Train fleet renewal program in the Quebec city – Windsor corridor

WHAT:

VIA Rail’s train fleet is naturally approaching the end of its useful life, and will need to be replaced. Safety is not one of the reasons for its renewal.

WHY:

The new engines will perform better and consume less energy.

The new fleet is also in line with the government of Canada’s objectives: stimulating economic growth, creating jobs and helping reduce greenhouse gases.

BENEFITS:

According to data provided by international experts on the habits of customers/users of various transportation modes, new equipment or a new fleet has the potential to increase train ridership by 15% to 30%. This is excellent news, in light of VIA Rail’s objective: to help reduce greenhouse gases by getting more people to take the train. This will also relieve highway congestion, especially at access points to major urban centres.

COST:

Estimates for replacement of the fleet, currently composed of 160 cars and 40 locomotives are between $1 billion (a diesel fleet) and $1.3 billion (a diesel/electric dual-mode fleet).

It’s too early to determine exactly what type of equipment will make up this new fleet. There are a number of options being considered. One thing is certain: the fleet components will be tested for compliance with the industry’s highest quality standards.