Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CN, AMT sign Deux-Montagnes Line deal

Written by  John D. Thompson, Contributing Editor

Montreal's Agence Metropolitaine de Transport (AMT, or Metropolitan Transportation Agency) has signed an agreement to buy the Deux-Montagnes  line from CN for an undisclosed price. The purchase is subject to final approval by the Quebec provincial government.

CN and AMT began negotiating last spring on the possible sale of the electrified Deux-Montagnes Line, including the Mount Royal tunnel.  AMT’s ownership of the right-of-way will facilitate adding passenger service on the line, AMT’s busiest, and also reduce potential scheduling conflicts with CN freight trains.

The 18.6-mile, 12-station route carries 45% of the agency's annual ridership. Opened in 1918 by CN predecessor Canadian Northern Railway, the Deux-Montagnes Line extends northward from downtown's Central Station (also VIA's terminal station in Montreal).

AMT has been leasing the line from CN, which operates freights over a portion of the line during two windows: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. With AMT as owner, its trains would have priority between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.