We still do not know who will pay, and especially in what proportion, for the new phase of repair of the Azur trains of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), of which about twenty are currently at a standstill due to “wear and tear premature” wheel rolling, as La Presse revealed on Thursday. For an expert, the main part of the bill should however go to Alstom, the multinational which is behind the design of the trains.

“Discussions are still ongoing on this point,” spokeswoman for the transport company, Justine Lord-Dufour, briefly explained Thursday, specifying that no other details can be provided at this time on the nature of the costs. , or payers.

Thursday, La Presse1 revealed that the STM noticed as early as 2019 an “anomaly” on the rolling stock of the trains – the equivalent of what is often called a bearing for cars -, that is- i.e. the part fixing the wheel to the vehicle and allowing it to turn. Essentially, a construction fault allows electrical current to pass through the bearings, subsequently creating arcs that destroy them. The general manager of the Montreal carrier, Marie-Claude Léonard, was unable to confirm what the operation will cost, in an interview.

By email, Alstom cautiously indicated that it was “in discussion with the STM regarding the assumption of direct costs related to the replacement of parts”. The multinational will assume “its role as a rolling stock supplier partner for the STM, as it has done since the start of the metro car replacement project in 2010,” said the vice-president of communications for the entire Americas region, Michelle Stein.

“We have developed a permanent and durable solution and are assisting in the effort to repair the affected components. We continue to support the STM to mitigate supply chain issues and secure replacement parts,” she also notes, without going any further.

In the fall of 2022, a “permanent” solution was implemented to correct the problem. This involves installing on each of the hubs – the central part of the train wheel – a set of conductive crowns which redirect the electric current elsewhere than on the rolling stock, for example towards the rail. It is the French multinational Alstom which has set up this system. According to our information, all Azur trains are affected by this “anomaly” on the rolling stock and will have to go through this upgrade.

Remember that the first Azur trains, also called “MPM-10” for pneumatic equipment for Montreal 2010, were ordered by the STM in 2008. The consortium made up of Bombardier and Alstom, which also bought the transport subsidiary of Bombardier in 2021, is the one who supplied most of the materials for the new trains to the transport company.

For Pierre Barrieau, an expert in transport planning at the University of Montreal, it should be up to Alstom to foot the bill. “I haven’t read the contract, but normally here we talk about construction defects. This kind of thing, as a rule, is included in the warranty, since it is a design defect. It would therefore normally be up to Alstom to pay,” he summarizes.

Legal discussions could take place between the STM and Alstom in order to resolve the impasse, according to the expert. “Alstom mainly produced the bogies, so the carriages under the trains. The weird thing is that it’s been a production bogie for a long time and they’re producing it on other metro networks, including Paris,” Barrieau notes.

Drivers drive much too fast around the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel. Barely implemented, the mobile photo radar of the A25 megasite has already become the most lucrative in Quebec, revealed earlier this week new government data reported by La Presse. Since the device was installed at the end of January, nearly 900 drivers have received tickets, courtesy of the new photo radar. Its addition was made after authorities noted around 20 accidents and collisions in the tunnel, which has had its lane count halved. The fines imposed on road users in February are very high; they average $438.

The explosion in the number of “illegal” taxis at Montreal-Trudeau airport calls for immediate action, one of the largest taxi groups in the city said Thursday in the wake of a column in La Presse, deploring that it has simply “become too easy” to improvise as an authorized driver and make money from it. “It’s mushrooming, literally. It has become far too easy. Honestly, the government has opened up a jungle with all this,” Taxi Coop general manager Jean Fortier said in an interview.

A company filed a $6.3 million lawsuit this week against the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), blaming the carrier and its professionals for the nearly two-year delay in work on the new Crémazie transport hub, completed in 2022. “The STM stakeholders and its professionals had not measured the extent of the preparatory work to be carried out while the STM’s activities remained in operation. […] The numerous delays in the execution of the preparatory work had the effect of delaying the demolition of the building structure,” writes lawyer Me Keven Laverdière, who represents Lambert Somec inc.

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