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Pointe-Saint-Charles residents bring noise complaints to town hall on REM

A group of frustrated residents gathered in Pointe-Saint-Charles Tuesday night to air their grievances with the new -- and noisy -- REM.

A town hall was hosted by CDPQ Infra, the company behind the light rail system, which promises to implement additional noise-reduction measures in the coming weeks.

"We will answer all their questions. We believe we have good answers to give," said Philippe Batani, vice president and head of public affairs for CDPQ Infra.

Attendees like Nicole Boisse said that overnight, it's a choice between open windows or a restful sleep.

"It stops at 1:30 in the morning, and it starts at 5:30 in the morning, so I have to close my window now," she said.

Meanwhile, Francois St-Hilaire said he bought an air unit just so he could keep the windows closed and shut out the noise.

"Just we the goal of being able to close my windows and live more comfortably in my apartment," he explained.

The REM, launched over the summer, currently runs from Brossard on the South Shore to downtown Montreal, passing over the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood in the city's southwest.

After complaints about the noise began rolling in, technicians installed an array of sound sensors across the line and measured levels that were higher than expected.

CDPQ Infra said it will go beyond typical sound barriers by installing rubber dampeners along the tracks; the noise is caused by the wheels rolling along them and rumbling the structure underneath.

They'll also grind down the rails to make them smoother and quieter.

The company said work on reducing the noise will begin in October. Top Stories

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