Montreal Metro: Complete scan of the entire metro system

Gesamtkunstwerk Métro Montréal


Montreal Metro

Task definition

Scan of the entire metro system to record the actual condition. The 3D data was used in the assessment of clearance conditions for the acquisition of a new model of train car.


  • Recording with the SPACETEC TS3
  • Total distance scanned 160 km

The project in detail

The metro network in the Canadian city of Montreal consists of four lines with a total length of 70 km. In the run-up to bringing new train cars into operation, the profiles of all the tunnels had to be measured and the type and condition of the tunnel surfaces recorded. The routes were recorded on both tracks. Depots and workshops were also included in the measurements, which brought the total distance recorded to approximately 160 km.

The measurements had to be carried out without disrupting the normal passenger transport, leaving only the approximately four-hour breaks in operation at night for the measurement runs.

For this assignment, we used the three-channel tunnel scanner SPACETEC TS3 on a vehicle provided by the network operators. The scanner has a 360° field of view, and thanks to its high-performance system, it was possible to swiftly complete the measurement runs within the specified time frame. The 160 km were recorded over a total of 11 night shifts.

Streckennetz 2

Data analysis

The processed scan data was installed on the client’s hard drive together with a customised version of the Tunnel Info software to facilitate the oversight of the many tunnel sections.

To analyse the data, the SPACETEC evaluation software programs TuView, Tunnel Inspector and TuDrive were adapted to suit the requirements and aims of the Montreal Metro.

The data enables a full assessment of the clearance conditions in the form of a clearance profile map which clearly shows any constrictions that new carriages must be able to pass through. When combined with the synchronously recorded image, these constrictions can be traced back to specific causes such as impairments from the roof arches, fixtures or platform edges.


Quick and complete clearance assessment

Specific functions were developed and integrated into the evaluation software in order to enable a speedy clearance assessment of new vehicle profiles. So, if a train car manufacturer provides the main parameters of the train car, this makes it possible to identify if and where there will be limited clearance across the entire metro network in the space of just one hour.

The evaluation software works with kinematic clearance profiles which also take into account the additional space required by displacement of the train car body along curves.

The display and analysis functions of the evaluation software help to analyse constrictions, identify their underlying causes and develop potential solutions.