April 16, 2018


MONTREAL, April 16, 2018 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has launched phase 1 of its procurement process to select the supplier who will manufacture the rolling stock to replace the current fleet that operates in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor. The fleet renewal is part of VIA Rail’s transformation plan to lead Canadians towards a more sustainable future.

Funding to replace VIA Rail's corridor fleet was provided by the federal government in its 2018 Budget. VIA Rail is looking for interested parties to submit their qualifications for consideration. Phase1, the request for qualifications (RFQ), will allow VIA Rail to create a short list of suppliers to participate in a subsequent request for proposal (RFP) process.

VIA Rail is looking to procure a new fleet that meets the following key criteria:

  • 9,100 passenger seats, provided by 32 bi-directional trainsets;
  • Enhanced universal accessibility features, including accessible washroom and multiple accommodations for wheelchairs and other mobility aids and devices on the trains;
  • More fuel-efficient, Tier 4 Diesel engines, with the option to operate on electrified rail infrastructure as it becomes available
  • Ability for trainsets to be bi-directional (push-pull mode)



"With a new fleet, VIA Rail will be able to offer a modern travel experience to its customers, at a greatly reduced environmental impact. Passengers will be able to travel more quickly, in safer, better-adapted vehicles to modern life: improved wi-fi; quiet and pet-friendly cars; oversized luggage compartments for skis, bikes and boards. It will also allow VIA Rail to remain the most accessible mode of transport in Canada for people with disabilities, by meeting or in certain areas, exceeding universal accessibility standards. This important milestone of our transformation plan will convince more Canadians that VIA Rail is truly the smarter way to travel in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor.”

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano
President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail Canada


"We thank the Government of Canada for their confidence in VIA Rail. This investment recognizes the increased demand for safer, faster and environmentally-friendlier public transportation options for intercity travel. We are committed to ensuring a fair, open, rigorous and transparent bidding process that will ensure best use for taxpayer money. We intend to provide Canadians on-going progress reports as we move forward with this important investment.”

Françoise Bertrand
Chairperson of the Board of Directors


Quick Facts

  • An independent Fairness Monitor will oversee and report on this RFQ and every step in the procurement process.
  • VIA Rail will base its selection of qualified suppliers on the following criteria: Financial Capacity, Supplier Experience, Proposed Solution and Deliverability


Key Dates in Procurement Process


  • RFQ Release: April 16, 2018
  • RFQ Submission Deadline:  June 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM EDT
  • RFQ Response Evaluation Completion: June 2018



  • RFP Release to Shortlisted Proponents: June 2018
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: September/October 2018
  • Contract Award: December 2018



Associated Links

Request for Qualifications on MERX
Request for Qualification on VIA Rail’s website
Media Release - Government of Canada announcing funding for VIA Rail’s corridor fleet


About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.