In 1910, when the population of the metropolis of Montreal had not yet reached 500,000, it was said that the traffic and transportation difficulties in Montreal called for a subway, and the suggestion has come up many times in visionary or serious form since that time.
In 1910, when the population of the metropolis of Montreal had not yet reached 500,000, it was said that the traffic and transportation difficulties in Montreal called for a subway, and the suggestion has come up many times in visionary or serious form since that time. But it was not until November, 1961, that a report of the Executive Committee of Montreal's Municipal Council received definite approval for the metro construction.
Montreal is the largest city in Canada -- population slightly over 2,200,000, it is situated on an island, and the traffic flow from the surrounding cities coming into the centre of Montreal reaches gigantic proportions. The city has an efficient bus service and there are many commuter trains one of which may eventually become a part of the expanded metro system. The City of Montreal is building its own subway system, with the advice of the Paris Autonomous Transport Board.
The actual work on the metro began officially on May 23rd, 1962, on Berri Street. Construction work is now well under way in connection with the two main lines: east-west, and north-south. These lines follow closely the main streams of traffic through the use of adjacent streets as automobile circulation has reached such a degree of concentration that it is no longer possible to open upon the whole of a highly commercial street or one of dense traffic without doing great harm to local business and clogging up a section of the city. With the acceptance of St. Helen's Island and Notre Dame Island as the site of the 1967 World's Fair, it has been decided to build another metro line from the Berri-de Montigny Station (the main transfer point on the main lines), crossing under the St. Lawrence River and providing a station on a station on St. Helen's Island, one on Notre Dame Island and one at the city of Longueil (on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River) at the Jacques Cartier Bridge approaches.
The total number of miles for these three metro lines will be 15.1, with 27 stations. Montreal Metro will carry its first passengers in 1966.
The subway cars will run in a single tunnel of variable depth. The construction of a 2-track 23' wide tunnel has been found very economical as the nature of the subsoil favours this solution. In the territory of Montreal, the rock often breaks the surface and its is advantageous to lower the level of certain sections of the subway line in order to make use of this formation. A large proportion of the east-west and north-south lines run through rock. When the tunnel is dug mostly in earth, the adopted solution is that of a 2-track tunnel cut in an open trench. Many of the men working on this project are hard rock miners from various parts of the Province of Quebec.
Our footage included sequence on a machine drilling holes in rock at three levels (lower, middle and upper), the machine can drill up to 10 holes at one time. Dynamite is placed into the holes and following the caves in during the night and, if the inspectors find any weak spots, long rods are placed into the ceiling and it is reinforced. Included also in our footage is a sequence on a unitized central mixing plant for mixing sand, aggregate and cement, the product is tested by inspectors for air bubbles, and then the final mix is fed through 2 hoses about 4" in diameter, at approximately 100 lbs. Pressure per square inch, and then blown out between metal forms. The cement can be poured up to 80' Per section at one time. When the line runs through an earth section, the concrete is reinforced by metal rods, etc..
The subway tunnel, 23' wide and with a centre height of 16', broadens to 44' over a 500' length at the stations. All stations are to have side platforms, with passengers entering and leaving always on the same side of the car. Because passengers have only one-way access to the platforms, control will be easily exercised by automatic gates. The actual subway stations will be underground, with escalators.
The metro cars will have pneumatic tires and will roll on reinforced concrete tracks. Lateral guidance of the cars will be provided by horizontal guiding wheels, rolling on bars mounted to the side of the running track. The floor or tunnel bed is made of a layer of perfectly levelled concrete, in which the steel safety rails, the side guiding rails support and the reinforced concrete running tracks are set. Each motor car is carried on two trucks, one front and one rear, and is equipped with four motors. The traction current is picked up by collector shoes sliding on the lateral guiding bars, is fed to the traction equipment and returns through the steel rails. The pneumatic tires will eliminate noise and result in smooth starts, rides and stops. Other advantages are steeper acceleration, deceleration and braking, a more sustained commercial speed, ability to manage steeper slopes, etc.. A train of nine cars (6 powered and 3 trailers) will be able to carry at least 1,500 passengers. The maximum transportation capacity has been estimated at 40 trains an hour, or 60,000 travellers hourly in each direction.
The Montreal Metro will be closely modeled after the paris metro, but the cars will have their particular originally -- they are being built by a Montreal firm to a model specially designed for Montreal and meet modern standards of industrial esthetics. A year before the World's Fair, the metro will facilitate passenger transportation in Montreal and relieve surface traffic, taking its place with the world's great cities which already have subway service but with its own modern system, efficient and economical.