Montreal Airport Trains (YUL)
Montreal-Trudeau International Airport is a large and important Canadian airport known as the third busiest in the country in terms of passenger traffic. The airport has the official IATA code of YUL, and is named in full as the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, after a former Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott. Montreal Airport handles over 13 million passengers per annum and is well equipped for the needs of its passengers. There are also a number of options for ground transport, including bus and taxi services. However, there is no Montreal-Trudeau Airport train station for connections to inter-city trains or the Metro of Montreal. Vancouver Airport in British Columbia is the only Canadian airport with its own train station.
Montreal-Trudeau Airport is served by a wide variety of airline carriers, and is a hub for Air Canada. The airport is important for transborder and international flights, as over 8 million of its passengers are on non-domestic flights. There are three concourses at the airport, each dedicated to different types of flights, and although it has large facilities, passengers will find the buildings fairly easy to navigate. The airport facilities are well signposted, and are generally within easy walking distance of one another. Arriving passengers will find the bus stops for city and regional connections outside the terminal, taxi ranks outside the terminal and the airport car hire companies on the ground floor of the multi-level parking garage in front of the terminal. There is, however, no Montreal-Trudeau Airport train station at present.
Plans do exist, however, to build a rail connection to Montreal Airport. It will be an express rail shuttle service running from downtown Montreal to the airport, at a length of about 20km, or 12 miles. A proposal for this line has been jointly placed by the companies of Transport Canada (the owner of the airport), ADM, VIA Rail and the Agence métropolitaine de transport, or the Metropolitan Transit Agency. The proposal also includes improving the inter-city and commuter train services between the West Island of Montreal and downtown Montreal. The future railway line of the airport will start at the Gare Centrale, or the Montreal Central Station, which is the main railway station of the city. It may run only to the airport, but it could also be extended to the area of Ste Anne de Bellevue. The project for a rail link at Montreal Airport is expected to be completed between 2013 and 2015, however, there are possible financial problems that will need to be addressed. There is $200 million set aside for the project, but it could cost over $1 billion.
The Montreal-Trudeau Airport train station will be built underground, below the new airport hotel that began its construction in 2006. The hotel is named the Marriott Hotel, and is located above the transborder terminal. It has 279 first-class rooms, a business centre, Wi-Fi connections, bars and restaurants, an indoor pool and a fully-equipped fitness centre. The hotel opened in August 2009.
Currently, however, until the Montreal-Trudeau Airport train station is built, the nearest station to the airport is the Dorval Station, only about two kilometres away. It is connected to the airport by a free shuttle service, that is frequently available (every twenty to thirty minutes). Passengers who require the shuttle should call 514 633-0975. The shuttle will arrive at column #2 on the arrivals level, nearby the Best Western and VIA Rail sign. The same number should be called when looking for a ride from the Dorval Station to the airport. Passengers can also let the driver know which airline company they are flying with so that the most convenient drop-off area can be determined. There are also three of the local buses that serve the airport with stops at the Dorval Train Station. They are the 204 Cardinal bus, the 209 Des Sources bus and the 365 Lachine bus. The Route 204 bus is available all day, seven days a week, the Route 209 bus is available all day but only on weekdays and the Route 365 bus operates at night, between the hours of 01:00 and 05:00, seven days a week. From the Dorval Station, passengers can take VIA trains directly to downtown Montreal, and avoid traffic. The journey is about twenty minutes.
Passengers travelling by train to Montreal-Trudeau Airport may board any VIA rail train heading in the direction of Toronto or Ottawa at the Montreal Central Station. The fare is approximately $12.00 for a one-way journey, and can be purchased from any VIA Rail ticket agent. The journey to the airport is short, therefore passengers can stand if the train is fully loaded. The Dorval Train Station is located at 755 Montreal-Toronto Boulevard, and is equipped with wireless internet, a self-service ticketing kiosk, vending machines, washrooms and public telephones. The ticket counters are open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 06:00 and 20:00, on Saturdays from 09:00 to 20:00 and on Sundays from 09:00 to 21:30.
Montreal Central Station is a major inter-city rail station, as well as a major commuter rail hub in Montreal, Quebec. It is used by approximately 18 million passengers per annum, and is at the centre of the busiest inter-city rail service area in the nation, which is referred to as the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, or simply as the Corridor. Trains by VIA Rail run frequently from Windsor and Sarnia in the west to Quebec City, passing through Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The station is also used by Amtrak, with trains from Montreal to New York City in the United States, passing through Albany. AMT is the company that runs the commuter train lines in Montreal, and STM is the company that operates the Metro in the city of Montreal. The Metro has 68 stations on four, colour-coded lines that cover a total distance of 69.2km. It is also considered as the third largest urban rapid transit system in North America (behind New York and Mexico City), handling approximately a million passengers per day.
Although there currently is no Montreal-Trudeau Airport train station, passengers will find plenty of bus connections to the city’s vast rail services, and may look forward to a future airport train station.