FAULTS have been discovered in new driverless metro trains delivered to the Montreal Metropolitan Electric Network (REM) automated light metro ahead of its planned opening next year.

A letter sent by Mr Jean-Marc Arbaud, CDPQ Infra president and chief executive officer, infrastructure, on September 7 to the Groupe PPM consortium, which includes Alstom which is building the fleet, said that defects had been found with the first trains during inspections.

The defects include damaged and exposed wiring and issues with welding and poorly fitted access doors. The trains are being manufactured at the SriCity factory in India and about 30% of the fleet has so far been delivered. The trains are due to enter passenger operation from next summer.

The Groupe PPM consortium was awarded the €1.8bn rolling stock, systems, operation and maintenance contract in February 2018, which included the supply of 212 1.5kV dc Metropolis metro cars. The first train was unveiled in November 2020 before it began testing. They are planned to operate in two-car and four-car formations.

Alstom spokesman Mr Samuel Miller told IRJ that since the letter was received, a detailed remediation plan had been put into place to address the identified deficiencies. He added that the issues reported in the CDPQ letter “do not in any way call into question the entry into service of the REM.”

A CDPQ Infra spokesperson told Radio Canada that authorities were “very confident” the faults would be rectified and that the REM project as a whole had not been compromised.

The REM is a 67km automated and electric metro system serving 26 stations. A partial service is expected to begin from the South Shore to Bonaventure-Central station next year, with the full network operational in 2024.

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