Design and planning work continues on Hamilton’s 10-mile (14-kilometer) LRT line, despite ongoing political uncertainty over the project’s future. Meanwhile, the planned and approved expansion of GO Train service to Grimsby, St. Catherines and Niagara Falls has experienced a recent potential setback. And on Oct. 30, the author, representing Railway Age, visited the Bombardier Transportation rail division plant at Millhaven, Ontario, located a short distance west of Kingston.
Bombardier Flexity Freedom
More than 3,000 Edmontonians viewed their city’s first low-floor LRV during the week of July 27 at Bonnie Doon Mall. The seven-section, double-ended Bombardier Flexity Freedom car was on public display after recently arriving by CN from the Kingston, Ontario plant. It is 131 feet long with couplers folded; 137 feet with couplers out. There are 82 seats; the cars can accommodate 275 passengers.
The past few years have admittedly been tough for Bombardier Transportation in North America. Changing dynamics—in particular, China’s entrance into the vehicle market—combined with delivery and quality problems and highly public squabbles with key Canadian and U.S. customers—have impacted the company’s business as well as its reputation. Now, however, Bombardier’s fortunes appear to be turning around.
TransEd Partners, the consortium building the first phase of Edmonton’s light rail Valley Line, has released images of the first Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRV for the project.
LRV testing on the new Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) LRT line has been ongoing since late 2017.
The long-standing dispute involving Ontario, Canada transit agency Metrolinx railcar supplier Bombardier over delivery of 182 light rail vehicles has been resolved, after six months of negotiations.
The LRT scene in downtown Kitchener (Ontario) in early September 2017 reminds the visitor of an episode of “The Twilight Zone”: tracks complete but rusty and debris-filled; stations ready for passengers, but none to be seen.
Metrolinx, the Ontario Government’s transit agency, has dropped its appeal of the court decision earlier this year that had prevented the authority from cancelling a C$770 million order with Bombardier for 182 Flexity Freedom LRVs.
The first Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRV for the new Kitchener-Waterloo LRT line arrived Feb. 22, 2017, after a long journey by rail from the carbuilder’s plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario.