by Eva Tomlin
Réseau de Transport Métropolitain (RTM) sent out a recent memo to all its users apologizing for the recent delays in train service. The RTM claims the wide swings in temperatures and the onslaught of strong gusting winds, cold, and substantial accumulations of snow have had a major impact on operations, causing a series of problems on our rolling stock and infrastructures.
“Our crews and service partners, working day and night, have stepped up their efforts, remaining firmly focused on ensuring that our winter action plan is executed correctly,” stated RTM’s Executive Director, Stéphane Lapierre. “We are also assigning additional crews on the ground, conducting extra tests and maintenance measures on our rolling stock, and fine-tuning our plan regularly.”
According to LaPierre, the extreme weather has systems breaking down for CN and CP as well.
“The wide swings in temperatures have severely tested the RTMs’ railway infrastructures and those maintained by their owners, CN and CP. Many switches, despite being automatically heated, have frozen on account of the strong winds that have constantly re-covered tracks and switches with snow. Although switches are regularly cleared of snow, train crews have still had to operate them manually, a procedure that can take up to 20 minutes. Snow accumulations and temperature swings have also caused failures in railway signaling systems. These situations have caused delays on several lines, leading to train congestion and cancellations. It is important to specify that it is the entire rail system, both passenger and freight transport, that has been affected by these extreme weather conditions.”
Passengers are urged to check in with the RTMs’ train lines on Twitter, to download the Chrono application and to refer to Info-Perturbation.