GREATER Toronto and Hamilton transport authority Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) announced on February 23 that they have entered the negotiation stage with two consortia bidding to upgrade and operate the Go Transit commuter rail network under the Go Expansion programme.  

The Go Expansion programme will provide an all-day, minimum 15-minute interval, service on the core Go Transit network, which comprises Union - Burlington (Lakeshore West Line), Union - Bramalea (Kitchener Line), Union - Bradford (Barrie Line), Union - Unionville (Stouffville Line) and Union - Oshawa (Lakeshore East Line). More than 6000 services per week will operate over the core network. 

The project includes 205km of new track, 687 track-km of electrification, the upgrading of 42 stations, and the construction of six new maintenance and stabling facilities, as well as a new fleet of electric trains.  

The project is being procured as a design-build-operate-maintain contract, with the winning bidder operating services and maintaining the train fleet for 25 years.  

Following evaluation of bids, Metrolinx has selected ONxpress Transportation Partners as “first negotiations proponent” with EnTransit as the second proponent.  

The ONxpress consortium comprises Aecon, FCC Construcción (FCC), German Rail (DB) subsidiary DB International Operations, and Alstom. Aecon holds a 50% stake in a civil engineering joint venture with FCC, which would undertaking construction, and a 28% stake interest in a 25-year operations and maintenance partnership with DB International Operations. 

Identification of the first negotiations proponent is the first step in the negotiations process. If negotiations are successfully concluded with the first proponent, the contract is expected to reach commercial close later this year. A two-year collaborative development phase will then begin in the second quarter of 2022, with operations and maintenance commencing in the second quarter of 2024. 

EnTransit comprises SNC-Lavalin, Siemens Project Ventures and Keolis.  

Four consortia prequalified for the Go Expansion procurement in May 2019 following a request for qualifications in March 2018. 

A feature on expansion in greater Toronto, including insight from Metrolinx president and CEO Phil Verster, was published in the January edition of IRJ. Digital subscribers can read it here.

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