$1.5 Billion Via Rail Engines Order to Bombardier?
Via Rail replacing core fleet with trains capable of using electric and diesel power
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BILL CURRY OTTAWA PUBLISHED MARCH 19, 2018 - Globe and Mail
- Among the companies that build such "dual-mode" trains is Bombardier Transportation, which produces the ALP-45 dual-power locomotive for commuter rail systems in Montreal and New Jersey.
Via Rail will use its first new train procurement in decades to replace its core fleet of diesel trains with modern vehicles capable of operating in either diesel mode or purely electric power.
The requirement was included as part of an announcement on Monday that Ottawa is giving Via Rail Canada Inc. the green light to purchase up to 32 new train sets. The first delivery is expected for the spring of 2022.
The decision was first signalled in the Feb. 27 budget. No dollar amount has been announced for the purchase in light of the coming competition, but Via has previously said it would need about $1.5-billion for new trains.
The trains will operate in the Quebec City-to-Windsor corridor, which makes up about 94 per cent of the Crown corporation's rail traffic.
In an interview, Via Rail president Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said he envisions an "off-the-shelf" purchase of train technology that has a proven record in cold climates.
Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano said it makes sense for Via to have the ability to use electric power where it is available while having diesel power to cover the gaps in between, given that commuter rail networks in Montreal and Toronto are both moving toward electrification.
"There are products from multiple companies that can meet those requirements," he said.
Among the companies that build such "dual-mode" trains is Bombardier Transportation, which produces the ALP-45 dual-power locomotive for commuter rail systems in Montreal and New Jersey.