Image from The Gazette
This week the AMT released a plan to build a new transit hub directly south of Windsor Station, whichwould permit the historic train station to serve its original function. A passageway (pictured above) would connect the old train station to the new one.
This $520 million plan would be realized in partnership with the commercial real estate developer, Cadillac-Fairview, which currently owns Windsor Station and the vacant lot directly to the south. The plan is to move the terminus of the AMT’s Dorion-Rigaud line to this new hub – located at Peel and St. Antoine streets – as well as create a major terminus for buses coming into Montreal from the South Shore.
It would also serve as a hub for STM buses, the Old Port/Peel LRT (if it ever happens) and the downtown hub for the proposed airport rail link (if that ever happens). According to AMT President, Joel Gauthier, it would allow South Shore air travelers to connect seamlessly downtown to Trudeau airport.
One downside of this project is that it requires curving the AMT’s four sets of track from where they dead-end at the Bell Centre, arcing southeast across St. Antoine, into the new terminus. As one commenter on the Gazette’s article pointed out, this would create a viaduct possibly four times as long as the one that currently spans St. Antoine south of Bonaventure station.
The rendering above provided by the AMT shows the southwest corner of the Peel and St. Antoine, with Windsor station in the foreground, so this potential eyesore is out of the frame.
So what will the effect of this new viaduct structure really be? Using my limited graphical skills, and the free Google Earth and Google Sketchup software, I did a quick rendering of what the other side of this complex might look like. Bear in mind that the supported columns or arches are not drawn. Since there are four sets of tracks carrying heavy trains above, the supporting structures will have to be quite significant (similar to the Bonaventure viaduct).
After all the abuse already suffered in Little Burgundy and St. Henri/Westmount from the building of the Ville Marie, there are few residents left living on this part of St. Antoine, which is probably a good thing. St. Antoine might feel like a tunnel when it`s all done.
This project promises to spur development south of the CBD, primarily along Peel St. But will this wall have the opposite affect to the west?
The updated image from emdx. This indeed looks more like a train station. All the Europeanb precedents of integrating viaducts aside, you’ve got to wonder how anything so massive – which will contain at least one exit from the Ville Marie highway – can ever be integrated into the surrounding fabric.