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, are being built by a consortium composed of Bombardier Transportation and Alstom Transport.

The new metro cars are scheduled to enter service in 2014 and will eventually replace the MR-63 cars. It is expected that all MPM-10 cars will be delivered by the end of 2018.

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 was objected to by Alstom who filed a lawsuit with the Quebec Superior Court. The Court sided with Alstom in January 2008.[1]

Following the ruling, the STM issued a tender for the MR-08. 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 forgo 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. 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] Finally 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 those 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 asked for public input on the 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 full-scale 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. The mock-up was later put on display at Exporail, a railway museum south of Montreal.

Delivery

The cars are being built at Bombardier's facility in La Pocatière, Québec. The bogies are manufactured and integrated by Alstom at a new facility in Sorel-Tracy. The finished cars are delivered individually by truck to the STM's Youville shops. Bombardier's production rate is one to two trains per month, with delivery of one car per day. Delivery of all of the cars is expected to be complete by the end of September 2018.

The prototype train was to be delivered in June 2013,[10] however this was pushed to December.[11] The prototype train was unveiled at Bombardier's La Pocatière facility on November 25, 2013, and the first two mid-train cars were delivered to the STM at the beginning of 2014 for clearance testing around the system. The first lead car was delivered four months later on April 29, 2014. Once assembled, the complete prototype train will undergo testing with the STM for a period of eight months. Bombardier has cited, in particular, the bankruptcy of a supplier as a factor in the delay of the prototype's delivery.[12]

Features

The structure of the MPM-10 is constructed from stainless steel with the exterior skin composed of aluminum. 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 are powered, while the end cars are trailers. The train has open gangways between the cars, allowing passengers to move freely along the length of the train.

Each car has three bi-parting, plug-type passenger doors on each side. Audio and visual signals will alert passengers of closing 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 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 have 22 and 28 cantilevered-mounted, rigid fibre reinforced plastic seats, respectively. The end cars feature two flip-up seats and two dedicated areas with ischiatic supports. The intermediate cars have four flip-up seats. Each car has four 19 inch flat screens. Safety features include intercom modules and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

The MPM-10 uses 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.
  12. Tison, Marie. 06 March 2014. Les nouvelles voitures du métro arrivent, avec huit mois de retard. La Presse. Montreal. Retrieved on 30 April 2014.

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