SYSTRA Canada Wins Major Light Rail Project in Montreal
8 February 2021

SYSTRA Canada Wins Major Light Rail Project in Montreal

SYSTRA Canada, leading a joint venture (JV) with AECOM, has won a contract for the preliminary studies and the preparation of the design-construction calls for tender for the eastward section of the metropolitan express network (REM).

This section is designated as REM de l’Est in the city of Montreal. The REM de l’Est project, as it is known, is being carried out by CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which fosters large public infrastructure projects and is the owner and operator of the REM. It follows on from the feasibility studies completed by the AECOM-SYSTRA JV.

This line, consisting of a common downtown core, is divided into two branches, going respectively to the northeast sector of Montreal near Cégep Marie-Victorin and to the east of the island as far as the Rivière-des-Prairies - Pointe-aux-Trembles borough.

A major strategic transportation initiative for the region

Currently at the construction phase, the REM is the largest public transportation project in Quebec for half a century. The development of Montreal’s East End and its economic regeneration is a priority for the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec. It has been announced by the Prime Minister as the biggest investment in Public Transportation in Quebec’s history. The bus network and a new fully automatic metro line together aim to provide a coherent, comprehensive, efficient and attractive overall transportation offer. The urban integration of a new automatic light rail transit system, the REM, is a major factor in the success of this urban requalification project for the East end of Montreal.

The REM route


"This assignment represents a great challenge for the teams and, after the Quebec tram, will position SYSTRA Canada a step further as a key actor in transit in Canada. With the outstanding experience accumulated in automatic metros around the world, the SYSTRA teams are more than ready to meet that challenge," commented Samuel Derosiaux, Transit Executive Vice President. “We are delighted that our client CDPQ Infra continues to place its trust in our abilities and we want to live up to their expectations as we look forward to working with them on future projects in Canada and elsewhere in the world.”

A project with four main phases

​The project will be structured around four main phases: a project assimilation phase and definition of all design criteria, a volumetric definition phase, in order to identify the project’s rights-of-way, land impacts on the city and inform the environmental impact study, a more in-depth design study phase on the works and operating scenarios selected at the end of Phase 2, and a formalization phase of the performance specifications for the call for tenders, the documents of which will be drawn up during this same phase. The team will then assist CDPQ Infra, supporting them along the procurement phase.

Sustainable transportation to boost the local economy

The REM de l’Est will reduce the impact of road traffic on the environment and stimulate economic development. The east and north branches will attract companies, investment, and residents, whose mobility will be greatly enhanced. For example, it currently takes up to an hour and twenty minutes by car or bus to travel between the city center and Pointe-aux-Trembles. With the REM de l’Est the journey will take just 25 minutes.

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