Heritage Program

Modernizing our current fleet

Launched in 2018, VIA Rail’s Heritage Program centers on a reuse/recycle/re-purpose approach and will see major renovations to 79 cars in our current fleet. Scheduled to be completed in 2020, the initiative aims to provide an improved customer experience pending the delivery of our much-anticipated new fleet. Once the new fleet is up and running, the renovated Heritage cars will operate on long-haul and regional routes.


VIA Rail employees involved


of our global fleet to be modernized


million invested


hours required to replace 350 components on each locomotive

Behind the makeover: Effective partnerships

We’re extending the life cycle of our current fleet through five major projects being carried out in collaboration with industry-leading partners.

Type of equipment
Economy class (HEP1)
Cars: 25
Provider: CAD Railway Industries
Highlights: Interior, mechanical, and electrical refurbishment
Economy and Business class (HEP2)
Cars: 33
Provider: Montréal Maintenance Centre
Highlights: New seats, washrooms, and energy-saving LED lighting system
Accessible Economy class (HEP3)
Cars: 17
Provider: Bombardier
Highlights: New accessible areas and interior modernization
Diner (HEP1)
Cars: 4
Provider: Rail GD
Highlights: Kitchen reconfiguration and modernization of the dining area
Locomotives (EPA-42)
Cars: 14
Provider: Montréal Maintenance Centre
Highlights: Reconditioning of the engines, electrical components, and air conditioning system
Changes that matter
Improved comfort and interior design

Our renovated cars will feature new or refurbished seats and new lighting and ventilation systems.

Updated amenities

Further upgrades include power outlets at every seat, additional baggage compartments, and revamped bathrooms.

Universal accessibility

Mobility devices that accommodate all passengers were designed based on feedback from onboard personnel and organizations representing people with disabilities and reduced mobility.

Reduced environmental impact

We’re adding high-performance ventilation and air conditioning, LED lighting, areas for recycling, and more efficient refurbished engines to save energy.

Additional operating efficiencies

By reducing the risk of breakdowns, we can improve employee safety and efficiency and increase reliability while simplifying maintenance.

Timeline and key milestones
Program launch at the Montréal Maintenance Centre
First new EPA-42 locomotive in the Corridor (prototype)
$54 million awarded to Bombardier
$46 million awarded to CAD Rail Industries
First new HEP2 cars in the Corridor
HEP3 mock-up accessibility tests
$16.4 million awarded to Rail GD
Current stageOngoing work by all partners
Planned completion of all 5 projects