Nicolas Girard, AMT’s CEO, recently said to local media, “When we made the announcement, we always said it would be in 2014.” But area rail advocates say AMT began backing away last month from a prior commitment to add service by January 2013.
“AMT is a creature of the Quebec [provincial] government and its changing priorities,” Avrom Shtern, a member of advocacy group Train de l'Ouest Group and a spokesperson for Green Coalition, a Montreal environmental group, told Railway Age. “The current … government's priorities are more ‘go slow’ with the Train de l'Ouest, as it faces budgetary constraints, the ballooning costs of Train de l'Est, and its natural tendency to favor eastern sectors of metropolitan Montreal and the construction of an eastward extension of the Blue Metro line to Anjou.”
Shtern added, “The eventual introduction of electric multiple-units (EMUs) would do wonders to efficiencies. That unfortunately is not being planned.”