Central Station (Montreal)

Central Station (Montreal)
Central Station
Gare Centrale
Via Rail, Amtrak (Inter-city)
AMT (Commuter)
Montreal Central Station.JPG
Exterior of the station concourse.
Station statistics
Address 895 rue de La Gauchetière Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
Coordinates 45°29′59″N 73°34′00″W / 45.4996°N 73.5668°W / 45.4996; -73.5668Coordinates: 45°29′59″N 73°34′00″W / 45.4996°N 73.5668°W / 45.4996; -73.5668
  STM transit bus service
Structure At-grade
Platforms Below-grade
Tracks 14 (covered)
Parking yes
Bicycle facilities yes
Baggage check yes
Other information
Opened 1943
Rebuilt 1960s (Place Bonaventure)
Electrified Partially, Tracks 9-12
(catenary at 25 kV AC 60 Hz)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Code MTRL (Via Rail), MTR (Amtrak), YMY (IATA)
Owned by Homburg Invest Inc.[1] (since November 30, 2007), CN (1943-2007)
Passengers (2010) 77,875[2](Amtrak)
8,226,700 (AMT Total)
Preceding station   Via Rail   Following station
Terminus Montreal – Senneterre train
toward Senneterre
Montreal – Jonquière train
toward Jonquière
toward Halifax
Montreal – Gaspé train
toward Gaspé
toward Quebec
toward Toronto
Terminus Adirondack
Deux-Montagnes Terminus
Terminus Mont-Saint-Hilaire
toward Mascouche
Repentigny–Mascouche (future) Terminus

Central Station (French: Gare Centrale) (IATA: YMY) is the major inter-city rail station and a major commuter rail hub in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 18 million rail passengers use the station every year.[3]

Designed by John Campbell Merrett, the main concourse is located on rue de la Gauchetière West and occupies almost the entire block bounded by de la Gauchetière, University Street, René-Lévesque Boulevard and Mansfield Street. The station is adorned with art deco bas-relief friezes on its interior and exterior.[4] The station building and associated properties are owned by Homburg Invest Inc. as of November 30, 2007. Prior to that, from the station's inception in 1943, it had been owned by Canadian National Railway (CN).

Central Station is at the centre of the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, the busiest inter-city rail service area in the nation (marketed as the Corridor), which extends from Windsor and Sarnia in the west, through Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, to Quebec City in the east. Inter-city trains at Central Station are operated by Via Rail and Amtrak, while commuter rail services are operated by Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT). The station is also connected to the Montreal Metro subway system.

Central Station is the second-busiest Via Rail station in Canada, after Toronto Union Station. Its Via station code is MTRL; its Amtrak code is MTR, and its IATA code is YMY.



Via Rail




Central Station sits above and next to the site of the now-demolished Canadian Northern Railway's Tunnel Terminal.

At the end of the 1920s, the newly formed Canadian National Railways struggled with disparate Montreal terminals (Bonaventure Station, Tunnel Terminal, Moreau Street Station, and McGill Street) and sought to consolidate them. The solution chosen was to take advantage of the Mount Royal Tunnel to bring trains from the north and east through the tunnel to a large electrified central station. Trains from the south and west gained access by a new elevated viaduct. (Interurban electric trains, however, ended up remaining at McGill Street terminal until the service was abandoned in 1956.) The new station plan allowed for the development of air-rights, similar to Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station in New York City.

Construction started at the end of the 1920s, but was halted during the Great Depression. Construction resumed during World War II and the new station finally opened on July 14, 1943, as the first of a series of large-scale urban redevelopment projects undertaken by CNR and the federal government in Downtown Montreal. Central Station was designed by architect John Campbell Merrett.

The opening of a 'central' station was part of a consolidation project undertaken by CNR since 1929 with the enactment of the Canadian National Montreal Terminals Act, 1929 by Parliament; this saw the closure of former temporary stations operated by CNR predecessors Grand Trunk (Bonaventure Station) and Canadian Northern.

Central Station was an important passenger station for CN trains from 1943 until the creation of Via Rail in 1978. Following Via's full absorption of CP's passenger trains in 1978, intercity rail traffic from Windsor Station was slowly consolidated at Central Station. The final Via trains switched from Windsor Station to Central Station were the Quebec City trains that operated by way of Trois-Rivières (April 29, 1984). Amtrak's Adirondack was switched to Central Station on January 12, 1986.

On September 3, 1984, a pipe bomb exploded inside a Central Station locker, killing 3 people and injuring 30 more. The bomb was alleged to have been set by retired American armed forces officer Thomas Bernard Brigham, who claimed[citation needed] to have been protesting Pope John Paul II's visit to Canada.

Public transit connections

The main concourse inside Central Station


STM buses

STM regular routes
No. Route Name[6] Route Map Schedule
36 Monk Map Schedule
61 Wellington Map Schedule
74 Bridge Map Schedule
75 de la Commune Map Schedule
107 Verdun (2 blocks west on boul. René Lévesque ouest / rue Peel) Map Schedule
150 René-Lévesque (on boul. René Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
168 Cité du Havre Map Schedule
410 Express Notre-Dame (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
420 Express Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
430 Express Pointe-aux-trembles (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
480 Pointe-Nord-Île-des-Sœurs (University Street / de La Gauchetière Street
or on René Lévesque Boulevard)
Map Schedule
515 Old Port/Old Montreal (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
535 Voie réservée Du Parc / Côte-des-Neiges (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
747 Airport Express 24/7 (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map
STM night routes
No. Route Name Route Map Schedule
358 Sainte-Catherine (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Schedule
747 Airport Express, 24/7 (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map

AMT buses

Food court Les Halles de la gare
No. Route Name Route Map Schedule
935 Trainbus Blainville / Centreville (on boul. René-Lévesque ouest) Map Afternoon schedule

Other connecting buses

Connecting facilities

Central Station is located adjacent to CN Headquarters and is an important link in the underground city, with tunnels to Place Ville-Marie, Place Bonaventure, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, 1000 de La Gauchetière and the Bonaventure metro station.

The station includes Les Halles de la Gare, a shopping and restaurant complex. It also contains two parking facilities, one of which is a multi-level facility that is located above the station. The Montreal Planetarium is located nearby.


  1. ^ Homburg Canada
  2. ^ "Montreal, QC (MTR)". GreatAmericanStations.com. 2011. http://www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/MTR/Station_view. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.admtl.com/flashplayer/fr.html?fichier=AEROTRAIN_FINAL_ANG.mp4&largeur=711&hauteur=475
  4. ^ Art Deco Montreal, Tour of Central Station
  5. ^ Bonaventure Station
  6. ^ STM regular routes

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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