The electric light rail train took a big step forward Friday with a ceremonial groundbreaking at Trudeau airport in Dorval.

Crews of construction workers will descend on the site in the first week of August to begin the large scale work.

Once the line is built commuters should be able to get from the airport to downtown Montreal in about 20 minutes. They will also be able to easily connect to trains going to Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Deux-Montagnes, and the South Shore.

Aeroports de Montreal President Philippe Rainville said the REM will be a much needed solution to ease traffic.

"The highways are jammed on Friday night. So we've been dying for this solution," he said.

The hope is people will leave their cars at home.

"We keep building parking spots here, simply because this is the mode of access to the airport. So the REM, this is a key solution," said Rainville.

Construction on other stations began months ago and the West Island spur has two crews building pillars and connecting tracks.

By 2023 the REM will have 23 stations spread over 67 kilometres, which trains running 20 hours a day and departures every to 2.5 to 20 minutes.


Connecting airport to Vaudreuil Hudson line

At Friday's groundbreaking officials also announced a $2 million feasibility study to connect the airport to the Vaudreuil Hudson train line.

Many West Island commuters rely on the Dorval circle train and bus station as part of their daily commute.

Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau has been pushing for that connection ever since the REM was announced but it is not a done deal.

"For me, the important thing right now is they're going to be starting digging in the beginning of August, so make sure at least you do the tunnel," said Rouleau.

He said various agencies can then fight about how to make the connection, but if there's a tunnel at least pedestrians will be able to get through.

Rouleau added everybody else involved with Friday's announcement seemed preoccupied with people using the airport to the exclusion of residents.

"We have 100,000 people who are around our current station so why was that not considered," said Rouleau.