Overview

An updated F40 locomotive pulls a train through a passage lined by the turning leaves of autumn. The views are what make train travel unique and wonderful.

An updated F40 locomotive pulls a train through a passage lined by the turning leaves of autumn. The views are what make train travel unique and wonderful.

Trains Project Overview

The transformation of VIA’s locomotives and passenger cars is on track to provide passengers with a more comfortable and enjoyable travel experience from start to finish. Much of VIA’s fleet of rail cars and locomotives are being upgraded, renovated, refurbished and rebuilt.

Once complete, work on VIA’s new and refurbished cars and locomotives will offer a number of passenger benefits including:

  • Enhanced accessibility features to improve the experience of customers travelling with reduced mobility or other special needs
  • Improved environmental efficiency, including a reduction in maintenance costs and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Added operational reliability with extended lifespan for the cars
  • Redesigned interiors with more pleasant aesthetics and better comfort to make passengers’ trips more enjoyable from start to finish
  • New Business class single seating options
  • New options for Sleeper Plus class passengers on VIA’s Canadian, offering a higher class of rail travel
  • Better overall experience

LOCOMOTIVES

VIA is renewing its fleet of F40 locomotives. The 20 year old locomotives, which are used right across VIA’s 12,500 kilometre network, are being stripped down to their shells and rebuilt from the ground up, incorporating some of the latest technologies. Once complete, the new engines will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 12 percent, reduce maintenance costs by 15 percent, save up to five million litres of fuel annually and extend the life span of the F40 locomotives by 15-20 years.

VIA is also overhauling 9 of its P42 locomotives for use throughout the busy Windsor-Québec City corridor. The rebuilt locomotives will offer improved operational and environmental efficiency.

The refurbished F40 boasts its new paint scheme.

The refurbished F40 boasts its new paint scheme.

RDC

VIA is rebuilding six rail diesel cars (RDC) for use between White River and Sudbury, Ontario, and Victoria and Courtenay, British Columbia. The project, which is funded through the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, will extend the life of the cars by 15-20 years, while providing a safe, accessible and reliable service for customers. The transformed RDCs will feature new interiors with fully rebuilt seating, ensuring the comfort of passengers with special mobility needs, as well as new washrooms, lighting and electrical systems. They will also be equipped with a new propulsion engine and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning) system as well as a new Auxiliary Power Unit that meets the voltage standard (of 480 volts) for all the car equipment.

A preview of one of the first refurbished RDC baggage cars, to be seen on the rails soon.

A preview of one of the first refurbished RDC baggage cars, to be seen on the rails soon.

LRC

98 of VIA’s Light, Rapid, Comfortable (LRC) passenger cars, used throughout the Windsor-Québec City corridor, are being overhauled to better meet customers needs. The project will feature many components and many exciting changes. It includes a new on board colour scheme, an improved washroom layout, warmer lighting and an additional luggage tower in 72 Economy and Mixed Class cars; newly reconfigured double and single seating options complete with new upholstery and leather seats in 26 Business class cars; the reconfiguration of 26 mixed class cars featuring a new Premium Economy class as well as regular Economy class seating. For all elements of the project, electrical and mechanical systems, lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems will be improved to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent. In addition, the 26 mixed class cars will be equipped with larger, fully-accessible washrooms along with seating to accommodate customers with special needs travelling with a service animal or care provider.

A sneak peek of the updated LRC Business Class interior. Read more about the full transformation in the feature story section.

A sneak peek of the updated LRC Business Class interior. Read more about the full transformation in the feature story section.

RENAISSANCE

VIA’s Renaissance fleet is being modified to improve the overall convenience and accessibility for travellers. In total, 59 Renaissance cars are being modified. All of the economy class cars will now include a lower seat set to accommodate people with restricted mobility and those travelling with a service animal. 9 of these economy class cars will be equipped with accessible washrooms and wheelchair tie-downs. As well, each Renaissance train set running from Montreal to Halifax will be equipped with one new, accessible sleeper suite. 9 baggage cars are being renovated to include an additional wider door, to facilitate the baggage handling operation, which will save loading time and increase safety for VIA employees.

All work being completed on these cars, which are in use on the Ocean and within the Windsor-Québec City corridor, is being done in consultation with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) to ensure it meets the highest standards of accessibility.

The new Renaissance sleeper cars will be bright, roomy and comfortable.

The new Renaissance sleeper cars will be bright, roomy and comfortable.

HEP 1

Stainless Steel passenger cars used on VIA’s Canadian are also being given a new look. VIA is overhauling a number of cars on its flagship transcontinental train to improve customers’ overall travel experience. 13 Dining cars are being rebuilt, nine of which will have completely revamped interiors. Each car will have an elegant interior complete with upgraded furnishings and decor, a perfect complement to the on board dining experience on this classic journey.

In addition, four Park cars, complete with their lounges and the panoramic observation deck, and eight Deluxe Sleeper cars are being completely reconfigured to bring a new level of service and comfort to VIA customers. These 4 reconfigured Park cars will now include a fully accessible cabin with en-suite shower and washroom facilities as well as hydraulic wheelchair lifts on each side of the vestibule. The redesigned cars will reduce maintenance costs and energy consumption.

A glimpse into the future: the renovated Park Car will be a sleek and modern place to relax and enjoy the view.

A glimpse into the future: the renovated Park Car will be a sleek and modern place to relax and enjoy the view.

AT A GLANCE:

Equipment Funding (millions)
Capital Investment $224.8
Economic Action Plan $102.8
Total $327.6
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