Montréal Exo CRRC double-deck coach

CANADA: The first two of 44 double-deck coaches which Montréal city region transport agency Exo has ordered from Chinese manufacturer CRRC Tangshan are expected to be delivered during February.

They will undergo minor finishing work and inspection at the Pointe-Saint-Charles maintenance depot, followed by an extensive programme of testing. Exo expects to take delivery of further coaches this year, with entry into service planned for early 2023.

The coaches were designed to Exo’s requirements for its commuter routes and have 147 seats. The final 10 cars are undergoing ‘adjustments’ to be accessible to passengers with reduced mobility, and will follow at a later date for entry into service in 2024.

An initial 24 coaches were ordered in November 2017 with funding from the province of Québec, and an option for a further 20 was exercised in April 2019, taking the total order to eight driving cars and 36 intermediate vehicles.

Delivery of the first coaches was originally scheduled for June 2019. However, delays occurred because of the coronavirus pandemic, technical changes and an increase in local content to more than 28%; Exo said 12 Canadian suppliers are involved in the C$196m project.

‘The result is very high-quality cars that are specifically designed to meet our needs, giving our customers an exceptional, state-of-the-art travel experience’, said Michael Émond, Exo’s Director of Maintenance & Rolling Stock Project Management, on February 3.