Work on escalators

Investing in our escalators

With a constant view to improving your transit rides, we are set to refurbish and/or replace 63 sets of escalators in the métro network. Work will begin in June 2016 and will continue into 2020.
An escalator running upwards should be available at all times, whenever possible, in an effort to facilitate your transit experience while work is underway.

24 new escalators

Seven métro stations will be equipped with the new escalators. The older ones being replaced were chosen because of their age and the structural work needed to support the new escalators. Work in these stations should be kept to a minimum. By 2018, some of the escalators at Namur, Côte-des-Neiges, de la Savane and Fabre stations will also have been replaced.

Major refurbishment of 39 escalators

These escalators will undergo a major refurbish, using a combination of new and reconditioned spare parts. These escalators were chosen because of their 30-year average age.  By 2020, all escalators inside Côte-Vertu, Jean-Talon, Outremont, Acadie, De Castelnau, Fabre, D’Iberville, Bonaventure and McGill stations will have been refurbished

Escalators under repair

Type of work : Major refurbishment (3 escalators)

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  • Type of work: Major refurbishment
  • Escalator: Located nearest the wall, between fare booth and walkway levels
  • Alternative route: Two operational escalators next to this one
Texte important

Work suspended

Work must stop as we are waiting for spare parts needed to repair the escalator.

A new date will be announced as soon as possible.

  • Type of work : replacement of escalator
  • Escalator : linking the mezzanine to the walkway level, on right-hand side when viewed from upper level, facing stairs.
  • Alternative route : escalator on left-hand side running upwards while work is underway.
  • Service to resume : Spring 2018
  • Type of work: Major refurbishment
  • Escalator: Inside the Papineau entryway, the escalator next to the staircase, leading from street level to fare zone area.
  • Alternative route: The adjacent escalator will run upwards.
Texte important

Work suspended

Work must stop as we are waiting for spare parts needed to repair the escalator.

A new date will be announced as soon as possible.

  • Type of work : replacement of escalator
  • Escalators : leading from Côte-Vertu platform to Snowdon train platform: the one next to the wall will be replaced first, followed by the next one in September.
  • Alternative route : two other escalators located nearby will remain operational while work on the first two are underway.
  • Service to resume : Spring 2018.
  • Type of work : replacement of escalator
  • Escalator : Saint-Michel Est exit, escalator linking exit to mezzanine.
  • Alternative route : to go up or down, customers must use staircase located on right-hand side (viewed from upper level) of escalators being repaired.
  • Service to resume : Hiver 2018

Complex work

Replacing an escalator requires about six months of work. In the end, however, the project will help improve the reliability and efficiency of escalators.

Extracting the existing escalator

  • Dismantling and removing over 1500 parts, including anywhere from 74 to 154 individual steps, without damaging surrounding structures.
  • Salvaging all reusable parts.

Laying the groundwork

  • Reinforcing the structure, if required, as the new escalators are heavier.
  • Moving some conduits.

Installing the new escalator

Manipulating large, heavy parts that must be precisely positioned in tight spaces.

Assembling and adjusting all parts

  • Precise assembly work (the escalator must be straight along its full length)
  • Mechanical adjustments (brakes, tension of pull chains, etc.)
  • Programming adjustments (vitesse de veille, etc.)

Performing qualification tests

  • Rigorous testing
  • One month period of operation without passengers to confirm performance of each new model and ensure compliance with strictest safety standards

Final approval for operations

Extended shutdowns

Most of the escalators in the underground system were replaced over the past few years. However, there are still some sixty escalators that date back to the métro’s expansion in the 70s and 80s. And when they break down, repairing them is rather more complicated. Spare parts are harder to obtain, causing further delays. This unfortunate situation currently prevails in a few stations, where getting the escalators up and running is a long time coming.

The reasons behind escalator shutdowns

Incidents involving improper use are the main reason why escalators are out of service. For example, items are dropped and get stuck in the stairs or people fall down, requiring the escalators be stopped. Improper use by people, like sitting on the moving handrail or pressing the emergency stop button for no good reason, is also a frequent cause.

Maintenance crews on the job

If an incident has little or no repercussion on an escalator, it can be started up again quickly by a station employee. On the other hand, if there is any chance the incident has damaged or otherwise compromised the escalator’s integrity, the equipment must be shut down until specialized mechanics can inspect it and perform any necessary repairs or adjustments before putting it back into service.

Impressive equipment

The STM’s underground system holds 296 escalators and with 250 million passenger trips through the métro each year, these units are subjected to heavy use. Furthermore, several escalators are located next to entryways, exposing them to harsh weather conditions and temperature changes


The largest stock of escalators in Canada and the most heavily-used - 296 escalators + 2 moving sidewalks - Used by 1 million passengers a day and 250 million a year - Operating 20 hours a day, 7 days a week

Maintenance staff is not always visible, because much of the action takes place….below! Customers only get the see the stairs, whereas all other components, including the motor, are located underneath the stairs.

No, they are subject to preventive maintenance and are regularly inspected.

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