The announcement comes after Via Rail issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on April 16 for a contract to supply 32 new trains for its Corridor Fleet Renewal Program (CFRP). Qualified companies will have until October 5 to submit a proposal, with the new trains due to enter service from 2022 onwards.

Via Rail is seeking a fleet of push-pull trains to provide a total of 9100 seats, with enhanced accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility. The trains will be equipped with Tier 4-compliant diesel engines “with the option to operate on electrified infrastructure as it becomes available.”

Via Rail says it conducted a rigorous, fair, open, transparent and free of conflicts-of-interest confidential analysis of all qualification applications and hired P1 Consulting to monitor the process.

Three evaluation committees comprised of internal and external evaluators conducted the application analysis process covering the technical details, a financial review and the monitoring of any conflict of interest.

Via Rail has also appointed Mr Patrick Molinari as the ethics commissioner for the corporation’s procurement process.