New improvements to come at Montreal West station – Montreal
Work has begun to make crossing the tracks a little easier and much safer for pedestrians at the Montreal West station.
A tunnel that currently runs under part of the tracks connecting two of the station’s three platforms is being extended to run the full distance and connect Broughton Road on the south side to Sherbrooke Street on the north side.
Officials hope the new tunnel will divert pedestrian traffic from the station’s two busy level crossings.
“Oh, I’m very happy,” Beny Masella, the mayor of Montreal West, told Global News.
Masella hopes the new tunnel will be a game changer when it comes to safety.
“When you get to the crossing, there’s no sidewalk there. It’s people, trains and cars all in one place. Same on both sides. That way it kinda smooths it out a bit” , did he declare.
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Three sets of tracks are in use, carrying thousands of daily passengers on three different lines of the exo commuter network.
More than 100 trains a day pass through the station and converge with pedestrians and vehicles at the two level crossings on Westminster Avenue and Elmhurst Avenue.
Exo has hired two police officers at the two crossings to ensure people’s safety.
The new tunnel is seen as a first step towards improving public safety.
“This is a step we are taking to improve security around Montreal West Station and yes, we are happy to begin this work,” exo spokesperson Catherine Maurice told Global News.
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Ultimately, Masella would like a permanent rail tunnel to be built under the two crossings so they can be closed, but he says the costs are estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Maurice says exo is aware of the value of removing the level crossings and is considering all options.
“Everything is on the table and we are still discussing with all of our partners what we can do to improve safety,” said.
The pedestrian tunnel extension and glass entrance on Sherbrooke Street is expected to cost nearly $30 million and is expected to be completed and open to the public by the end of 2023.
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