Train de l’Ouest coalition members will have their first face-to-face meeting with new Transport minister, Robert Poëti, on Monday morning.
Coalition member Georges Nydam, the former West Island industrial commissioner, said they want the Liberal government, elected in April, to follow through on Premier Philippe Couillard’s promise to make the long-discussed and much-studied Train de l’Ouest project a priority.
A delegation of about 15 people, including West Island mayors and Train de l’Ouest spokesman Clifford Lincoln, a former Quebec minister and MP, are set to board a 8:50 a.m. AMT train in Pointe-Claire to take part in a private meeting with Poëti at his downtown office. Afterwards, the coalition will hold a news briefing at the Lucien-L’Allier train station.
This past April, Lincoln told The Gazette that he would like to see the number of trains doubled on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line, which runs from downtown through the West Island to Hudson. During peak commuting hours service is relatively frequent but outside of rush-hour periods, trains run about once an hour or less. Currently, this line has no trains between 6:30 and 9:15 p.m.
The Train de l’Ouest project has been under discussion and study for about a decade. In 2006, a study commissioned by the Charest Liberal government recommend to twin the commuter service with a train line linked to the Pierre Trudeau Airport in Dorval, estimated then to cost $874 million. Running separate lines to the airport and another for the West Island and Off Island users would cost an estimated $1.3 billion, this study concluded.
In 2011, another study was commissioned, to the tune of $22 million, to confirm details and highlight potential problems in the plan proposed in the previous study.