Montreal's high-frequency train is expected to enter service in the early 2030s
The high-frequency train (TGF), which will pass through Montreal and Toronto, will enter service at the start of the 2030s. The Government of Canada launched the call for proposals on Wednesday for the project operated by VIA Rail.
Canada's Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra, made the announcement Wednesday morning during a press conference at the VIA Rail Maintenance Center in Montreal. He was accompanied by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis.
The future VIA Rail train, which has been in the works since 2015, will connect the cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec. It will also stop at Trois-Rivières and Peterborough.
This project, valued at $491.2 million over six years, would represent the largest transportation infrastructure project carried out in Canada in decades. “This project will change the way people travel in the country,” said Omar Alghabra.
Indeed, it should offer passengers faster transport times and increased reliability thanks to more frequent schedules. Wagons of this type of train can reach 200 km/h. This should reduce travel time by 30 minutes between Quebec and Montreal, and 90 minutes between Ottawa and Toronto.
Search for partners
Given the size and scope of the project, the Government of Canada is seeking world-class knowledge and private sector expertise for all aspects of the project, said Minister Alghabra. Today, he is launching the procurement process for the project by publishing a request for expressions of interest.
During this call for proposals, interested companies will be able to provide their opinion on how best to obtain the project most suited to the needs and objectives of the federal government. Potential partners will have until May 31 to come forward and undergo the qualification process. Ottawa is targeting spring 2023 to launch the bidding process.
“High frequency rail would be a transformative project that promises to fundamentally change the way Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Quebec, improving accessibility and providing more flexibility for travel. The request for expressions of interest marks the first important step in the development and creation of this project,” said Omar Alghabra.
Indigenous participation encouraged
Minister Alghabra also affirmed that collaboration with Aboriginal businesses will be encouraged.
Indeed, the Government of Canada wants to work with a private sector partner that prioritizes and recognizes the value of meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples. Particular attention will be paid to considering the views of Indigenous peoples and communities during the following phases of the project, it is assured.
The Government of Canada plans to integrate strategies to provide socio-economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples in subsequent phases of the High Frequency Rail project. During subsequent stages of the procurement process, Ottawa plans to evaluate proponents' Indigenous engagement plans to encourage opportunities for collaboration with Indigenous peoples, businesses, communities and organizations.
< p>Indigenous peoples and Canadians interested in the project are encouraged to visit the High Frequency Rail project website for more information or to submit their views and questions.