New AZUR métro cars

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Latest Update

15 AZUR trains have been transferred to STM.

Following the breakdown in métro service that occurred on Saturday, January 14 on a stretch of the Orange line, we are releasing its findings of the incident.  

Following two weeks of close monitoring, the Société de transport de Montréal is updating its findings into the January 14 métro incident and the actions it has taken so far.

After performing daily visual inspections of MR-73 and AZUR trains, carrying out corrective work on the tracks, and carefully investigating them, the STM has found that portions of the Orange line tracks had a roughness surface created by the interaction between the tracks and AZUR’s negative pickup shoes. 

This situation accelerates the wear on AZUR’s pickup shoes, something that has not been observed on the MR-73 trains’ pickup shoes.  

To protect the tracks and the integrity of AZUR trains, the planned resumption of service has not happened at the expected pace.

Corrective work outlined last January 27 has been ongoing, and no other instances of lateral force exerted on negative pickup shoes has been observed since.

Underlying cause of track rugosity

The recently observed rough track surfaces would be the result of how the tracks and AZUR’s negative pickup shoes interact. It is a new phenomenon, one that the STM had not previously observed and our specialists (STM and Consortium Bombardier-Alstom employees) have enlisted the help of international experts to speed up the accelerated pace for returning all AZUR trains to passenger service.

Action Plan

  • The negative pickup shoes on AZUR trains will be replaced for MR-73 type pickup shoes:
    • One (1) train is already operating with this modification
    • Two (2) trains will be modified and returned to service by Friday
  • At the same time, special attention will be paid to the tracks, as well as to the three (3) trains that have resumed service
  • Procurements will be monitored daily in collaboration with the Consortium
  • Depending on our observations and the timeframe for procuring spares, the negative pickup shoes on remaining trains will be replaced and AZUR trains will gradually resume service.
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Level of service on the Orange line

The impact on the frequencies at which trains pass by is marginal, ranging from 18 to 30 seconds; the STM is aware that, during the peak morning rush hour, there are more passengers aboard trains

Measure taken on train platforms: to promote the fluid movement of passengers, more STM employees are deployed to help passengers exiting and boarding trains. This also helps to prevent situations that could slow down or even suspend service, as well as shorten the time needed to respond in the event of an incident.

Below is a timeline of actions taken this week:

  • On-going inspections of track switches (equipment that supports and guides rolling stock).
  • On-going tests with cameras.

Findings:

  • The degree of wear of some track equipment (switches) combined with the wear found on the negative shoe collectors had an impact on MR-73 and AZUR trains; they both reacted differently.
  • The normal wear of some track switches creates lateral forces that can damage the negative shoe collectors.
  • This also confirms that the issue is related to the interaction between trains and track equipment.

Actions taken:

  • The STM has already started adjusting the track switches with grinding and welding work before the station and along tail tracks.
  • The collector shoes on MR-73 cars will be changed more frequently.
  • Collector shoes will also be changed more frequently on AZUR trains, and a restraining mechanism will be installed on the negative collector shoe plates as a preventive measure.
  • Starting January 28, AZUR trains will gradually resume service.

    As a follow-up to the breakdown in métro service that occurred on Saturday, January 14 on a portion of the Orange line, Société de transport de Montréal is making public an initial progress report on its investigation into the problem found with the negative collector shoes on both MR-73 and AZUR trains.

    Below is a timeline of actions taken since our last meeting with the press:

    Monday January 16 to Tuesday January 17

    • Damaged components sent to Polytechnique’s laboratory for failure analysis
    • Track inspected by our specialists walking along tail tracks behind station
    • Instrumentation of last AZUR train received (the 13th) by means of installing four cameras and a lighting system under the train

    Overnight, from January 17 to 18

    • Two-way run by AZUR train with instruments along full length of Orange line at maximum operating speed of 72 km/h (a 60-km run)
    • Repairs completed on five of the eight damaged AZUR trains (reminder: the only MR-73 that needed repairs has resumed service)
    • Following these initial analyses, no anomaly was detected in any operational zone
    • Going forward with the investigation:

    Wednesday, January 18

    • 15 hours of images recorded while AZUR train is running analyzed in slow-motion

    Thursday, January 19

    • Run by AZUR train with instruments, during morning and evening rush hours, without passengers, to resume inspection along tail tracks behind station, which cannot be done at night

    Meanwhile:

    • Since Sunday, closer monitoring and surveillance of trains travelling on Orange line
    • On-going repairs to AZUR trains.

    In conclusion:

    So far, no specific anomaly has been detected on tracks in operational zone or on trains

    Investigation continues with analysis of video recordings and track inspections

    The impact on métro service is minimal, with only one less train during rush hour on the Orange, Green and Blue lines.

    Safety is an overriding concern in every step we take. The métro system is a complex environment for which strict safety protocols were implemented. At no time is the public’s safety compromised.

    Next update: Friday, January 27

    On Monday and Tuesday, January 16-17, damaged components were sent to Polytechnique’s laboratory for failure analysis. Our specialists have also carried out visual inspections by walking along the tail tracks behind the station. Meanwhile, four cameras and a lighting system were installed under an AZUR train.

    Overnight, Tuesday to Wednesday (January 17-18), that train completed a two-way run along the full length of the Orange line at maximum operating speed of 72 km/h (a 60-km run). No anomaly was detected in the operational zone during these initial analyses.

    Repairs to damaged trains

    Repairs have been completed on five of the eight damaged AZUR trains, as well as to the only MR-73 train that needed repairs.

    Going forward with the investigation  

    We are currently analyzing some 15 hours of images recorded during the run made by the AZUR train equipped with cameras. In fact, that train will travel without passengers during rush hour. We will then resume our inspection of the tail tracks behind Montmorency and Côte-Vertu stations, which cannot be done at night, as the tracks hold parked trains.

    While these operations are happening, repairs continue on the other damaged AZUR trains, and trains running on the Orange line are under closer scrutiny. As for the impact on customer service, it is minimal, with only one less train during rush hour on the Orange, Green and Blue lines.

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    Safety is an overriding concern in every step we take. The métro system is a complex environment for which strict safety protocols were implemented. At no time is the public’s safety compromised.

    Deploying AZUR trains brings important benefits that improve your transit rides. Comments received along with reactions on social media to hashtag #AZURstm confirm you love your new train. Many of you mentioned how much you appreciate the quality of the interior and exterior design, improvements to lighting and ventilation, as well as the comfortable ride.

    The first AZUR train travelled over 20,000 km with customers aboard; that means more than 500 return trips on the Orange line. The all-important debugging period allowed us to validate and adjust the performance of several systems with passengers aboard, like ventilation in automatic mode, the volume of audio messages or the ride’s level of comfort. Another train will continue to be operated, with onboard instruments, but without transit users. That train will serve to perform essential qualification tests on the system’s other lines.

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See A big premiere for AZUR on YouTube

    On Sunday, February 7, AZUR will welcome its very first passengers and provide them with a unique experience. The métro musicians will entertain them during that initial ride, along with mascots Bus and Métro. This historic day writes yet another page in the history of the Montréal métro.

    You haven’t yet had the chance to ride aboard the train?

    Don’t give up. The train will be running on the Orange line during off-peak periods for the next 61 days, while testing continues with passenger service. You will have lots of opportunities to appreciate AZUR’s 21st century features.

    How AZUR will benefit you

    • Freedom of movement: nine-car trains allow passengers to move freely from one end to the other
    • Increased capacity: each train can accommodate up to 8% more passengers.
    • Ventilation system adjusts automatically to number of passengers in each car
    • 27% wider doors: easier to embark and disembark, obstruction sensors
    • Designed to ensure universal accessibility: more and better-positioned hand grips, colours and contrasts chosen for better visibility
    • Optimal ergonomic positioning of seats
    • Layout of end cars: 22 fixed seats, 2 flip-up seats, 2 spaces reserved for wheel chairs, ischiatic supports
    • Layout of middle cars: 28 fixed seats, 4 flip-up seats.
    • Top-of-the-line public address system, acoustic environment to minimize background noise
    • Panoramic windows with anti-grafitti and anti-scratchitti protective coatings
    • Innovative lighting: indirect lighting to create a more comfortable environment
    • Pneumatic suspension system: smoother ride, less vibration
    • Heightened sense of security: 3 times more intercoms, impossible to fall between cars, 4 continuous surveillance cameras
    • High-tech information systems

    August 25 : AZUR will be travelling during off-peak hours

    An important milestone has been reached

    AZUR is finally showing up on the Orange line. If we have reached this major phase of testing, it’s because AZUR has undergone a full range of tests. Now, its performance must be validated in its actual operating environment, in other words, in our tunnels, our stations and alongside our other trains.

    In attendance for the start of daytime testing (L to R): Pierre Gagnier, STM board member and borough mayor of Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Philippe Schnobb, STM board chairman; Denis Coderre, mayor of Montréal; Robert Poëti, Québec minister of transport, minister responsible for the Montréal region; and Luc Tremblay, STM chief executive officer.

    Keep your eyes on the Orange and Blue lines

    In coming months, AZUR will be travelling on the Orange and Blue lines during off-peak hours.

    Two trains

    Don’t be surprised if you see two different trains: the prototype is loaded with various measuring instruments, while the other is fully outfitted. This last train will be used to perform the tests that require a fully-equipped interior.

    Testing without passengers

    This new phase of testing is essential to assessing the train’s performance under various operating conditions. You cannot board this train. The operator will sound the horn to inform you the train is entering the station. You will also notice that signs will be posted in the door windows. These indicate the train is being tested and that you cannot board.

     

    So who are all these people on the train?

    They are a group of STM experts and CBA consortium team members who, together, are validating all parameters and test results.

    When will the train begin passenger service?

    According to the latest schedule from CBA, the first train should be put into passenger service by the very end of 2015, if all required testing is successfully completed.

    And testing at night?

    So far, over 900 tests have been performed at night.

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See Testing at night on YouTube

    As with the MR-63 and MR-73 métro cars, the AZUR train is also mounted on bogies that essentially propel the train. Bogies, or trucks, are an assembly of parts that include tires, suspension and drive axles. Together, they handle the acceleration, braking action, steering and suspension for métro trains.

    If you want to know more about the bogies on AZUR cars, go see the video.

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See Bogie on YouTube

    During the heat wave of July 1 - 2, while thousands of Montrealers were either moving or settling into their new home, the STM and its partners were conducting tests on the new train washing system with the AZUR prototype. The train moved through a soap cycle, similar to a car wash, where it got washed, scrubbed, rinsed and dried from top to bottom. The entire operation took about nine minutes, and when AZUR came out, it was all shiny and clean!

    How does it work?

    The washing system features markers at the portal entrance that detect whether the arriving train is an MR-73 or the new AZUR. As the train moves forward through the washing station, sensors send out signals to activate pumps and scrubbing brushes. In case you’re wondering, the older MR-63 trains are washed elsewhere, at the Beaugrand minor repairs shop.

    AZUR has travelled on all lines

    Tests carried out to validate track clearance are completed. They consisted of running the AZUR prototype throughout the entire network, including way stations and tail tracks, and no major issues were reported. AZUR passed with flying colours!

    No, there’s no mistake, you read it right, it says a lifting track. In preparation for the arrival of AZUR métro cars, we completely refurbished our maintenance shops and, in doing so, made a number of modifications. Among them is the installation of a lifting track designed primarily to enable maintenance staff to replace the train’s bogies.

    A 150-metre long train lifted at once on a single track!

    The lifting track can lift an entire 150-metre long train high enough for bogies to be removed. The train itself weighs in at 240 metric tons, which is like lifting 40 adult elephants. This makes it possible to remove and install bogies without having to unlink the nine cars that make up the AZUR train. This new approach will reduce maintenance time, which will mean more trains available for passenger service. 

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See A lifting track for AZUR on YouTube

    Operators have a rendezvous with technology.

    This driving simulator enables the operators to quickly put their knowledge into practice. The system reproduces all aspects of the environment and driving conditions in the métro network.

    Just like airline pilots, operators build up driving hours in a stimulating and realistic environment. It’s a first at the STM.

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See AZUR and its full scale simulator on YouTube

     

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See An AZUR prototype train assembled video on YouTube

    Late last Sunday night, our train prototype headed out toward the Blue line. This initial outing in the tunnel marks the beginning of its first night-time tour of the underground system.

    Initial static testing completed

    After assembling the train over a 10-day period, we started to perform the first static tests (without moving the train) in our workshops.  These preparations are a crucial first phase before the new train can be operated in its new environment.

    Followed by tests on moving train

    Over the past few days, further testing was carried out on the moving train on a track next to the workshops, often used as a test track. As the test results were convincing, the AZUR prototype is now ready for its next adventure.

    Why start on the Blue line?

    Because it closes earlier at night, the Blue line affords more time to the Bombardier Alstom consortium (CBA) and STM team to carry out their tests. However, this also means we only have five hours each night to work, as the first departure is at 5:30 a.m. and the last one at night at half past midnight.

     

    The prototype train, consisting of nine cars, will be delivered one car at a time, each day, on a 27-metre flatbed truck.  

    109 tests for a single train prototype

    Once the train is completely assembled, teams from the Bombardier-Alstom consortium will work closely with our experts assigned to preparing it for service. Together, they will conduct 109 different tests, spread over a period of about eight months.

    Over the next few months, we will keep you posted on the new train’s performance.

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See AZUR is arriving in Montreal on YouTube

    The gradual replacement of the MR-63 cars, which have been running since the métro opened in 1966, will mark a major change in the history of Montréal’s public transit system. For users, the new 21st century rolling stock, scheduled to enter service in fall 2014, will mean:

    • Better servicePhoto future train
    • Increased capacity
    • Greater comfort
    • Increased reliability

    As in other major cities, including Munich, Berlin, Bangkok, Shanghai, Mexico City, Delhi, and Madrid, the new nine-car “boa” trains will allow passengers to move about freely from one end to the other.

    The transition from our forty-eight-year-old vehicles to new state-of-the-art cars requires a phenomenal amount of preparation. Our expertise and know-how in the fields of engineering, public transit operation, and infrastructure management will be put to good use. This project will also impact the work of many employees, including drivers and maintenance workers.

    Remember:

    On October 22, 2010, STM signed a contract with the Bombardier-Alstom Consortium (BAC) to purchase 468 métro cars. This project, which will be spread out over several years, calls for a $2.4G investment, financed jointly by Quebec’s Ministère des transports (75%) and the Montréal agglomeration (25%).

    We considered your needs while taking into account our operational requirements

    With its modern design and new interior layout, the new car is the result of numerous consultations held at key steps in the manufacturing process. During these consultations, users tested various components such as seats, support poles, grab bars, and interphones to determine the best choices. Employees were also consulted about the new car’s maintenance and ergonomics.

    30,000 people helped design the external appearance of the new train.

    The name AZUR was chosen from among the 6,000 names submitted by our employees and the public.

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See Announcement of the name AZUR on YouTube

    In summer 2012, a full-scale model of the new car was placed on public display at the Berri-UQAM station, allowing thousands of regular and occasional users to consider its merits and provide feedback to STM experts. The public also had an opportunity to visit the model car parked on McGill College Avenue during the Go Green – Ride and Save event.

    Excellent opportunities for Montrealers to discover the benefits of their collective heritage.

    Photo exterior model car 2012 at Berri

     

    • Freedom of movement: nine-car trains allow passengers to move freely from one end to the other
    • Increased capacity: each train can accommodate up to 8% more passengers.
    • Ventilation system adjusts automatically to number of passengers in each car
    • 27% wider doors: easier to embark and disembark, obstruction sensors
    • Designed to ensure universal accessibility: more and better-positioned hand grips, colours and contrasts chosen for better visibility
    • Optimal ergonomic positioning of seats
    • Layout of end cars: 22 fixed seats, 2 flip-up seats, 2 spaces reserved for wheel chairs, ischiatic supports
    • Layout of middle cars: 28 fixed seats, 4 flip-up seats.
    • Top-of-the-line public address system, acoustic environment to minimize background noise
    • Panoramic windows with anti-grafitti and anti-scratchitti protective coatings
    • Innovative lighting: indirect lighting to create a more comfortable environment
    • Pneumatic suspension system: smoother ride, less vibration
    • Heightened sense of security: 3 times more intercoms, impossible to fall between cars, 4 continuous surveillance cameras
    • High-tech information systems

    Photo interior model car 2012 at Berri

    Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

    See Model car AZUR on YouTube

    Another step toward universal accessibility

    AZUR has been designed to meet the standards of universal accessibility. Platforms at the front of trains in stations equipped with elevators have been adapted to allow clients in wheel chairs to board trains without assistance. The height of platforms has been harmonized with that of the new trains next to the second and third doors in the front cars.

    Currently, passengers in wheel chairs require assistance from STM employees to board trains.

    Photo raising station platform


    The train’s exterior design: a bold, distinctive look
     

    Vitality: a streamlined profile evoking strength and balance, exciting colours with a metallic finish


    Modernity: new technology successfully used in other major cities, a concept tested and approved by Montrealers

    Ease of movement: open-concept “boa” cars, increased capacity, panoramic windows.

    Timelessness: in line with the principles of sustainable development, designed to serve for the next four decades; a classic design anchored in daily realities, primarily blue, a colour beloved by Montrealers


    Environmental aspects

    Cars manufactured with 60% Canadian content, equipment 92.5% recyclable at the end of its useful life, 100% powered by hydroelectricity (green energy source), paper advertising eliminated inside trains

    Designed to work with the existing nine-car trains, the STM’s service shops are undergoing major changes to accommodate the new boa trains, where passengers will be able to walk from one car to another. Demolition and construction work is well advanced. The new shop, highly specialized in  the maintenance of modern metro cars, is extremely complex.


     

    A prototype train should be delivered in spring 2014. It will be tested at night on one line of the metro system.

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