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Un premier chantier sur métro pneumatique pour Rail Cantech

[12/10/2020] Rail Cantech’s first-ever rubber-tyred metro project

Since August 2018, Rail Cantech, a Canadian subsidiary of ETF, has been installing rubber-tyred underground rail systems at the Garage Côte-Vertu maintenance and storage centre, which is part of Société des Transports de Montréal (STM). The STM is a public transit authority that operates a 68-kilometre underground rail network, which is North America’s fourth-longest, after the New York City Subway, the Mexico City Metro, and the Toronto subway. The project will continue until 2021.

With the Garage Côte-Vertu construction project, Rail Cantech teams are conducting their first-ever project for a rubber-tyred metro system.

The maintenance and storage centre will contain 10 parking spaces for metro tracks as well as tracks reserved for maintenance. This expanded capacity will allow the STM to make traffic on the orange line (the Montréal metro’s longest with 31 stations) more fluid and reliable during peak hours. It also allows the metro authority to consider adding further transport services in the years ahead thanks to various planned extensions.

In light of the city’s extreme weather conditions, especially in winter, the Montréal metro was built entirely underground and uses rubber tyres. In addition to installing tracks, the teams are installing rolling tracks (in concrete and metal), insulators, and guide strips (for guidance and power supply). This rail system resting on metal tracks, which, in turn, rest on concrete blocks, is more durable than tradition systems and is easier and less costly to maintain.

Efforts to build equipment for the station sidings (connecting the future maintenance centre to the rail system) and the raised shop track are complete. Work is proceeding 35 metres below ground, with 20 people working full-time to supply various tunnels at the station sidings. A project calling for the renewal of tracks at Côte-Vertu station (which will be temporarily closed without, however, suspending traffic on the line) is set to begin in summer 2021.

Having to deal with concurrent activity on site, confined tunnel settings, and stringent regulations regarding occupational health and safety makes the project a true challenge for work teams, but they have adapted well to the situation. For instance, Rail Cantech has developed a telescopic rail-and-road forklift for use in tunnels to transport and handle track components, each weighing up to 7 tonnes.

Thanks to this project, which is strategic to the development of Société des Transports de Montréal, a similar project for the Viau station maintenance centre on the green line, and targeted mandates for the Réseau Express Métropolitain (light-rail) project, Rail Cantech is furthering its presence on the urban transport sector in Canada and becoming a major player in the railway sector in Greater Montréal and in Canada.

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