ONTC's latest remanufacturing contract starts this monthClick image to enlarge

North Bay’s Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) has inked a $109 million contract to refurbish 56 bilevel Metrolink coaches over the next three years at its remanufacturing and repair centre.

The work is expected to start this month and will continue until the fall of 2025. The job involves stripping the coaches, repairing the structures, upgrading parts, installing new seating and enhanced washrooms, replacing electrical components, and completing HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and door system upgrades.

Corina Moore, ONTC’s president and CEO, said securing enough business to make the organization sustainable over the long term had been a “bucket list” item for her since taking over the organization’s top position in 2014.

“When we started our transformation about five or six years ago, we made a commitment that we were to fill this shop — that was the goal, we'd fill it — and we would earn a reputation for high-quality work,” Moore said. “And that is exactly what we did.”

Over the last seven years, the facility has been involved in the refurbishment and repair on multiple contracts, including for 150 Metrolinx bilevel coaches, 24 AMT cars, four Rocky Mountaineer luxury cars from Western Canada, more than 300 tanker cars from Procor, more than 150 CN locomotives, as well as the ONTC’s Polar Bear express coaches.

“We've said this for a long time, that it simply makes sense for these made-in-Ontario rail cars to be refurbished by Ontario workers,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, the province’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, said during a news conference. “And we have fought… for years to continue to do that because the deal is good for transit. And it's good for the workers here in the city of North Bay.”

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