Opening of REM’s airport section delayed until at least 2025

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CDPQ Infra said Friday it has had to push back the opening of the light-rail network’s airport section because the station at Trudeau International won’t be completed by the end of 2024 as first thought.

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Montrealers will need to wait until at least 2025 to take the train to Trudeau International Airport.

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CDPQ Infra, the unit of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec that’s building the 67-kilometre, 26-station Réseau express métropolitain, said Friday it has had to push back the opening of the light-rail network’s airport section because the station at Trudeau International won’t be completed by the end of 2024 as first thought.

“Obviously if the station is not ready, then the entire section cannot be put into service,” said CDPQ Infra spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix.

It’s too early to say when the airport section of the REM can open, Lacroix added. The section includes the Trudeau International station as well as the Marie-Curie station, located in St-Laurent’s busy Technoparc.

The airport stop is the only one of the REM’s 26 stations whose construction is not being overseen by CDPQ Infra. That responsibility falls to Aéroports de Montréal, the airport’s operator.

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A new timeline for the station’s opening will probably be announced this fall, ADM chief executive Philippe Rainville said this month.

“It’s a complex project, and we have to do it right,” Rainville said at ADM’s annual meeting on May 5.

More than 1.8 kilometres of the three-kilometre tunnel leading to the airport station have been dug, Lacroix said Friday. Work on the tunnel will probably be completed by the end of 2022, he said.

The REM is still on track to open this fall, with service between Central Station and Brossard beginning at that time. CDPQ Infra expects most of the REM’s network — with the exception of the airport section — to operate by the end of 2024, Lacroix said.

Although the REM was partly conceived as a way to connect Montreal’s downtown core to the airport, construction of the station at Trudeau International had been in doubt until last year because ADM ran out of money to build it. ADM was initially set to cover the full cost of the $600-million station, but a massive drop in revenue due to the pandemic forced it to seek government aid.

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