The overhaul of nearly one-quarter of VIA Rail Canada's passenger car fleet and important accessibility improvements to 12 of its newest trainsets was announced on Monday by Canada's Minister of State for Transport, Rob Merrifield; VIA President and CEO Paul Côté; and Richard Carpenter, president of Industrial Rail Services Inc. (IRSI) of Moncton, New Brunswick.
The Light, Rapid and Comfortable (LRC) fleet overhaul, a $98.9 million contract, will fully renew all 98 of VIA's Canadian-built cars. The overhaul will not only renew them for up to 20 additional years of service, but also reduce their energy requirements by up to 20 percent, making them more cost-effective and reducing their already low environmental footprint.
The $5.8 million Renaissance rolling stock contract will upgrade 21 cars in the 106-car fleet to offer new levels of accessibility for travelers with special requirements on many trains in the Quebec-Toronto segment of VIA's main corridor and on its overnight Montreal-Halifax Ocean.
The two contracts awarded to IRSI will create 135 new jobs and 613,000 person hours of employment at IRSI, as well as 50 additional jobs at associated companies and suppliers. The projects are part of an investment in passenger rail modernization and expansion by the Government of Canada.