Via Rail has selected Germany’s Siemens over Bombardier Inc. for a $989-million contract to build new rolling stock as the Canadian passenger rail service renews its fleet of locomotives and cars for the rail corridor between Quebec City and Windsor, Ont.

The company confirmed the contract, which will see trains built in California.

Deliveries will begin in 2021 for entry into service the following year.

Via Rail and Siemens also announced a 15-year technical services and parts agreement valued at $355.5 million.

Fair game with fair trade rules

The Canadian rail company requires 32 new trains to maintain its current capacity of 9,100 seats. The equipment must be able to run on electricity once that is installed along the route.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said the decision to bypass Bombardier and workers at its plant in La Pocatiere, Que., is justified because Canada’s free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States don’t allow Via Rail to favour Bombardier in the awarding of contracts.



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