Trains back on schedule for evening rush hour
Published Monday, January 26, 2009 7:28PM EST
Problems that caused commuter train delays Monday morning were cleared up for the evening rush hour.
Some commuters were lenient with the agency.
"My car won't even start," said one commuter, referring to the cold.
Some commuters were incensed.
"There were no announcements whatsoever about delays on the platforms," Lawrence Joseph wrote in an email. "This prevented people from making alternate plans, and left some people standing on platforms without access to shelters, which were overcrowded, for up to 45 minutes in minutes 23 C weather. [This] absolutely outrageous "service" from the AMT [is] completely unacceptable."
In Deux Montagnes, the first train of the morning was delayed by 23 minutes because of engines that stalled in the frigid cold.
That created a domino effect on subsequent trains.
In St. Jerome the 6:10 a.m. train was delayed 36 minutes because of doors that wouldn't open.
On the Dorion-Rigaud line between downtown and the western suburbs, the 6:55 a.m. train from Vaudreuil stalled on the tracks and was delayed for 19 minutes. However, according to Joseph, some trains never arrived, causing 45-minute delays.
Mechanical problems also caused delays throughout the system two weeks ago--the same week that the AMT said it would begin offering improved service.
The embarrassing coincidence led to an apology from AMT president Joel Gauthier, who laid part of the blame on CN and CP Rail.
The freight giants own and operate Montreal's commuter-rail lines, and Gauthier said he would send inspectors into the maintenance shops to ensure his agency, and commuters, were getting the service they paid for.
The AMT recently sent a list of needed improvements to the provincial and federal governments. The cost of the repairs and upgrades was an estimated total of $3 billon.