The infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been awarded to Groupe NouvLR comprising SNC Lavalin Grands Projets, Dragados Canada, Groupe Aecon Québec, Pomerleau, EBC, and Participants (NouvLR Conception) comprising SNC Lavalin and Aecom Consultants. The contract includes construction of stations, bridges, tunnels and other structures, substations and catenary, and track laying. Groupe NouvLR was competing with Kiewit-Eurovia for the contract.

The rolling stock and systems and operation and maintenance (RSSOM) contract has gone to Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montréalais (PMM) comprising Alstom Transport Canada and SNC-Lavalin O&M. The contract will cover the supply of more than 200 cars, passenger information, telecommunications, and automatic driving systems, control centre equipment, platform screen doors, and WiFi. Two other groups had been qualified to bid for the RSSOM contract: Alliance Montréal Mobilité and Bombardier.

CDPQ Infra says construction will start in April, with initial testing underway by the end of 2020 to enable the first section to open in summer 2021.

CDPQ says it has kept within announced financial parameters, with construction costs of $C 6.3bn ($US 5bn), which is less than a 5% variation from the preliminary estimates, met the $C 0.72/passenger-km cost target, which Montreal Regional Transport Authority (ARTM) will use to set it rates, and that no additional contributions from governments will be needed with the same estimated return levels.

The project is being funded by CDPQ Infra ($C 2.95bn), the Quebec government ($C 1.28bn), the Canadian government ($C 1.28bn), Hydro-Quebec ($C 295m) and ARTM ($C 512m).

“Today we can confirm that construction of REM will begin in April,” says Mr Michael Sabia, president and CEO of Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec. “REM is now a reality. Since the very start of the project, less than two years ago, we have been meeting with the public, municipalities, transportation companies, and other stakeholders. We listened to their ideas and suggestions, which turned into innovative solutions and continuously improved our project.”

Montreal REM map