January 30, 2020


MONTREAL, January 30, 2020 - As part of its Québec City – Windsor Corridor Fleet Replacement Program, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) launches the first phase of a procurement process to construct new buildings and make upgrades to its maintenance centres in Montréal and Toronto, ahead of the arrival of its new fleet expected in 2022. This process follows the contract granted to Siemens to build and supply 32 train sets to replace the current fleet. 

The scope of work for the project includes: 

  • A combination of constructing new buildings and making upgrades at both centres, including the yard, civil engineering systems, structural, architectural, mechanical and electrical systems, communication systems, and refuelling equipment; and
  • Supplying and installing vehicle maintenance equipments

This modernization project will be funded with the money allocated to the Fleet Replacement Program in the Federal government’s 2018 budget. 

“Upgrading our Montréal and Toronto maintenance centres is one of the core projects of our organisation.  It is an integral part of VIA Rail’s transformation plan.” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “In preparation for the introduction of our new fleet of trains, the modernization and upgrade of our facilities will also allow for the maintenance of the current fleet. Starting in 2022, our passengers will enjoy a renewed travel experience with a significantly lower environmental footprint, which also meets universal accessibility standards.” 

Phases of the procurement process 

In preparation for the procurement process of this modernisation project of maintenance centres, VIA Rail conducted a market sounding exercise in December 2019 with general contractors interested in the project. This exercise not only gathered useful information from potential bidders but also aimed to promote VIA Rail’s maintenance centres upgrade project to ensure participation from the private sector and encourage competition. The goal of this request for qualifications is to pre-qualify firms for work on the Montréal and Toronto maintenance centres. The following criteria will be used when selecting the firms during the procurement process: price, relevant experience and delivery capacity.  

A Fairness Monitor was chosen to ensure the procurement process is open and transparent. 

Phase 1 – Request for qualifications (RFQ), dates are approximate 

  • RFQ release: January 30, 2020
  • RFQ submission deadline: March 31, 2020
  • Deadline for the evaluation of submissions and shortlist release: May 2020


Phase 2 – Request for proposals (RFP) 

  • RFP release to shortlisted proponents: Summer 2020
  • Proposal submission deadline: Fall 2020
  • Awarding of the contract: Winter 2020–2021


Useful links 


About VIA Rail

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 transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. 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 https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.