RTM in action

RTM in action - An action plan to improve reliability and punctuality

The Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) has prepared an action plan to achieve lasting improvements in the reliability and punctuality of its commuter train service.



Improving the switch systems and railway bridges, adding two storage tracks at the Lachine Maintenance Centre and building a new maintenance centre for the Mascouche line are necessary to ensure service reliability.


Increased protection for switching systems to prevent parts from freezing and problems with snow build-up. Interventions will be carried out on one quarter of the network’s 400 switches considered critical, including:

  • The installation of new switch heaters with covers and additional covers for existing switch heaters
  • The addition of electrical heating elements to the 20 cold-air blowers for switches on the Deux-Montagnes line

Deux-Montagnes line railway bridges

  • Repairs to the pillars and steel structures of railway bridges on the Deux-Montagnes line, and replacement of decks and ties with a view to maintaining the normal circulating speed of 3000 series multi-level train sets on Deux-Montagnes line bridges

Maintenance centres

  • A building that includes one track for wheel reprofiling and one track for locomotive testing, plus two storage tracks is required at the Lachine Maintenance Centre to optimize maintenance of the Candiac, Saint-Jérôme and Vaudreuil lines train fleet
  • A maintenance centre is required for the Mascouche line trains to ensure the reliability of rolling stock on this line once work begins on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM)
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Rolling stock

For the Deux-Montagnes line, the MR-90 cars will be upgraded. For the other five lines, ten diesel locomotives and 20 two-level 2000-series cars will be purchased to ensure more efficient service. This additional rolling stock will make it easier to maintain the fleet by having a reserve of cars.

  • Upgrade of MR-90 cars so as to ensure reliable service on the Deux-Montagnes line; many of the systems on these 23-year-old cars (propulsion, transformers, brakes, doors, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units, etc.) will be refurbished
  • Acquisition of 10 low greenhouse gas emission diesel locomotives to replace the aging 29-year-old F59PH locomotives
  • Acquisition of 20 two-level 2000‑series cars for the entire network so as to provide an operational reserve of 3000‑series cars (reserve is currently in use on the Deux-Montagnes line), allow maintenance of 3000- and 2000‑series cars, and support the 3000‑series multi-level car renovation program, which is mandatory and must be carried out every 10 years
  • In the medium term, acquisition of 20 low greenhouse gas emission diesel locomotives to replace dual-mode locomotives, which will no longer be required as they will not be circulating in the Mount Royal tunnel following the commissioning of the REM
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Operations and maintenance

The RTM is working closely with Bombardier Transportation, its operations and maintenance supplier, in an effort to boost service efficiency and intervention speed during service disruptions. This includes increased monitoring, additional resources and training programs.

  • Setting up of a team of project managers and technicians dedicated to the upgrading of MR-90 cars on the Deux-Montagnes line
  • Additional training for train crews and front-line employees to improve communication and service to users
  • Closer monitoring to ensure flexibility of operations and maintenance teams with a view to maintaining continuous availability of required services
  • Setting up of a portable radio system for more direct communication between train crews, the maintenance department and the RTM’s Operations and Monitoring Centre
  • 25% increase in efficiency tests/audits
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Winter plan

Our network must be reliable year-round and in different weather conditions. Increasing the personnel dedicated to switches and signalling in winter and adding mechanical snow brooms will directly impact network reliability.

  • Hiring of additional staff for each peak period; these additional resources will be dedicated to inspecting and maintaining signalling and switches throughout the winter
  • Addition of mechanical snow brooms for snow removal from tracks
  • Winter plan continuous improvement process
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Service guarantee program

The action plan also includes implementing a service guarantee program starting this year. It will be based on best practices already used by other public transport operators in North America.



This compensation for our train network customers is part of our action plan to improve the reliability and the punctuality of our train service and concretizes our commitment.

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The RTM is working closely with the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain and the Government of Quebec to confirm the funding required to implement this plan.

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