Catch a sneak peek at the REM light rail trains as tests begin

Montreal's REM light rail system won't be open for another year but riders were offered a glimpse of what's in store on Thursday.

On a 3.5 kilometre stretch of tracks on the South Shore, REM engineers began testing some of the train's numerous systems, from the automatic driving system to doors, lights, sounds and hydraulics.

“It's really to test every componant,” said system spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix.

With much of the construction finished on the South Shore, the REM's engineers are now able to begin fine-tuning all the different moving parts.

“What's important to say is that the system will be tested within all seasons,” said systems director Serge Mai. “All the systems are tested, including the ones which makes passengers comfortable,” such as air conditioning and wifi.

Lacroix said the hope is that those amenities will make the REM an attractive alternative to driving for many commuters.

“People are going to be on Highway 10 next to them, waiting in traffic and you're going to have this brand new system coming to Montreal,” he said. “That's how we're going to fight cars, it's coming up with great quality service.”