of the REM’s construction, almost two years to the day after the project was first announced publicly on April 22, 2016. The event brought together about a hundred people from the REM project office and two consortiums who have been working tirelessly on the project for the past several months. They assembled at New City Gas to hear addresses by public officials.
Québec premier Philippe Couillard stood alongside the federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante to underscore the exceptional nature of the event.
The Mayor of Montréal specifically emphasized the REM's successful urban integration and the symbolic significance of this event in Griffintown, a residential area that has been growing rapidly in recent years and illustrates the need for public transit.
“In a few years, the REM will welcome aboard its first riders, offering them a public transportation system that is reliable, fast and frequent, that simplifies their day-to-day, with more efficiency”
– Michael Sabia
The ground-breaking ceremony also marked the signing of contracts with the consortiums that will be constructing the REM, namely NouvLR (infrastructure) and PMM (rolling stock). The presidents of SNC Lavalin, Neil Bruce, and Alstom, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, recalled the REM was a particularly innovative project for their engineering teams.
A symbolic location
History will remember that the ground-breaking ceremony was held near the REM’s corridor in Griffintown, not far from Central Station.
The choice is significant: The first Bonaventure station, built in 1847, has always been a focal point for the Greater Montréal area. The REM will in its own way continue to connect Montréal and its two shores by means of a new 67-km, high-frequency network with 26 stations.
The preparatory work began a few days ago on the South Shore and in other areas, and will start on the current Deux-Montagnes line on April 27, 2018. For now, the work will essentially involve carrying out geotechnical drilling to assess soil composition and resistance. The data collected will be invaluable for the construction of future REM infrastructure (stations, bridges, routes).
At the end of the month, the REM project office will present the technical briefing and full work schedule for the year ahead (2018–2019). The presentation will be followed by a field visit for citizens in the spring/summer to inform them about future sites and to hear their concerns.
Photos of the event: