$54 million contract awarded to Bombardier for accessibility renovations to 17 VIA Rail Canada train cars

A press release from VIA Rail Canada; April 3, 2018:

LA POCATIÈRE, QC, April 3, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has awarded Bombardier a $54 million contract to upgrade 17 train cars. Built in the 1950s, the renovations will be used to transform them into a new generation of fully accessible cars, and will elevate the standards of accessibility in Canada. VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano announced the investment this morning in La Pocatière, Quebec, in the presence of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of VIA Rail, Sylvain Lévesque, Vice-President, Corporate Strategy, and David Van der Wee, Chief Executive Officer at Bombardier Transportation, Americas.

The contract awarded to Bombardier will allow for the stainless steel cars to become fully accessible. The interior layout of the cars was designed in compliance with modern accessibility standards and future requirements that are currently under development in order to provide a superior level of accessibility.

Each reconfigured car will be equipped with:

  • two wheelchair lifts;
  • two accessible spaces with anchoring devices;
  • announcement display screens, including in the washrooms;
  • an accessible washroom.

The work will also include the installation of Wi-Fi devices, improved interior design of the cars and mechanical upgrading of the heating system and various electrical components.

The program is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The 17 renovated cars will be deployed over VIA Rail’s long-haul routes.


“Thanks to the federal government funding received by VIA Rail, we are ensuring that we remain the most accessible intercity transportation service in Canada by offering universal accessibility based on the highest standards. This investment is in addition to the funding granted for the acquisition of a new fleet in the Quebec CityWindsor corridor, and is part of VIA Rail’s transformation plan aimed at creating a more sustainable future for Canadians. Rebuilding these train cars to make them fully accessible is part of our ongoing commitment to offer universal accessibility on board our trains. Following a fair, open and transparent bidding process, we are pleased to have entered into this agreement with Bombardier.”

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano
VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer

“Canadians expect and are entitled to a passenger rail network that is safe, efficient, affordable – and, above all, accessible. The Government of Canada is proud to support VIA Rail as it takes this important step towards helping make train travel more accessible and efficient for the entire population. This is also excellent news for economic growth and job creation in the region, though this Quebec-based co mapny. I look forward to being a part of a reliable, accessible and environmentally friendly future for VIA Rail and for Canadian travellers.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“Bombardier Transportation and its 600 workers at the La Pocatière plant together with the 900 employees at the St-Bruno head office are proud to be entering into a contract with VIA Rail. During peak periods, between 80 and 100 jobs will be saved at La Pocatière over the next two years. In the current context, that is a step in the right direction for the sustainability of our plant. Bombardier is a world leader in the industry that is also committed to local benefits, which is very important to us.”

Benoît Brossoit
President, Americas Division, Bombardier Transportation

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.

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SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

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