VIA Rail selects Siemens for flagship fleet renewal

Written by Keith Barrow, Senior Editor, International Railway Journal
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VIA Rail Canada announced that it has awarded Siemens Canada a C$989 million ($741 million) contract to supply 32 intercity trainsets for the Quebec City–Toronto–Windsor corridor.

Siemens Via Rail Canada

The fleet will enter service in 2022, replacing life-expired equipment and significantly increasing capacity on VIA Rail’s flagship route, providing a total of 9100 seats.

Each trainet will consist of single-deck push-pull coaches and a locomotive based on Siemens’ Charger diesel-electric locomotive, which is compliant with United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions standards. The Charger uses a 4,000-hp QSK95 16-cylinder diesel engine from Cummins.

The fleet will be maintained at VIA Rail depots in Montreal and Toronto with support from Siemens via a 15-year Technical Services and Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA), which is worth C$23.7 million annually.

The trains will feature LED lighting, USB ports, wide seats, quiet zones, bicycle storage racks, and flexible luggage space. The fleet has also been designed to exceed current accessibility standards for passengers with reduced mobility, including Braille seat numbering, companion seating, at-seat emergency call buttons, accessible toilets, and an integrated mobility device lift.

Bombardier, Stadler and Talgo also had been shortlisted for the contract.

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