AMT passengers endure delays caused by cargo ships, other trains


For the second time in a week, passengers on the Vaudreuil-Hudson train line endured several delays Wednesday morning.

As of 9 a.m., nine trains were delayed, seven of which were heading downtown during the morning rush hour. That followed two other trains on Tuesday afternoon and evening that were delayed heading to the West Island.  Other lines also had delays: four trains on the Candiac Line were late heading downtown and three trains on the St-Jérôme Line were also slowed down heading downtown. 

The website of the Agence métropolitaine de Montréal, which operates the commuter trains, blamed the delays on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line on operational constraints caused by CP, the freight train company that operates the line. On Monday, a problem with the switches near the Montreal West station also caused several delays during the morning commute. A spokesperson for CP apologized on behalf of the company for those problems, and said it would work to assure they wouldn’t continue.

ATM spokesperson Caroline Julie said the Wednesday morning delays on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line were related to the same problem with CP. She said there is a persistent problem, whereby train traffic controllers are not approving trains for safe passage in the Montreal West corridor. Another issue was with maintenance planned near the Vaudreuil station that was not fully completed overnight. Since the work was not finished, trains are not permitted to exceed speeds of 16 kilometres per hour for a span of 1.5 kilometres, when they normally travel at nearly 50 kilometres per hour.

Julie said the problems on the Candiac Line were due to three cargo ships passing under the Victoria Bridge Wednesday morning. Trains can’t pass when ships are under the bridge in the St. Lawrence seaway, because the railway is raised to let them through. As for the St-Jérôme Line, Julie said the delays were minor, and by the time the trains entered the downtown terminal at Lucien L’Allier station, they had caught up the time lost.