The Line

Snapshot of McGill Station - January 15, 2024

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Ile-des-Soeurs is located in the median of Autoroute 10. This station is the first mass-transit station to exist on the island and is located right next to the headquarters of Bell Canada, as well as various new residential developments located around the island. While the station is at ground level, it is still elevated when compared to the surrounding areas. Trains going towards downtown Montreal use an elevated guideway over the westbound lanes of Autoroute 10, before passing next to the VIA Rail Montreal Maintenance Centre.

Construction at the station started in Fall 2019 as construction for the new Sameul de Champlain bridge was mostly completed. The new bridge also included the required space to allow for the construction of the REM in the middle of the structure.

As of it's opening on July 31, 2023, it is the final stop before reaching the intial terminus of the line at Gare Centrale. However, a station will be built in Griffintown at a future date.

  • Unlike Du Quartier and Panama, the two other stations built in the median of Autoroute 10, this station features side platforms for each direction of travel.
  • The station only has one entrance located under Autoroute A10. As with Panama, passengers must go up to reach platform level.
  • As a styling element to recall the Samuel de Champlain bridge, white vertical metal bars are located on the outside walls of the station as a visual cue to the haubans that support the central section of the bridge.
  • The construction of the station in its current site was made possible with the reconstruction of the Champlain bridge which was completed in 2019. 
  • The station features a small bus loop for STM buses that connect Ile des Soeurs and Verdun, and a passenger drop-off area on the south of the station.
  • Located on the northside of the underpass, passengers can access the multi-use pathways through the Samuel de Champlain bridge which offers unprecedented views of the St-Lawrence, Downtown Montreal and the South Shore.
  • While the stations on the South Shore have an orange / gold accent color, to recall the agricultural past of the lands on which Brossard and Longueuil are built, Ile-des-Soeurs is the first station that features white accents that are found throughout the fixtures, landscaping and ceramic throughout the station, a common element among most stations of the main segment located on the Island.
  • To the south of the station, a public plaza with a splash pad will be opened at a future date.


  • Opening Date: July 31, 2023
  • Line: Main Segment | Brossard-Gare Centrale
  • Platforms: 2 - side platforms for each direction of travel.
  • Previous Station: Panama
  • Following Station: Griffintown-Bernard-Landry (at a future date) - Gare Centrale (at opening)
  • Platform Height: 14.3m above street level
  • Fare zone: A
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Brossard Station is the southern terminus of the Reseau Express Metropolitian, and as such is one of the most important connection point for passengers traveling further than Brossard. Initially planned as "Rive-Sud" (it was renamed to Brossard on June 22, 2020), the station is located south of Autoroute 10 and 30 and and was built as a new facility for its current purpose.

In additiona to the station, the adjacent bus loop connects passengers from the other communities on the South-Shore, as well as the passengers from various parts of Longueuil. preparatory work started on March 15, 2018 with the actual construction starting in the Fall 2018.

Starting in January 2021, testing began on the segment between Brossard and just south of Panama.

On July 28, 2023, the station was used for the inauguration ceremony of the first segment of the REM between Gare Centrale and Brossard. Medias and dignitaries departed from the station for the first inaugural train on this day. Brossard was also the first departure on Monday July 31, 2023 at 5:30AM with the first train to depart a station on the network.


  • The station is also located on the site where the Brossard Light Maintenance and Storage Facility maintains the current fleet of the REM until the finalization of the Anse-A-L'Orme and Deux-Montagnes branches. Once trains are removed from service, either at the end of the day or for other reasons, trains continue behind the station and enter the car wash before returning to the yard.
  • Brossard is the only station with three platforms: this allows for easier turn-around operations for trains once higher frequencies are implemented on the line. Platform can vary throughout the day and also depend on whether or not the train is returning to the yard after dropping off passengers.
  • To incentivize transit usage into downtown Montreal, 2,948 parking spaces are available at the station. 2,099 spaces are free and an additional 849 are paid eihter daily or by obtaining a monthly permit from Indigo. 60 charging stations are located along the north side of the station in the free parking area. There is also a drop-off area located between the bus loop and station.
  • The bus loop has 21 quays to service routes from EXO and the RTL. It is also built to support the growth of climbing vegetation around its perimeter.


les passagers is two sculptures (diptych) by David Armstrong VI that will be installed at the entrances of the station and the bus loop. Each station will be more than 4m tall and made of cast bronze.

From the REM website:

For the Brossard station, David Armstrong VI has created a set of two sculptures (diptych) named les passagers. The artist is intrigued by the very essence of travelling by train.This diptych combines aggregates of cast bronze, undulating ribbons and alternating vibrant colours, pulling our gaze between reality and an interpretation of the interlaced forms. In the artist's vision, these two plant-like and animal-like figures, but also clearly human with their suitcase or backpack, belong both to the past and the future. David Armstrong VI has sculpted the undulating forms as if they were alive. It could be believed that the forms are like two fearless travellers from another time, swept along by a force in perpetual movement.


  • Opening Date: July 31, 2023
  • Tracks: 3
  • Platform Height: 7.5m from the roadway
  • Platforms: Side (Platform 2) and Island (Platform 1 and 3)
  • Line: Main Segment | Brossard-Gare Centrale (A1)
  • Following Station: Du Quartie
  • Fare Zone: B
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Du Quartier

Du Quartier is located in the median of Autoroute 10 and is integrated with the overpass for Boulevard Du Quartier. It is directly connected to the Quartier DIX30 shopping district and the Solar Uniquartier, a transit oriented development project. Work for the station started in Fall 2018.

  • Due to its location in the median of Autoroute 10, platform level is located at ground level, with the concourse being one level higher. Passengers entering the station need to either enter from the Boulevard Du Quartier overpass, the Solar Uniquartier pedestrian bridge or from the Quartier DIX30 pedestrian bridge. All entrances are fully-accesible with elevators or level access.
  • Solar Uniquartier is the first transit-oriented development (TOD) on the South Shore. The development will include approximately 2,600 residential unites once completed. The station is directly connected with the development.
  • Passengers arriving from Du Quartier have a covered passage around the Cinema Cineplex Odeon to reach the main entrance of the station. Music plays in the passage continuously.


  • Opening Date: July 31, 2023
  • Station Height: 13.6m from the roadway (concourse level)
  • Line: Main Segment | Brossard-Gare Centrale (A1)
  • Previous Station: Brossard
  • Following Station: Panama
  • Fare Zone: B
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Panama Station is located in the median of Autoroute 10 south of Mall Champlain. This station acts as an important multi-modal hub for passengers traveling on RTL buses heading for downtown Montreal.

Before construction started for the station in Fall 2019, the site was already a bus station opened in 1985, initially located closed to Mall Champlain. It was brought closer to the site of the REM station to facilitate transfers. In 2006, a busway was built in the median of Autoroute 10, with an underpass on the North side of the highway, allowing buses a direct connection with the Autoroute. This site was then built into Panama Station, with a new bus loop located closer to the station.

  • Due to its particuliar location in an existing busway, the station only has one entrance which is accessed through the Autoroute 10 underpasses. As such, passenges go up to platform level using either the stairs or central elevator.
  • The former section where buses traveled is located ot the North (under the westbound lanes, towards the bus terminal). A second tunnel was built under the eastbound lanes for pedestrian connections to the neighborhood and shopping plaza.
  • The new bus loop includes 30 platforms (seperated in 3 banks) with connections to EXO and RTL routes. The new facility includes bathrooms, a covered walkway to the REM station and a ticketing office. The bus loop opened on July 11, 2022.
  • To improve connectivity to the station, 200 bike racks are available at the station. 100 of those spots are covered.
  • There is also 304 parking spots (227 are free, the remainder are paid) which includes 4 EV charging stations, 6 accesible spots and 8 for carpooling to incentivize transit usage, as well as a kiss and ride for passenger drop-off. Passengers can acquire a monthly or daily pass for the paid spots.
  • A commercial space is also available in the bus loop, though it is not currently occupied (as of August 6, 2023)

Un voyage sans fin au-delà du présent is an art instalation by artist Chih-Chien Wang which will be installed in the underpass of the station. Once installed, the 8 photographs will be a structure 13.8m long by 4m high using metal lighbox to illuminate the images. The installation is expected ot be done by the end of 2023.

From the REM website:

Chih-Chien Wang is very familiar with the neighbourhood around the Panama station. He visits it regularly and views it as a journey through the various dialects, cultures and culinary specialities. It is like a physical and metaphorical portal allowing him to navigate time and the seasons. To pay homage to his roots and this site that is so particular, Wang dove into his own aerial photographs taken when he was travelling by plane from Montréal to other countries. To these, he has interspersed photographs shot in his Montréal studio of dust particles caught up in the wind. The spectator travels therefore from the micro to the macro, from the infinitely small to the infinitely vast. From the personal to the universal.


  • Opening Date: July 31, 2023
  • Line: Main Segment | Brossard-Gare Centrale
  • Previous Station: Du Quartier
  • Following Station: Ile-Des-Soeurs
  • Platforms: 1 island platform
  • Platform Height: 12m from public roadway
  • Fare zone: B
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Gare Centrale

Gare Centrale is, for now, the Northern Terminus of the Réseau Express Métropolitain. Once the network expands North, it will be come a through station in the core segment of the network. The station is located on the former platforms of track 9 through 12 which were used for EXO (former AMT services until their rebranding in 2018) through the Mount Royal Tunnel. To allow for the construction of the REM and its station in Gare Centrale, EXO Deux-Montagnes closed between Bois-Franc and Gare Centrale on May 11, 2020.

To create additional space for the island platform and create a waiting area for passengers, tracks 10 and 11 were infilled for the widening of the platform. Trains circulate on track 9 and track 12. Track 7 and 8 can be used for train storage as needed for operations. Due to its location, the station has multiple access points for passengers: from the south, through Place Bonaventure (unidentified entry, but identified exit) or from the North through Gare Centrale's Salle des Pas Perdus, or through the hallway that connects Gare Centrale with the Bonnaventure Metro Station.

Once outside the REM station, passengers can connect with various other services: exo3, Amtrak, VIA Rail, Mansfield Bus Terminal, STM bus routes, the Orange Line of the Metro at Bonnaventure and the Downtown Bus Terminal. All of those connections are done outside of the fare paid area.

Gare Centrale is also where passengers can find the customer service desk for the REM, located at the northern end of the station.

  • Unlike Brossard, Gare Centrale will only be temporary terminus for the REM: once the Anse-À-L'Orme (A3) and Deux-Montagnes (A4) branches open, services will continue through the Mount Royal Tunnel, transforming the terminus station into a through station.
  • Of the five initial stations of the REM, it is the only one that had a previous railway vocation. Over the years, it has been used for commuter and intercity passenger services.
  • Track 7 and 8 were formally used by Canadian National as a maintenance track for rolling stock repairs, including the UAC TurboTrain that operated between Montreal and Toronto. Nowadays, those tracks will be used for storage of spares or for the removal of disabled trains during service outages.
  • Through the Underground City (RÉSO), this station will connect with the future McGill Station via Place Ville-Marie and the Eaton Centre, as well as both the Green and Orange line of the Metro (only Bonnaventure is indicated as a connection on the map).
  • At its opening, the station does not feature faregates. As of writing, they are expected to be installed by the end of Fall 2023.
  • At the platform level, passengers can observe two different colors of tiles: the darker grey tiles indicate where track 10 and 11 were formally located while the lighter tile denotes the original platform locations. The original concrete structural elements were restored to act as a central divider within the station and can also be observed on the other platforms throughout Gare Centrale.
  • The ceilling was designed to be an open grid where all components are exposed as a nod to the complexity of the site and its various interconnexions with the surrounding facilities and buildings.
  • Due to its proximity to the other platforms at Gare Centrale, it is possible to observe VIA and EXO trains while they are in station and departing.
  • Opening Date: July 31, 2023
  • Line: Main Segment | Gare Centrale - Brossard
  • Previous Station: Griffintown-Bernard-Landry (at a future date), Île-des-Soeurs (at opening).
  • Following Station: McGill (2024)
  • Platforms: 1 Island, 2 tracks.
  • Platform Depth: 3.1m below street level
  • Fare zone: A
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Behind the Scenes with the REM Team - August 12, 2022

On August 12th, 2022, Rail Fans Canada had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see the progress at some of the REM facilities and stations. As part of this visit, we got the chance to visit the future McGill Station, Gare Centrale rebuild, Mount-Royal Tunnel and Brossard's Maintenance and Control Facility.

Below you can explore the content we have produced (so far!) about our visit. 

Once again, huge thanks to everyone at CDPQ Infra, NouvLR and Groupe PMM for making such an experience possible and taking the time to show us around their respective worksites!

McGill Station and Mount-Royal Tunnel

First stop of the day: McGill Station. Located under McGill College Avenue, it will be a brand new station in Montreal's downtown core. It is built on the existing alignment of the Mount-Royal tunnel. This meant excavating in the busy downtown core, avoiding utilities, foundations, utilities and underground passages. This creates a great challenge to the REM team as they are building the station box, while needing to support and protect all those existing infrastructures.

As for the Mount-Royal Tunnel, a lot of work is needed to rehabilitate and modernize the centennial tunnel. Those worksites are particularly active and rely on innovative technologies to ensure their work is as precise as needed to ensure the tunnel is viable for at least another 100 years.

Gare Centrale

Built within the former platforms for the EXO lines that were going through the Mount-Royal Tunnel, the brand new REM station at Gare Centrale will be the terminus for the initial segment that will operate on the South Shore Branch. It offers connections to VIA Rail, EXO, RÉSO and Orange Line of the Montreal Metro.

To achieve the opening target of December 2022, crews are quite active throughout the site as testing and commissioning activities continue.

Brossard Light Maintenance and Storage Facility

Located south of the Highway 10 and Highway 30 interchange, the Brossard LMSF will serve to store half of the initial REM fleet of Alstom Metropolis. The facility will also be used to perform light maintenance on the vehicles to ensure their service availability remains as high as possible.

Brossard's Control Centre 

Serving as the main control centre for the entire REM network, the facility will oversee the deployment and operations of all vehicles on the network, as well as the 1000+ CCTVs. At the time of our visit, the layout of the control room was not completed yet as it is currently setup for testing purposes.

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Snapshot of Des Sources Station - August 12, 2022

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Brossard Light Maintenance and Storage Facility

Located south of the intersection of Highway 10 and 30, Brossard Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) is the primary facility for the ongoing maintenance and storage of the Alstom Metropolis rolling stock. The facility also contains the main control centre for all operations and is staffed 24/7.

When trains end service at Brossard station, they will continue onward to enter the facility and, based on the operational needs, either be sent to the storage or maintenance hall.

To ensure the cleanliness of the rolling stock, an automated "car-wash" is found at the entrance of the facility where trains can be automatically cleaned before going into storage.

Whenever trains are not in-service, the storage yard is a covered facility part of the MSF. It contains 9 tracks that can accommodate 54 double cars and 6 trains per track. including all the ones needed to operate the South Shore branch once it opens. Each track is directly accessible from outside through an automated door.

As the trains are fully-automated, their movement within the storage yard is also automated using a similar positioning system as found throughout the line. Inside the main hall, the trains are accessible from either side to allow for visual inspection of the rolling stock and can move on their own power. Various interlocking systems are in place to ensure the safety of staff navigating within the facility.

Composed of four tracks parallel to the Storage Hall, the Maintenance Hall is where the necessary work to maintain the fleet of Alstom Metropolis used by the REM. Given the nature of the work and the possibility of damage or issues, trains might operate in manual control to enter and exit this facility, a rare occurrence on the REM network.

The facility is equipped to perform preventive and corrective maintenance on-site for the duration of the contract between Groupe PMM (SNC Lavalin / Alstom Partnership) and CDPQ Infra. Work bays are found on two tracks, cranes allow for the separation of bogeys and cars, and jacks and elevated platforms allow access to all elements of the rolling stock.

As the REM will operate 20 hours out of every day, maintenance will be done on a rotating basis between the vehicles, ensuring that enough trains are available for the expected level of service and dynamic spares should any issue arise.

Overview of the Brossard Maintenance Facility, facing South. On the left, the main maintenance hall, at the right, the control centre.At the back, the storage hall.
Inner layout of the storage hall. 9 tracks can store up to 54 double cars. The hall is fully automated using the yellow tags on the tracks, allowing for storage to be automated and not require human intervention.
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Alstom Metropolis

Ordered by CDPQ Infra in 2018, the Alstom Metropolis was retained to serve as the rolling stock for the REM. In total, 212 cars were ordered, operating in four-car during peak and two-car units during off-peak hours. The trains were assembled in India and started to be delivered in October 2020. While used for the REM, the Metropolis can also be found around the world and is the basis for the rolling stock in many transit networks including Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, and Buenos Aires. The platform is highly customizable and designed to meet the operational needs of operators throughout the world.

The Alstom Metropolis is a light rail, high-floor trainset that is 100% electrified and benefits from regenerative breaking, full-LED lighting and modern HVAC equipment. Each pair of cars is semi-permanently coupled, with four-car units consisting of two pairs attached with an exterior coupling mechanism. The consists are powered by an overhead catenary that provides 1,500V DC, with one motor on each axle. Peak speeds of 100 km/h are expected on some segments, with an average speed of 51 km/h. While the trains are larger than the MPM-10 Azur rolling stock, they use standard gauge trackage. Once closed, the wide doors will be flush with the side of the train to reduce drag and improve aesthetics.

The trains are fully automated and rely on an Alstom-designed Automatic Train Control (Urbalis 400 CBTC): as such, there will not be a cab in the vehicles, leaving the ends of each car fully accessible to passengers. Should Automatic Control be disabled, or manual movement of the train be required, a "hidden" control panel can be found under the covers at the end of each car and is locked out to avoid accidental intervention.

Due to their high-floor nature, the trains have an emphasized focus on accessibility with level-boarding at all stations, level-floor throughout and wide-open areas to facilitate movement in the train. Reserved spaces are found throughout to accommodate passengers with mobility needs. Before production started, a life-size model of the rolling stock was presented to customers in Montreal and feedback was used to improve the passenger experience. The choice of colours and contrast between the elements was done to improve accessibility to users with visual difficulties.

To enhance the passenger experience, the Metropolis was considerably customized for the REM. The visual identity of the trains, including the cab-end and accent colours, emphasizes the various elements of Montreal. The three designs, Saint-Laurent, Mont-Royal and L'Expo were presented to the public who then offered their feedback in 2018. 42% voted in favour of the St-Laurent Design, which was used to finalize the identity of the rolling stock. On the interior, maps of the various branches, a screen indicating the next stop and destination, Wi-Fi, heated floors and capacity indicators (using sensors integrated into the hydraulic suspension of the cars) allow for a seamless passenger experience. Of the projected 600 passengers in a 4-car train, 128 will be seated. The seats feature an increased side-bolster to counteract the sideways alignment of passengers compared to the train movement.

Side-profile of the Alstom Metropolis
Layout of a paired car. During peak service, two pairs will be coupled to increase capacity.

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