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Construction on a new 41-mile light-rail network in Montreal will begin in April, CDPQ Infra Inc. announced yesterday.Initial testing on the system will start at the end of 2020, with passenger service slated to begin in summer 2021.Known as the Reseau express metropolitain (REM), the CA$6.3 billion project marks the largest public transportation project to be built in greater Montreal in 50 years, CDPQ Infra officials said in a press release. CDPQ awarded the infrastructure, engineering, procurement and construction contract to Groupe NouvLR, which is composed of SNC Lavalin Grands Projets Inc., Dragados Canada Inc., Groupe Aecon Quebec Ltd., Pomerleau Inc. and EBC Inc. For the REM's rolling stock and maintenance, CDPQ tapped Alstom Transport Canada Inc. and SNC-Lavalin O&M Inc.The contractors will "harmonize their respective proposals in the next few months to finalize the details of the schedule and begin work in spring," CDPQ officials said.CDPQ awarded the two contracts after analyzing other proposals received, including a bid from Bombardier Transportation.In a statement issued yesterday, Bombardier officials said they were disappointed the company wasn't selected."We believe that the offer we submitted was both very competitive and ideally suited to meet the sustainable mobility needs of the greater Montreal area," said Benoit Brossoit, president of Bombardier Transportation, Americas region.In March 2017, Quebec committed to provide CA$1.28 billion toward the REM. And in June 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea pledged CA$1.3 billion to help build the system.
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