As you may already know, I am a big fan of trains and it is by far my favourite way to travel. Especially in Canada! Unfortunately, there is limited news that I can write about in Canada as VIA Rail has a fairly stable product and rarely do they shake things up, aside from last year’s Unlimited Pass for only $150 that sold out in less than a day.
However, this month, VIA has sent out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to search for a contract to supply 32 new trains to place the current fleet on its business corridor: Quebec City-Windsor. Companies have until June to submit their RFQ and contracts will awarded as early as December 2018. The plan is the test the trains in 2021 and start introducing them into service in 2022 (with full service by 2024).
Some of the trains probably need replacing, but I hope that they kill more birds with this stone. Even though we may not see high-speed trains any time soon, I do hope that these trains have to ability to travel at higher speeds. I would expect some upgrades to the tracks to go along with these new trains in the coming years.
If VIA Rail can keep their prices competitive and continue to improve travel time, they will definitely remain competitive. I believe the VIA Rail has a very good qualify product and I look forward to riding these new trains!