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REM cars during tests

Start of REM's dry run: confirmation of upcoming commissioning date

REM in service
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REM teams are actively preparing for the commissioning of the South Shore antenna. With 17 kilometers between Gare Centrale and Brossard stations, the opening of the REM will be one of the largest commissioning of a fully automated metro in the world.

In order to bring the REM into service, 4 out of 5 crucial milestones have already been achieved or are in progress:

  1. Simulated operation ✅
  2. Completion of electrification work ✅
  3. Test area extended to Montreal ✅
  4. Dry run - in progress
  5. Commissioning

Dry run is underway

The last stage before commissioning is called "dry run". This phase consists of simulating future service, without passengers, and the course of operations in different contexts. In other words, the cars will run with the same frequencies as during commissioning! 

REM cars in test phase REM cars in test phase

What are we testing?

Groupe PMM - Operation and Maintenance, the entity responsible for network operation and maintenance, simulates a series of typical service days, with frequent passages. On these days, several elements need to be validated: 

  • The "waking up" of cars in the storage center;
  • Automated departure and return of cars from storage to the REM tracks;
  • Fleet management based on cleaning and maintenance requirements;
  • Service schedule management and overall rail system reliability;
  • And much more!

The teams don't just test regular service days. They also carry out "degraded mode" simulations, in which a malfunction or breakdown is simulated at random every day. For example, the beginning of a fire or a door blocked in the station by a person in the control room. The teams must apply the appropriate procedures for the simulated incident, as in reality. In particular, this enables us to test:

  • Troubleshooting procedures in the control room and on the tracks;
  • Coordination of actions launched between the field and the control station;
  • Safety and service quality procedures;
  • Implementation of the downgraded situation management plan; 
  • Resumption of service after an incident;
  • Appropriateness of messages broadcast throughout the network.
Photo of a REM car seen from outside Brossard station
Photo of a REM car seen from outside Brossard station
Photo on board a REM car
Photo on board a REM car
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The final stage: commissioning 

The start of the dry run is not a confirmation of the commissioning date. It is during this period, however, that we will have access to all the information we need to make the final decision.

Tests in progress

Once the date has been confirmed, the inauguration of the Brossard to Gare Centrale stations will be scheduled. The public will be invited to a specific opening date, to celebrate the ultimate milestone! From commissioning, all 5 stations will be open to the public 7 days a week, 20 hours a day. To prepare you for this, we're planning to launch a new website presenting the REM in service.

A brand-new network also means a learning curve for our teams. They will be very vigilant, with two priorities in mind: system reliability and client safety.

Curious to know more? 

For a behind-the-scenes look at this final decision, we invite you to listen to the latest episode of the Prochaine station podcast series with Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and CEO of CDPQ Infra, entitled L’heure des décisions (Decision Time - in French only).

Prochaine station podcast All episodes of Prochaine station are available on Radio-Canada's Ohdio platform.

We're in the home stretch and look forward to welcoming you aboard!