Montreal’s old metro cars are switching gears as they enter their next phase of life.

The STM’s first metro cars – MR-63s, inaugurated in the 1960’s – were taken off the tracks two years ago.

Now, two Montreal brothers have a plan to give some of them a new lease on life.

For years, Frederic and Etienne Morin-Bordeleau worked with the STM to develop a plan to re-purpose the cars taken out of rotation.

In 2016, the transit agency called for proposals to buy and transform the MR-63 cars – and the Bordeleaus’ plan was picked up.

“I remember the exact moment – I was doing an interview with some sort of cool thing, and I got the call from the STM,” Frederic explained. “They said ‘yes, you got the metro trains,’ and my brother and I were just incredibly happy. We couldn’t believe it.”

“We went from dreamers to entrepreneurs with metro trains,” he added.

The plan is to have a series of cultural spaces, similar to the stereotype set up along the Lachine canal last summer, known as “Station FMR.”

According to the brothers, there will be a café/bar on the first floor, and boutiques and event spaces on the second and third.

They haven’t decided on the exact floor plan, but unlike the prototype, the cars will be inside a glass building, and have solar panels to make the building carbon neutral.

“You visit Montreal with the metro, you experience Montreal with the metro – and it’s like this poetry we want to bring back to our project,” Etienne said.

Just how much of a symbol was pretty clear earlier this month, when hundreds lined up for hours to buy old memorabilia that the STM was throwing out.

The old cars were a bargain at $1,000 apiece, the brothers said – and they bought either.

The building will likely be erected on the corner of Peel and Ottawa in Griffintown, and will cost around $7 million – from public and private funds – to create.

They’re hoping it will be ready around 2020.