The Trains


Canadian Vickers MR-63

The MR-63 was a type of subway car in the Montreal Metro, and they were built by Canadian Vickers in the neighborhood of Viauville in Montreal.

The inspiration for these cars came from Jean Drapeau, who was mayor of Montreal when he saw the MP-59 cars in the Paris metro. The job of designing them was given to Jacques Guillon, who insisted on having the cars built in Quebec rather than in France as it had been originally proposed.

The MR-63 was regularily in service on Lines 1 (Green) and Line 4 (Yellow) at the time of their retirement in 2018. When the metro firs opened in 1966, they served all 3 initial metro lines (1,2 and 4). In 1976, the newer MR-73 was introduced into service and started replacing the MR-63 on Line 1. MR-63 trains were moved over to operate on Line 2 (Orange), however would later switch back again to Line 1 (Green) around 2008 until they were finally retired in 2018. As part of their farewell tour, the MR-63 circulated on each of the four metro lines during its final four days of service, ending with a rare appearance on Line 5 (Blue).

Trains consisted of 9 car sets, despite having sometimes been reduced to 6 car sets as the STM used to put fewer cars on weekends and also there were times that line 4 only had 6 cars. They also had 6 cars set on their last day as line 5 never used full trains. Theoretically, trains could always be split into groups of 3 as they were made 3 by 3 with each car at the extremities being equipped as a locomotive while the middle car wasn't. Each car had 8 sets of doors, 4 on both sides.369 total rail cars were acquired by STM. They had a capacity of 160 passengers per car and up to 40 seats. They were built in lightweight steel alloy. They had rubber tires and used 750 volt DC guide bars. The exterior was light blue with a white line under the windows and the interior was initially black and grey, followed by white and grey once they were restored. They originally had wood floors, however, they didn't age well and were later replaced.

The easiest way to differentiate them from the MR-73 was by their round headlights. They could be driven manually or with automatic train controls (the latter unavailable on line 4). However, doors are always opened and closed manually. In their later years, the next station was also announced automatically by Michèle Deslauriers, but the system arrived much later than on the MR-73. Before that, operators announced the stations.

The MR-63 spent 52 years in service, however, they were all refurbished between 1991 and 1993 by AMF Technotransport. They started being retired gradually in 2016 until June 21, 2018. One unit was restored and repainted into its original livery and donated to the Exporail in St-Constant, south of Montreal. The pictures on this page were taken at Exporail of element 81-502.