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Port of Montreal completes rail optimization project

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) announced that last week, it completed its extensive project to optimize rail capacity, a flagship project to improve the performance and fluidity of its logistics services. Phased in over three years at a total cost of $62.4 million, this ambitious project that extends from Bourbonnière Avenue to Panet Street, near the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, signals a major increase in the Port of Montreal’s rail capacity.

The Port of Montreal stands out as the “Montreal Model” based on its seamless intermodal transfers that make it possible to reach a pool of 110 million consumers. Every year, the Port of Montreal’s rail network moves 2,500 km of rail cars. About 45% of the Port’s cargo is carried by rail at a rate of 60 to 80 trains per week. The project aims to strengthen and optimize this strategic infrastructure at the hub of Greater Montreal’s supply chain.

The project features:

  • Installation of 2 new tracks totalling 6 km of additional track and 6 switches to serve the 14 terminals
  • Construction of retaining walls totalling 1+ km in length
  • Relocation of the Port Road and all related infrastructure (sewer, water supply, power and telecom networks, etc.)

Environmental and social impact

The rail capacity optimization project called on several teams from the MPA and partner companies, including civil engineering, environment, port land use planning, electricity, telecommunications and rail teams. Several measures were also identified to improve the project’s environmental performance. For example, excavated soil was used for backfill, the new Port Road consists of recycled paving and the composite railroad sleepers are made from recycled plastic. Sectoral studies on noise, dust, traffic and the impact on flora and fauna were also conducted before the project began.

“The rail capacity optimization project illustrates how committed we are to maintaining the quality and reliability of the Port of Montreal’s services at the hub of Greater Montreal’s logistics ecosystem, for the benefit of businesses and the population of Quebec, Ontario and the rest of Canada. Thanks to these significant improvements, we can not only increase our efficiency, but also substantially contribute to the local and regional economy,” said Julie Gascon, President and CEO of the MPA.

This major infrastructure project was generously supported by the governments of Canada ($18.4 million) and Quebec ($18.3 million). The APM salutes their contribution, which enable us to increase port fluidity and capacity.

 (Photo by MPA of new rail line)