VIA Rail Showcases First Siemens Test TrainWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
In September, VIA Rail Canada took delivery of the first of 32 new Siemens trainsets, and on Nov. 30, revealed it to the public; testing starts in December.
Siemens was awarded the C$989 million (US$781.5 million) contract in December 2018, with funding from Canada’s federal government.
The new bidirectional trainsets—powered by Siemens EPA Tier 4-emission-compliant Chargers (with Cummins QSK95, 16-cylinder diesel engines)—will replace VIA Rail’s fleet that operates along the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. The corridor, VIA Rail’s busiest, carried more than 4.7 million riders in 2019, representing 96% of its pre-pandemic ridership.
The first train is slated to begin service in fourth-quarter 2022, VIA Rail reported.
Among the key features of the new fleet:
- Wider aisles, automatic touchless interior doors, adjustable tray tables, ergonomic seats and high-speed data connection.
- Fully accessible travel with onboard wheelchair lifts, five Mobility Aid Spaces (MAS) per trainset, large accessible washrooms, braille, and embossed signage.
Download fleet fact sheet:
“In addition to being one of the most environmentally friendly fleets in North America, this modern new fleet will offer our passengers an unparalleled, barrier-free and fully accessible travel experience,” VIA Rail President and CEO Cynthia Garneau said.
“Canadians have relied on VIA Rail to connect them for years,” Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said. “The new fleet will offer a new era of comfort and efficiency for the workers, families and tourists who travel on these tracks. By supporting VIA Rail’s large-scale modernization project, we are investing in accessible, reliable, environmentally friendly ways for Canadians to see each other and see their country.”