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Electrification of a portion of the Deux-Montagnes Branch: safe behaviours to adopt

Project progress
Published on

Last update: January 19, 2024

Work on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is progressing on the Deux-Montagnes Branch, and a portion of the catenary will be installed early 2024. The next step is to electrify the 1,500-volt catenary, which poses a major risk to any unauthorized person venturing beyond the REM fences.

Photo - Examples of catenary Examples of catenary systems that carry current
Photo - Examples of catenary Examples of catenary systems that carry current

The Deux-Montagnes Branch electrified gradually from the north

A portion of the network, between the future Deux-Montagnes and Du Ruisseau stations, is ready to be powered up.

Illustration of the electrified section of the network Illustration of the network section to be electrified on the North Shore

This means that at any time from the end of December 2023, the catenary could be powered up on this section of the network. 

The catenary, in numbers 

During an intensive phase of around-the-clock work carried out between summer and fall 2023, a catenary was installed across over 7 km.

This catenary will power the REM, and at 1,500 volts, it’s about 15 times the voltage of our household sockets. 

Risks associated with track intrusion 

There are many risks involved with entering areas that are off-limits to the public. That’s why it’s important to behave safely on the edge of the REM by staying outside the fences.

Here are the risks associated with track intrusion: 

The risk of being hit by rolling stock

Rolling stock refers to all the vehicles that could travel on REM tracks, from hi-rail vehicles to REM cars, which may travel at high speeds without a driver. The braking time of this type of equipment is longer than that of a regular car.

Example of hi-rail equipment Example of hi-rail equipment

Only personnel who have followed strict accident prevention procedures are allowed on the tracks. 

It is therefore essential that all unauthorized persons remain outside the fences along the REM tracks. 


Illustration of the type of fence used to delimit restricted areas 

Photo of a REM fence

The risk of electric shock

The electric current can’t be seen, heard or felt in a catenary, but it’s there nonetheless. That’s why you should always stay outside the REM fences.


Electric shock from direct or indirect contact 

It’s vital not to trespass on REM tracks, otherwise you could receive an electric shock as a result of an explosion or an electric arc (in the form of a lightning bolt or large spark).

This kind of phenomenon can happen in two ways:

  • Direct contact: by directly touching the catenary with a part of your body or an object 
  • Indirect contact: by approaching the catenary with a part of your body or an object

Note that the simple act of spraying a liquid—intentionally or not—onto a catenary can be conductive and cause fatal injuries. 

No person shall take any action that endangers the safety of others, or trespass on the REM right-of-way. Offenders are liable to a fine and civil action.