Montreal Metro

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Place-Saint-Henri station

The Montreal Metro is the main form of public transportation within the city of Montreal and was the second metro system to be built in Canada, opening 12 years after the Toronto subway.

The Metro, operated by Société de transport de Montréal, was inaugurated on October 14, 1966, during the tenure of Mayor Jean Drapeau. Originally consisting of 26 stations on three separate lines, the Metro now incorporates 65 stations on four lines, serving the centre, east, and west of Montreal Island with a connection to Longueuil via the Yellow Line and, soon, Laval, originally to be completed in 2006, but now scheduled to be inaugurated in 2007.



The Montreal metro system was first built to service the 1967 World's Fair, Expo '67, held in the summer of 1967. Construction began in May, 1962, and the main lines (Green (Line 1), Atwater to Frontenac; and Orange (Line 2), Bonaventure to Henri-Bourassa) were opened in October, 1966, with line Yellow (Line 4) (Berri-de-Montigny) to Longueuil, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River) not opened until April, 1967. (Line 3, originally intended to be a surface train running in part through the existing railway tracks running under Mount Royal to Cartierville, was never built. It was considered more important to build Line 4 because of Expo '67. Line 3 now exists as a commuter train line.)

With the awarding of the 1976 Summer Olympics to Montreal, construction began in October 1971 for the extension of Line 1 from Frontenac to Honoré-Beaugrand to service the main Olympic site; the new stations were opened in June 1976.

Later, Line 1 was extended from Atwater to Angrignon (September 1978), while Line 2 was extended from Bonaventure to Place-Saint-Henri (April 1980), Snowdon (September 1981), Côte-Sainte-Catherine and Plamondon (January and June 1982), and Du Collège (January 1984).

Two years later, a new line (Blue (Line 5)) was built from De Castelnau to Saint-Michel (June 1986), with transfers to Line 2 at Jean-Talon, and Line 1 was extended further to Côte-Vertu (November 1986). Line 5 was then extended to Parc (June 1987), Acadie (March 1988), and the existing Snowdon station on line 2 (January 1988).

While a number of proposals for further expansion had been studied, the Quebec provincial government placed a moratorium on further metro construction. Only recently has construction begun on an extension of Line 2 from Henri-Bourassa under the Rivière des Prairies to Montmorency on the island of Laval (northwest of the island of Montreal); completion is expected in early 2007.

Other expansion proposals currently being considered involve Line 4 being extended a short distance beyond Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke and Line 5 being extended farther northeast beyond Saint-Michel; the plan to extend Line 5 from Snowdon into the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce area of Montreal has apparently been discarded. Expansion plans may also be affected by the aging of the existing metro cars, which may need to be replaced sometime in the future.

Dates and Distances

Line 1: Green — Angrignon - Honoré-Beaugrand (22.1 km / 27 stations)
Station Opening Date Interstation Distance
Angrignon 3 September 1978 844.29 m
Monk 3 September 1978 1062.85 m
Jolicoeur 3 September 1978 761.39 m
Verdun 3 September 1978 563.86 m
De L'Église 3 September 1978 812.30 m
LaSalle 3 September 1978 707.25 m
Charlevoix 3 September 1978 1077.31 m
Lionel-Groulx 3 September 1978 1387.74 m
Atwater 14 October 1966 681.54 m
Guy-Concordia (Guy) 14 October 1966 593.14 m
Peel 14 October 1966 296.52 m
McGill 14 October 1966 345.69 m
Place-des-Arts 14 October 1966 354.38 m
Saint-Laurent 14 October 1966 336.80 m
Berri-UQAM (Berri-de-Montigny) 14 October 1966 378.76 m
Beaudry 21 December 1966 495.00 m
Papineau 14 October 1966 1157.57 m
Frontenac 19 December 1966 1003.95 m
Préfontaine 6 June 1976 383.43 m
Joliette 6 June 1976 766.88 m
Pie-IX 6 June 1976 621.85 m
Viau 6 June 1976 895.87 m
Assomption 6 June 1976 781.69 m
Cadillac 6 June 1976 518.51 m
Langelier 6 June 1976 621.79 m
Radisson 6 June 1976 716.99 m
Honoré-Beaugrand 6 June 1976 Terminus
Line 2: Orange — Côte-Vertu - Henri-Bourassa (24.8 km / 28 stations)
Station Opening Date Interstation Distance
Côte-Vertu 3 November 1986 777.24 m
Du-Collège 9 January 1984 1281.69 m
De-La-Savane 9 January 1984 786.70 m
Namur 9 January 1984 988.47 m
Plamondon 29 June 1982 451.10 m
Côte-Sainte-Catherine 4 January 1982 693.00 m
Snowdon 7 September 1981 884.41 m
Villa-Maria 7 September 1981 1407.32 m
Vendôme 7 September 1981 1450.88 m
Place-Saint-Henri 28 April 1980 579.60 m
Lionel-Groulx 28 April 1980 758.60 m
Georges-Vanier 28 April 1980 530.60 m
Lucien-L'Allier 28 April 1980 381.60 m
Bonaventure 13 February 1967 392.60 m
Square-Victoria 6 February 1967 356.60 m
Place-d'Armes 14 October 1966 370.60 m
Champ-de-Mars 14 October 1966 720.50 m
Berri-UQAM (Berri-de-Montigny) 14 October 1966 579.10 m
Sherbrooke 14 October 1966 932.10 m
Mont-Royal 14 October 1966 499.60 m
Laurier 14 October 1966 746.10 m
Rosemont 14 October 1966 541.10 m
Beaubien 14 October 1966 712.10 m
Jean-Talon 14 October 1966 977.10 m
Jarry 14 October 1966 825.60 m
Crémazie 14 October 1966 1279.60 m
Sauvé 14 October 1966 771.60 m
Henri-Bourassa 14 October 1966 Current Terminus / Approx. 1250 m
Cartier Early 2007 TBD
De-La-Concorde Early 2007 TBD
Montmorency Early 2007 Projected Terminus
Line 4: Yellow — Berri-UQAM - Longueuil (4.25 km / 3 stations)
Station Opening Date Interstation Distance
Berri-UQAM (Berri-de-Montigny) 14 October 1966 2362.10 m
Jean-Drapeau (Île-Sainte-Hélène) 1 April 1967 1572.10 m
Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke (Longueuil) 1 April 1967 Terminus
Line 5: Blue — Snowdon - Saint-Michel (9.7 km. / 12 stations)
Station Opening Date Interstation Distance
Snowdon 4 January 1988 959.60 m
Côte-des-Neiges 4 January 1988 764.60 m
Université-de-Montréal 4 January 1988 667.60 m
Édouard-Montpetit 4 January 1988 1090.60 m
Outremont 4 January 1988 728.60 m
Acadie 28 March 1988 727.60 m
Parc 15 June 1987 490.60 m
De-Castelnau 16 June 1986 471.60 m
Jean-Talon 16 June 1986 839.60 m
Fabre 16 June 1986 644.50 m
D'Iberville 16 June 1986 607.60 m
Saint-Michel 16 June 1986 Terminus

(Source for dates and distances: Montreal by Metro (


The Montreal Metro was the first metro in the world to run entirely on rubber tires. This is not the reason, however, why it entirely runs underground, as it is so often erroneously stated (the real reason is because the cars are not designed to run above ground; neither the ventilation nor the electrical systems are watertight). Rubber tires make the Metro exceptionally quiet, and also helps metro cars go uphill more easily and with less energy consumption than metal-wheeled metros. The slopes required to allow the Yellow Line to pass underneath the Saint Lawrence River are too steep for steel-wheeled trains.

All lines but the Yellow Line are equipped with automatic train controls. Signalling is effected though electrical pulses sent through the rails, and picked up by antennas mounted on the cars. The information sent conveys speed information, and it is up to the train automatic control to conform to the imposed speed. In case of manual control, signal indication is displayed by a second needle within the speedometer indicating the maximum permissible speed. The only wayside signals are point (switch/turnout) position indicators.

Trains are stopped at station stops with a precise odometer (accurate to plus or minus 5 centimetres) that is recalibrated at every station stop by the use of a beacon that is positioned before the station at the precise length of the platform, thus allowing the train control system to calculate exactly how many wheel turns to go before stopping after passing a second beacon positioned at the station entrance.

Two models of train are used:

MR-63 is used on the Green line and the MR-73 is used on the other three lines. Montreal's rolling stock is among the oldest still in use on any metro system in the world, and the STM is pressing the provincial government hard for the large investment necessary to replace the trains.

The MR-73 model produces the system's signature three-note sound when the train pulls out of a station. The three-note sound is produced by a piece of equipment called a peak chopper, which is used to power up the motors on the train in stages, to prevent a power surge. The notes are the same as the first three notes as Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", one of the musical themes for Expo '67, though this is apparently just a coincidence.


Missing image
Stained glass (with graffiti) in an entrance to the Montréal metro

The design of the Metro was heavily influenced by Montreal's winter conditions. Unlike other cities' metros, nearly all station entrances in Montreal are completely enclosed: usually in small, separate buildings with swiveling doors meant to mitigate the wind caused by train movements that can make doors difficult to open.

All separate entrances are set back from the sidewalk; as well several stations in downtown Montreal are directly connected to buildings, and thus have several entrances inside pre-existing buildings as well as street-level entrances, making the Metro an integral part of Montreal's famous underground city. Several metro entrances are also located within building façades. Only three stations have open entrances such as are prevalent in other cities.

Montreal's metro is renowned for its architecture and public art. Under the direction of Mayor Drapeau, a competition among Canadian architects was held to decide the design of each station, ensuring that every station was built in a different style by a different architect. Several stations, such as Berri-UQAM are important examples of modernist architecture, and various system-wide design choices were informed by the International Style.

Along with the Stockholm Metro, Montreal pioneered the installation of public art in the metro among capitalist countries, a practice that before hand was mostly found in Socialist and Communist nations. More than fifty stations are decorated with over one hundred works of public art, such as sculpture, stained glass, and murals by noted Québécois artists, including members of the famous art movement, the Automatistes.

Some of the most important works in the Metro include the stained-glass window at Champ-de-Mars station, the masterpiece of major Quebec artist Marcelle Ferron; and the Guimard entrance at Square Victoria station, like the famous metro entrances designed for the Paris Metro, donated by the RATP to commemorate its cooperation in constructing the metro. This is the only authentic Guimard entrance in use outside Paris.


Missing image
A train at Berri-UQAM during rush hour

Metro service starts at 05:30 and stops at 01:00 on weekdays and Sunday, and 01:30 on Saturday in order to accommodate people coming home later. However, the Blue Line stops service earlier, at 00:15 due to low traffic volume. During rush hour, there are three to five minutes between trains on the Orange and Green Lines.

The Metro is operated by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) which also operates the bus services in Montreal, thus there is free transfer possible between bus and Metro. Fare payment is via a barrier system, including magnetic tickets and passes, punched-card bus transfers, and non-magnetized reduced fare tickets.

Fares are partially integrated with the Agence métropolitaine de transport's commuter rail system, which links the Metro to the outer suburbs via four interchange stations.

Metro Lines

The four current Montreal Metro lines are identified by colour, by number, or by terminus station. The terminus station in the direction of travel is used to differentiate between directions of travel. The longest and busiest line is the Green Line, while the least busy is the Blue Line. The Yellow Line is the shortest line, with just three stations, and was built for the 1967 Montreal World's Fair. For now, it is the only Metro line that leaves the Island of Montreal, however that will change when the Orange Line is extended to Laval, a city to the north of Montreal, in 2007. Line 3 was intended to be an above-ground train that would use the CN Rail tracks running under Mount Royal, however this plan was cancelled and the Line 3 tracks are now used for the Montréal/Deux-Montagnes commuter rail line. The Montreal Metro nonetheless continues to be numbered as if Line 3 had have been constructed as a part of the Metro.

Line Colour Termini Date Length Stations
1 Green AngrignonHonoré-Beaugrand 1966 22.1 km 27
2 Orange Côte-VertuHenri-Bourassa 1966 24.8 km 28
4 Yellow Berri-UQAMLongueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke 1967 4.25 km 3
5 Blue SnowdonSaint-Michel 1986 9.7 km 12

See Also

External links


Template:Canadianmetrosde:Métro Montréal fr:Métro de Montréal nl:Metro van Montréal eo:Metroo de Montrealo


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