VIA Rail issues RFQ to modernize Montreal and Toronto maintenance centres


As part of its Québec City – Windsor corridor fleet replacement program, VIA Rail Canada launched 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 equipment

This modernization project will be funded by the Fleet Replacement Program included 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


VIA Rail conducted a market sounding exercise in December 2019 with general contractors interested in the project. This exercise not gathered useful information from potential bidders and aimed to promote VIA Rail’s maintenance centres upgrade project to ensure participation from the private sector and encourage competition.

The goal of the RFQ is to pre-qualify firms for work using the following criteria]: price, relevant experience and delivery capacity.


RFQ release: January 30, 2020

RFQ submission deadline: March 31, 2020

Deadline for the evaluation of submissions and shortlist release: May 2020


Request for proposals (RFP) release to shortlisted proponents: Summer 2020

Proposal submission deadline: Fall 2020

Awarding of the contract: Winter 2020–2021

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.


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