VIA gets funds to replace corridor fleet

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A VIA Rail Canada train approaches Montreal's Central Station in September 2015. VIA has received funding to replace the aging equipment in its Quebec-Windsor, Ontario, corridor.
TRAINS: David Lassen

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — VIA Rail Canada has received approval in the 2018 Canadian federal budget for its fleet renewal program, meaning the rail passenger service will acquire new equipment for its Quebec City-Windsor, Ont., corridor, which accounts for the bulk of VIA service.

VIA says it expects to have the new equipment in service by 2022. It promises the equipment will be fully accessible and more environmentally responsible, with bidirectional equipment to increase operating efficiency.

VIA’s plans call for 32 bidirectional trainsets with a capacity of 9,100 seats, as well as locomotives meeting U.S. Tier 4-compliance standards. The budget does not set a cost for the equipment, which will be purchased through competitive bidding, but Canada’s National Post cites a previous VIA estimate that replacement of the fleet could cost up to $1 billion.

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