MONTREAL transport authority AMT has placed a C$386m order with sole bidder Bombardier for 160 double-deck commuter coaches.

The base order was for 30 cars with options for 130, but the provincial government exercised all the options immediately. The province is meeting 75% of the cost, and deliveries will run from the third quarter of 2009 until 2011.

The push-pull trains cars will substantially increase peak-hour capacity and allow the withdrawal of life-expired stock. The stainless steel cars will be similar to vehicles being supplied to New Jersey Transit, with up to 142 seats and a crush-load capacity of 200 passengers.

The vehicle profile will be suitable for use through the restricted profile Mount Royal tunnel, enabling the cars to be operated across the entire five-route AMT network. At least 32 vehicles will be assigned to the new Train de l'Est line which will serve eastern Montréal and Repentigny-Mascouche.

AMT, Aéroports de Montréal, the city of Montréal and the federal and provincial departments of transportation are studying the feasibility of a tram-train linking the city centre with West Island and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

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