A fleet of 160 new multi-level cars will soon be riding the rails in and around Montreal, and the Agence m�tropolitaine de transport hopes it will help relieve commuter strain.

The new cars are expected to increase rush-hour capacity by 70 per cent and boost ridership to an additional 43,000 trips per day, said the AMT.

It's something the public transit company hopes will relieve overcrowding on the current train system.

"Trains are so popular that there is no seating at the end of the line. People coming into the train have to stand," said AMT President Joel Gauthier.

The $386,000,000 project, three quarters of which was financed by Quebec's transport department, will be introduced to the AMT's commuter train system this fall.

The trains were unveiled at Bombardier Transportation's La Pocati�re plant Friday.

Each of the 160 cars is fitted with 142 ergonomic seats, an intermediate level fitted with benches, bicycle stands and a two-way communication system between passengers and train crew. Each train will have a toilet, as well as improved accessibility for people with reduced mobility.

Starting late fall, one train set per month will be commissioned on the five existing lines and the future Train de l'Est line, starting with Mont Saint-Hilaire.

"We expect to be in the West Island with these new double-deckers by the spring of 2010," said Gauthier.