Canadian government to spend nearly $1 billion on Montreal light rail

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A view of downtown Montreal including Canadian National's corporate headquarters building.
TRAINS: Steve Sweeney
MONTREAL — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian government would invest more than $900 million into a new light rail system in Montreal. When complete, the Réseau électrique métropolitain will span 40 miles and serve 27 stations connecting Montreal’s downtown with West Island, South Shore, North Shore, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

“The [light rail line] is one of the most ambitious public transportation projects in our history. In addition to making it quicker and easier for millions of Quebec residents to get around, the REM will reduce the number of cars on the roads, help ease traffic and make the air cleaner,” Trudeau says.

Officials estimate that the light rail line, which is $1.2 billion in Canadian currency, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35,000 tons within its first year of operations. More than 34,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created during the project’s construction, and more than 1,000 permanent jobs would be created upon completion.

Metropolitan Montreal residents are currently served by an extensive subway system and a mostly weekday commuter rail network, neither of which reaches the airport. The only public transportation option into the city from the airport are city bus routes. VIA Rail Canada and Amtrak also serve the city on multiple intercity routes.

Observers expect both Canada-based Bombardier and France-based Alstom to be leading bidders on the light rail project.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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