Update on VIA Rail’s New Fleet
What does it take to build a train?
In December we announced the awarding of a $989 million contract to Siemens Canada to build a brand-new fleet of train cars for the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. This collaborative effort is seeing designers, locomotive engineers, technicians, experts in accessibility and many others working together to ensure the delivery of a set of state-of-the-art trains for Canada’s busiest commuter route.
Executing such a large-scale enterprise is no small task. Since the launch of the project in January of this year, we’ve been hard at work in the first phase of designing our brand new trains. Have you ever wondered what the initial design steps of such an endeavour look like? Here’s a glimpse…
New Fleet Phases at a glance:
- PHASE 1: DESIGN REVIEW – (We’re here!)
- PHASE 2: FACTORY MANUFACTURING, ASSEMBLY AND TESTS IN SIEMENS INSTALLATIONS IN SACRAMENTO
- PHASE 3: DELIVERY AND TESTS AT MONTREAL MAINTENANCE CENTRE
- PHASE 4: PRODUCTION PHASE AT SIEMENS HQ IN SACRAMENTO, CA
Phase 1: Design Review
So how does it all start? In a very collaborative way!
Alongside selected specialized design firms, VIA Rail’s internal design teams are consulting with onboard train personnel and experts in accessibility, making key decisions on the interior look and layout of the cars, including seat design, seating layout, as well as cabin space layout and design. We’re also in the process of designing the train’s livery, meaning the colours, patterns and motifs of its exterior, a design that will significantly define the fleet’s identity. Can you tell we’re excited about it?
Because accessibility is one of our top priorities, following consultations with—among others—groups representing people with disabilities, this fall we will be inviting people with reduced mobility and their attendants to visit a mockup of our New Fleet’s interior. This will allow us to make necessary accessibility adjustments to the design and layout.
As we complete the first step of the Design Review (the Conceptual Design Reviews), we continue to have the ultimate passenger experience in mind, all while striving for uncompromised fleet efficiency, safety and performance.
What’s the timeline?
The Design Review should take about 18 months to complete.
This fall, the first car production will begin at Siemens’ plant in Sacramento, California. Stay tuned!
Keep informed about our New Fleet by visiting the Fleet Replacement Page.