Bombardier-Alstom MPM-10

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The MPM-10 (nicknamed 'Azur') is a type of metro car that is being built for the Société de transport de Montréal. The cars, deigned by Labbe Designers & Associes, will be built by a consortium composed of Bombardier Transportation and Alstom Transport. The cars will be built at Bombardier's facilities in Quebec. The cars' bogies will be manufactured and integrated at a new Alstom facility in the province as well.

The new metro cars are scheduled to enter service in 2014 and will replace the MR-63 cars. It is expected that all MPM-10 cars will be delivered by 2017.

Contents

History

The contract

On May 11, 2006 the Quebec Government announced that it had requested the STM to enter into exclusive negotiations with Bombardier for the manufacture of new Metro cars, then designated MR-08. This would mean there would be no competitive bid process, which Alstom objected to. Alstom filed a lawsuit with the Quebec Superio 2006 Court in June to contest the Quebec Government's approach. The Quebec Superior Court sided with Alstom in January 2008.[1]

The STM issued a tender for the MR-08 in January 2008. Alstom and Bombardier submitted a joint bid in November of that year.[2] The city's original tender for 340 subway cars, worth an estimated $1.2-billion, increased to 765 cars with an option of 288 cars, worth an estimated $3-billion. The increase was negotiated between the STM and the Alstom-Bombardier consortium.

As the contract looked to be finalized with the Bombardier-Alstom consortium, Chinese company ZhuZhou Electric Locomotive expressed interest in bidding for the MR-08 contract in December 2009. The company threatened a court order to force an open bidding process instead of the exclusive deal with Bombardier-Alstom. ZhuZhou stated they could build the cars for a lower price than their competitors. They also stated that they would build the cars as steel-wheeled vehicles opposed the Montreal specified rubber-tired vehicles, citing advances in technology that give steel wheels an advantage.[3] On March 1, 2010, ZhuZhou formally submitted a bid valued at approximately $2 billion. The bid included specification of steel wheels which ZhuZhou argued would save taxpayers $1.5 billion and produce a smoother ride. The company stated the assembly of the cars would be in Quebec, creating up to 1,000 jobs and meeting the 60% Canadian content requirement. Spanish firm CAF also expressed interest in the contract as they have built rubber-tired trains before.[4] However, the STM quickly announced that they have rejected ZhuZhou's proposal.[5]

The tender was put on hold late September 2010 at the request of the Quebec government to give each side more time to prepare. On October 5, 2010, it was announced that the Quebec government decided to work exclusively with Bombardier-Alstom and forego the open bidding process. Premier Jean Charest claimed this step will create and save jobs in Quebec with production at the La Pocatière and Saint-Bruno facilities. This decision was not well received by competing manufactures interested in the contract. A representative from ZhuZhou Electric Locomotive stated the decision by the Quebec government violated international trade agreements and Canadian law. Spanish company CAF said they were considering legal action. Both companies claimed they could build the cars for less than Bombardier-Alstom's estimated $2.6 million cost per car.[6] On October 7, 2010, Bill 116, which allowed the government to give the $1.22-billion contract for 468 new cars to Bombardier-Alstom without the normal bidding process, was adopted.[7]

Public consultation

Exterior concepts presented at the 2007 CUTA Trans-Expo.

At the 2007 CUTA Trans-Expo in Quebec City, three renderings were presented as possible designs for the MR-08.[8] The STM selected the design most favoured by people surveyed. The MR-08 was presented as a nine car set with open gangways and an interior layout similar to the MR-73, but with the possibility of flip-up seats. Each car would have three large doors per car as opposed to the four narrower ones on the previous stock.

The exteriors of the cars are to be finished in metalic-looking vinyl film with graphics printed on the film. The STM issued a survey regarding the exterior look of the cars in December 2010. Option 1 had the car in blue, fading to silver towards the ends in a gradient pattern. The area around the windows was black with a silver band above and below the window lines. Option 2 had the car in all blue with a silver skirt and black around the windows. The STM chevron logo was on the roof at the ends. Option 3 had a blue roof and blue above the windows and following the curve of the end. The remaining areas were silver. Polls closed January 6, 2011 and on February 18, the STM announced Option 1 was the most favoured and will be the look for the exterior of the trains.

In spring 2011 passengers were asked to give suggestions for names of the new metro trains similar to what was done for the TTC's Toronto Rockets. Out of around 6000 entries, five final choices were put to public vote in March: Azur, Boomerang, Véga, Kronos, and Zéphyr. The STM unveiled the name of the new trains in May 2012 as Azur.[9]

Over four days between April and May 2011, the STM consulted the public for seat design in the new trains. Different seat designs were shown at Berri-UQAM station for passengers to trial and vote for. The final choice was announced in June 2011.

A mock up of the MPM-10 was displayed at Berri-UQAM Station from June 8 to July 8, 2012.[9] The cab mock up was displayed at Square Victoria as part of the 2013 Car Free Day.

Delivery

Originally scheduled for delivery in June 2013,[10] the prototype set will now be delivered in December.[11] It was unveiled at Bombardier's La Pocatière facility on November 25, 2013. The rest of the cars are scheduled for delivery between February 2014 and September 2018.

Features

Each MPM-10 set is composed of nine cars with full width cabs at either end. The seven cars in between the two end cars will be powered, while the end cars are trailer cars. The train has open gangways between the cars, allowing passengers to move freely along the length of the train. The MPM-10 will use a stainless steel structure clad in aluminium panels.

There are to be three bi-parting, plug-type passenger doors side on each car. Audio and visual signals will signify the closing of the doors. The door chime, introduced in August 2010 incorporates the recognizable "dou dou dou" sound that is made by the power converter in the MR-73 trains during acceleration and which has became synonymous with the Metro. An announcement recorded by Michèle Deslauriers, "Attention, nous fermons les portes." was to be played after the chime, but was eliminated at passenger request.

End cars and intermediate cars will have 22 and 28 cantilevered-mounted, rigid fibre reinforced plastic seats, respectively. The end cars will feature two flip-up seats and two dedicated areas with ischiatic supports. The intermediate cars will have four flip-up seats. Each car will have four 19 inch flat screens. Intermediate cars will have three intercom modules and end cars will have five. Each car will also be equipped with four closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and five passenger interphones to communicate with crews.

The MPM-10 will use the braking system unique to the Metro and introduced with the MR-63 cars. The brake shoes are manufactured by the STM from yellow birch and dipped in peanut oil to reduce friction with the metal. This reduces noise and eliminates dust produced from steel brake shoes. They also produce less wear on the wheels.

References

  1. Court Sides with Alstom, cptdb.ca, retrieved on 2010-01-28
  2. Bombardier, Alstom to submit joint bid, theglobandmail.com, retrieved on 2010-01-28
  3. Les Chinois veulent le contrat du métro, tledevoir.com, retrieved on 2010-01-28
  4. Chinese firm bids for Montreal Metro contract, cbc.ca, retrieved on 2010-10-12
  5. STM rejects Chinese firm's bid for Metro cars, cbc.ca, retrieved on 2010-10-12
  6. Bombardier will get subway deal: Charest, cbc.ca, retrieved on 2010-10-12
  7. Metro-car bill adopted in Quebec, montrealgazette.com, retrieved on 2010-10-12
  8. MR-08 designs, cptdb.ca, retrieved on 2010-01-28
  9. 9.0 9.1 The STM unveils the chosen name for its new métro cars (press release). 16 May 2012. STM. Retrieved on 17 May 2012
  10. The Bombardier-Alstom Consortium Signs a Contract to Build 468 New Metro Cars for Montréal, bombardier.com, retreived on 2010-12-06
  11. Larouche, Marc. (25 May 2013) Nouveau métro de Montréal: les essais débutent à La Pocatière. La Presse. Retrieved 21 September 2013.

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