The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) today announced the start of a new phase of qualification testing for AZUR. The tests are to be performed on two AZUR trains that where received respectively in April 2014 and in July 2015. The two trains will be operated during the day, mainly on the Orange and Blue lines. Testing without passengers will take place during off-peak hours over the next few months.
Montréal, August 25, 2015 – The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) today announced the start of a new phase of qualification testing for AZUR. The tests are to be performed on two AZUR trains that where received respectively in April 2014 and in July 2015. The two trains will be operated during the day, mainly on the Orange and Blue lines. Testing without passengers will take place during off-peak hours over the next few months.
Two AZUR trains travelling in the métro system
Received last month, the new train is made of nine, fully-equipped cars (seats, support poles, grab bars, display screens and more) and is partially instrumented. It will undergo the next round of qualification testing in the underground network, along with the prototype train, which is instrumented, but with an empty interior, that has been used for testing at night in the network for the past 15 months. Those tests served to validate track clearances and the functionality of AZUR’s many systems.
Qualification testing in sequence
The goal for the first phase of testing is to validate AZUR’s overall performance in its actual operating environment (in the tunnels, alongside existing MR-63 and MR-73 trains), while continuing with night-time testing, which has been ongoing for 15 months throughout the system. Afterwards, the fully-equipped AZUR train will carry out a dry run, in other words perform in « simulated operational » mode, just prior to being put into passenger service. Lastly, the final phase will see actual passenger service begin, expected before the end of 2015, if all required tests are successfully completed.
« After performing all required tests with the manufacturers, and running AZUR on the test track in La Pocatière and at night in the STM network, qualification tests continue, this time mostly during the day. These tests are essential to complete the train’s qualification program and deliver the level of performance required by the STM. There is still work to do and tests to perform, but we are on the right track! » declared Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the STM board of directors.
« Today, I am feeling quite enthusiastic about attending the very first daytime tests performed on the new, fully-equipped train. While affording Montrealers a better look at AZUR as testing progresses, this new phase will also certainly increase their pride in their new métro. Indeed, the new cars are a showcase for Québec expertise in electrically-powered transportation modes and they help position Montréal as a world leader in terms of public transit electrification, at a time when we are committed to making public transportation a priority, » added Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal.
« The start of daytime testing is a significant step in the progression of a project that aims to not only replace métro cars that have been in service since 1966, but to also handle the increase in ridership. The Government of Québec is proud to contribute up to 75% to the purchase of the new metro cars, as it will improve the efficiency of public transportation, a priority in the metropolitan area, » declared Robert Poëti, Québec Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Montréal region.
« It is important to keep in mind that this is a program of specific, indispensable tests that we must rigorously conform to, as any other transit authority would when acquiring new rolling stock. In this context, AZUR’s testing period may lead to service disruptions, so that is why most of the testing will be done during daytime, off-peak periods without any passengers on board. Besides, a specialized team of employees will be on the train at all time », said Mr. Schnobb, in closing.
The STM points out that CBA, the Bombardier-Alstom consortium, is confident it can still meet the 2018 deadline for delivering all 468 AZUR métro cars.
Technical briefing presentation document
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Isabelle A. Tremblay
Attachée de presse, cabinet du maire de Montréal
Attachée de presse, cabinet du ministre des Transports et ministre responsable de la région de Montréal