Siemens Mobility has been awarded a $989 million contract to replace the VIA Rail Canada fleet that operates in the 2200-km Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.
Siemens will build 32 trainsets for the corridor, which carried more than 4.5 million passengers in 2018, an increase of more than 30 per cent in four years as reported by the Financial Post.
VIA Rail says that its trains are currently some of the oldest still operating in North America, some dating back to the 1950s, and that most cars are nearing the end of their life. Because VIA will retire part of its fleet starting next year, on-time delivery was a critical part of the contract award.
The new trains will begin delivery in 2021 and enter service in 2022. key improvements will include LED lighting, USB ports, wide seats, quiet zones, improved accessibility, enhanced safety features, more efficient bi-directional operation and fuel-efficient Charger diesel-electric locomotives.
The trainsets will be manufactured in the Siemens Mobility North American manufacturing centre in Sacramento, California, with Canadian content of more than 20 per cent in supplies and service. The new equipment is expected to have a 30-year life cycle. Maintenance will be supported by a 15 year Technical Services and Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA) valued at $23.7 million per year.