CANADA: Montréal regional transport authority Exo put its first CRRC-built double-deck commuter rail coaches into revenue service on the Saint-Jérôme route on June 25, following a launch run on June 21.


The authority ordered an initial 24 vehicles from CRRC Tangshan in November 2017 and a further 20 in April 2019, bringing the package to eight push-pull driving cars and 36 intermediate vehicles for a total cost of C$196m. At that time, deliveries had been expected to start at the end of 2019, but this was subsequently delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The first vehicles finally arrived for testing and commissioning in February 2022.

Exo said the Series 2050 vehicles would be phased in over the coming months, with the first 18 being allocated to Line 12. This service is currently operating between Montréal-Ouest, Parc and Saint-Jérôme while the terminus at Lucien-L’Allier is closed for remodelling.


The double-deck intermediate coaches offer a total of 147 seats, many of which are provided with electric power sockets and USB connections for charging mobile devices. Each car has two wide doorways for rapid boarding and alighting, offering improved accessibility compared to the authority’s existing stock. The air-conditioned vehicles also have accessible toilets with a changing table, plus space for motorised mobility scooters and bicycles. Interior lighting uses LEDs, and high-contrast passenger information displays are provided. The authority emphasised that the Chinese-built vehicles included many components and subsystems from local suppliers, including seats, windows, inter-car gangways and passenger information systems.


As part of Exo’s Accessibility Development Plan for 2023-27, the platforms at nine stations on Line 12 are being modified to improve accessibility for persons with reduced mobility. Similar works are being rolled out across the region’s commuter rail and bus networks.

‘The development of public transit depends on its attractiveness, and our investments in these new railcars will better meet the needs of citizens of the North Shore and Laval’, commented Québec’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport & Sustainable Mobility Geneviève Guilbault. ‘Our government will continue to support public transit for the benefit of all Quebecers.’

Exo General Manager Sylvain Yelle explained that final testing of the coaches had been undertaken during the winter, and reported that the operator’s staff had been ‘thrilled with their exceptional quality and design, which perfectly meet our needs and those of our customers’.