REM noise Sound Tests to Calm Dissatisfaction –

REM noise | Sound Tests to Calm Dissatisfaction –

CDPQ Infra aims to bring calm to the dissatisfaction of the noise of passing trains on its experimental Metropolitan Express Network (REM). A few weeks before the official launch of the first section, sonic tests will be conducted at Griffintown, Pointe-Saint-Charles and L’Île-des-Sœurs to determine if remedial action can be taken.

Posted at 12:00 p.m.


What there is to know

  • The first section of the REM, connecting the South Shore to downtown Montreal, should basically be completed by June 21st.
  • Residents in several parts of the city have been complaining about the loud noise caused by the ongoing tests for several months.
  • CDPQ Infra states that its noise testing could lead to additional measures if necessary, but does not commit to it.

“It’s really changing the tranquility of our living environment,” says Véronique Samson, who lives on Rue Richardson, very close to the railway facilities that the REM will soon be running on. “We have a small backyard overlooking an alley. And we hear the birds normally. It’s been really strong since the REM tests,” she points out.

We had our doors and windows redone in 2020 and we still hear it with the doors closed. It’s really an unusual noise.

Véronique Samson, resident of Pointe-Saint-Charles

She says that “driving at lower speeds in residential areas” would already “reduce the noise significantly”. “We’ve been here since 2014, we love the neighborhood so we’ll definitely be pushing,” adds Ms Samson.

Same story with Anne Côté, who lives nearby on Rue Mullins. “It’s really disturbing. It’s like white noise that we hear all the time. I can even hear it with headphones in my garden or indoors with the windows closed. In fact, we hear the REM coming, we see it, and then we hear it go,” she says.

In recent months, a large mobilization has been organized on social networks to achieve noise reduction measures, including a noise barrier. Action-Gardien, a Pointe-Saint-Charles community development company, says it has received “many complaints” related to the noise from the REM.

It’s just not normal that in 2023 a structuring project causes so much public interest. We are in a quiet area, we hear nature and we take care of it. Everyone is for public transport, but there are other ways.

Anne Côté, resident of Pointe-Saint-Charles

The Montreal native has lived in Pointe-Saint-Charles for almost a decade and says she’s used to dealing with the noise of trains, particularly Canadian National (CN) trains, only that they are “on time and much less frequent”. “It’s really scary there. We’re talking about 20 hours a day, a service every two and a half minutes during peak hours. The noise would be continuous,” she illustrates.

“Detection by sound level meter”

CDPQ Infra promises that measures will be taken, but without making a formal commitment. Its spokeswoman, Emmanuelle Rouillard-Moreau, states that a “noise measurement campaign” will soon be launched in Pointe-Saint-Charles, Griffintown and L’Île-des-Sœurs to carry out a “collection of noise data from sound” measuring level gauges and to analyze”.

Everything is slated to launch early next week. “The analyzes allow us to determine whether additional measures are necessary and what their nature is,” explains Ms Rouillard-Moreau, without going into detail.

CDPQ Infra also assures, in an email to residents interviewed by La Presse, that “detailed modeling” has already been carried out to “fully understand the sound impact of the passage of the REM”.

At Pointe-Saint-Charles, “the noise level measured closest to the rails, ie the difference between the ambient noise and the noise at the passage of the REM, is not significant,” it says, adding nonetheless that the teams are responsible for this will ensure that the measures are in place “at the source to reduce noise”, including “lubrication of the tracks and the provision of lubricants in the curves”.

There are multiple possibilities

Pierre Barrieau, a transportation planning expert at the University of Montreal, reminds us that “several things can be done” to reduce noise.

“For vehicles, it can be additional maintenance, or even rubber parts to reduce vibration and noise, or even extra oil on the tracks and wheels,” he says.

A lot is also happening at the level of acoustics, i.e. with regard to the waves that the vehicle itself emits.

Pierre Barrieau, transportation planning expert at the University of Montreal

In his view, a noise barrier would not be the best solution, mainly because it “blocks the view of users on the trains” and attracts vandalism. “What we see a lot elsewhere in the world are home soundproofing programs. Essentially, it consists of replacing the windows with two panes of glass with three-pane windows, or even adding extra insulation to block out the noise,” continues Mr. Barrieau.

However, the latter recalls that it is first necessary to determine “whether the noise generated by the REM actually exceeds government standards”. “The analysis figures can tell us that. As the equipment is still breaking in, some noise may also go away,” he concludes.

Learn more

  • CDPQ Infra has 30 days to notify carriers in the greater Montreal area of ​​the delivery of the first section of the REM. According to our information, CDPQ Infra has still not complied with this legal obligation, just over a month before the delivery scheduled for June 21st.