Quebec's Cyberpresse reports (please let me know if I've mis-translated) that Montreal's Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT) is announcing the planned electrificiation of its suburban commuter rail system, scheduled to start in two years.
Today, only one of the five suburban lines is electrical, the Deux-Montagnes line. The other four lines consume eight million litres of diesel annually, and they produce a corresponding amount of noise and air pollution. Electrification would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20,000 tonnes and result in quieter trains.
The AMT issued a request for bids on a feasibility study on how (not whether) to carry this out. The call for offers comes in collaboration with Hydro-Québec, which will help pay for the project. Hydro-Québec is already involved in public transit by providing power for a trolley but network in Laval.
According to Joel Gauthier, AMT president, "We want to electrify the entire network. We must be clear right now on how to do it, what technology to use and how to prioritize the schedule [of electrification]."
AMT hopes to start the process in 2011 and electrify the network gradually over 15 years.
AMT has already purchesed 20 dual power (diesel and electric) engines from Bombardier and holds an option on another ten.
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