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