“Stop piling on Bombardier – we should celebrate our national champions”
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March 2019 - by AZIZ GUERGACHI for Globe and Mail
Aziz Guergachi, professor at Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
In the past couple of weeks, stories have emerged in Ottawa that the launch of the light-rail transit line (LRT) in the city might be delayed a third time, in part owing to challenges around the rail vehicles supplied by the French firm Alstom. Only 14 out of the 34 cars the project needs are said to be ready for testing. And this a little more than a month away from the handover deadline of March 31.
There appears to be a host of issues, including communications equipment installation and deficiencies on emergency door releases and power units. The trains, called the Alstom Citadis Spirit, have reportedly no proven track record in North America. Serious doubts have been cast on the cars' readiness for cold winter conditions. According to media reports, one of the vehicles got stuck for two days between stations because of snow conditions and had to be towed away.
Alstom has received nowhere close to the kind of vitriolic criticism its Canadian competitor Bombardier is usually subjected to in the Canadian media...
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