The budget does not disclose the total value of the funding commitment due to the imminent launch of the procurement process.

Via Rail now plans to issue a request for proposals through the Merx Canadian Public Tenders portal. The operator says it is seeking 32 push-pull trainsets to provide a total of 9100 seats. These will replace the current locomotive-hauled trains on Via Rail’s flagship route from 2022 onwards. The new diesel trains will be compliant with the latest US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions standards.

The budget also allocates a further $C 8m ($US 6.2m) for the “continued in-depth assessment” of Via Rail’s high-frequency rail proposal for the Toronto - Montreal - Quebec City corridor.