On 15 June the gouvernment of Canada confirmed an investissement of 1.28 billion Canadian dollars for the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM), a large automated metro project for the city of Montreal.
This announcement comes after the project secured funding from the two other investors: the institutional investor CDPQ Infra (2.67 bn CAD) and the government of Quebec province (1.28 bn CAD).
Based on the current planning stage, once completed, the REM would be the fourth largest automated transportation system in the world after Singapore (82 km), Dubai (80 km) and Vancouver (68 km), excluding other projects such as Grand Paris, Riyadh and Doha which are planned to be longer when they will be built.
The REM will have 27 stations, 13 parking facilities and 9 bus terminals.
The new system, coming at an estimated cost of 6.04 billion CAD, is planned as an independent system from the existing rubber-tired Montreal Metro operated by STM, although it will be possible to connect at Bonaventure station (Montréal metro’s Orange line), Edouard-Montpetit Station (the Blue line) or McGill Station (Green line).
The REM project will be divided into four branches connecting downtown Montréal, the South Shore, the West Island, the North Shore and the airport, resulting in two new high-frequency public transit service lines to key employment hubs.
The system is to use entirely dedicated tracks, 50% of which will occupy existing rail corridors and 30% which will follow existing motorways. Service is planned to operate 20 hours a day between 5:00 and 1:00 am, with 3 to 12-minute intervals at peak times depending on the stations.
Trains will be composed of two cars (150-person capacity each) which will be coupled automatically at peak hours to form 4-car vehicles.
The stations buildings will be designed with glass windows, for a focus on brightness and transparency. Other features include 80-meter-long platforms, separated from rail lines by automatic sliding doors.
On 8 June Ansaldo STS announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Copenhagen’s metro company, Metroselskabet, to develop a proof of concept for new technology that will automatically adjust train frequency to passenger numbers.
The new Dynamic Headway solution will detect congestion through sensors at stations in order to analyse demand. Based on the demand analysis, the number of trains will be optimised automatically, responding dynamically to sudden changes in passenger numbers.
The system will be designed using both Ansaldo STS’s train control systems and Hitachi’s digitalisation and Internet of Things technology.
Potential advantages of the system being developped include improved service, resolving congestion before it has an impact on passengers and saving energy and operation costs by running trains more efficiently.
A protoype solution is planned before the end of the year. If succesfull, it could be fully implemented on Copenhagen’s lines M1/M2 and on the Cityringen project. In the future it could also be included in Ansaldo STS’s CBTC offering for other cities.
The Copenhagen automated metro system opened in 2002. The network is 21 km long and 22 has stations.
Ansaldo STS is a company of the Hitachi Group.
On 9 June the Italian state railways, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A., acquired a 36.7% stake (equity and shareholder loan) of M5 S.p.A., concessionaire of the automated Line 5 of the Milan metro. The shares, valued at EUR 64.5 million, were bought from Astaldi, a construction company.
“FS Italiane’s entry among the shareholders in Metro 5 marks another step toward the creation of an integrated infrastructures and services system aiming at improving public transport also in large urban areas”, said Renato Mazzoncini, CEO and General Manager of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.
Astaldi will continue to hold a 2% stake in M5. The shares held by other shareholders remain unchanged: Ansaldo STS hold 24.6%, ATM 20%, Alstom 9.4% and Hitachi Rail Italy 7.6%.
Line 5, also known as the Lilla line, links Bignami Parco Nord station to San Siro Stadio station, along a route extending for about 13 kilometers, with 19 stations and a light transport system connected with Milan’s other underground lines. There are planned extension projects to Monza and Settimo Milanese.