Update on the January 14, 2017 service disruption on the Orange line


During a press conference held this morning, the STM provided an update regarding the service disruption on the Orange line on January 14, 2017.

What happened

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, signalling equipment at Du Collège station were heavily damaged in the aftermath of a passing train that also sustained damages. Several STM crews were dispatched on site and emergency repairs were performed on the tracks. Repairs were completed in the evening, allowing métro service to resume normally at opening time Sunday morning.

As for what caused this rare incident, an investigation is currently underway to determine whether the damages stem from a fault in the interface between trains and tracks.

What was done to ensure transit service

The STM quickly dispatched station managers, inspectors and additional personnel to the stations along the section of line impacted by the incident. A shuttle service was set up by re-assigning 53 available buses to provide transit service in that sector, with shuttle buses running every 10 minutes or so. STM also used social media to keep customers abreast of the situation, as it evolved.

Inspection of tracks and trains

Saturday night, STM specialists performed a detailed inspection of the tracks between Côte-Vertu and Montmorency stations. By Sunday morning, inspections were carried out on the MR-73 and AZUR trains involved.  All trains were inspected; damages were found on some trains (more extensive on AZUR trains because of their wider wheelbase). The STM is looking into the matter to determine the underlying reason (track or train) for this occurrence. Out of prevention, the STM pulled off its 12 AZUR trains, until the investigation concludes.

Priority plan

The STM will allow trains to resume service as quickly as possible, to minimize the impact on customer service, while hoping to finish its investigation as soon as possible. First on the list are the repairs to the MR-73 cars that sustained more minor damages, as their systems are well-known to us. At the same time, work on the AZUR cars, likely to take longer, will begin. The STM will make use of camera surveillance video from under the trains to analyze how the trains interact with the tracks.

The métro system is reliable

Keep in mind that the reliability of the Montréal métro is above the global average, with 12 service disruptions per million kilometres for the STM versus an international average of 22 such disruptions. Furthermore, despite events in the last two month, by December 31, 2016, some 924 incidents lasting 5 minutes or more were logged, compared with 956 in 2015, for a 3.3% overall decrease.


   Damaged current collector

   Damaged track switch

   Damaged track switch

   Damaged signalling equipment

   Damaged signalling equipment

Presentation of the service disruption on the Orange line on January 14, 2017 (French) (pdf)