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REM noise: Work to start in October to make passing trains quieter for residents

The company in charge of Montreal's new light-rail line said it's going to take new steps to turn down the volume after Griffintown and Nun's Island residents have been complaining about excessive noise from the trains.

Dita Poenaru has lived in Griffintown for years, but this year she said the neighbourhood sounds a little different.

"Our dog, especially, when we open the windows, he's scared and hides under the desk, or in the closet, whenever those trains pass by," she said in an interview. 

The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) runs every few minutes, and since the line opened July 31, people living nearby have complained of the noise, pushing the company in charge to take a serious look.

Technicians put up an array of sound sensors across the existing line and they found it was noisier than they thought it would be. They say regular sound barriers aren't going to cut it.

Instead, they have to attack the problem at its source: the tracks.

Jean-Marc Arbaud, the president of CDPQ Infra, says the noise is caused by the wheels rolling along the tracks and the structure rumbling underneath. For the rumbling, they'll install rubber dampeners in problem areas.

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

"We expect the residents to feel the difference pretty soon," said Philippe Batani, the company's vice-president of communications.

The upgrades should only take a few days and cost "less than [$10 million]," according to Arbaud.

The noise reduction work on the REM is expected to start in October. Top Stories

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