The fleet will enter service from 2022, replacing life-expired equipment and significantly increasing capacity on Via Rail’s flagship route, providing a total of 9100 seats.

Assembly will take place at Siemens' plant in Sacramento, California.

Each train will be formed of single-deck push-pull coaches and a locomotive based on Siemens Charger platform, which is compliant with United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions standards.

The fleet will be maintained at Via Rail depots in Montreal and Toronto with support from Siemens via a 15-year Technical Services and Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA), which is worth $C 23.7m annually.

The trains will feature LED lighting, USB ports, wide seats, quiet zones, bicycle storage racks and flexible luggage space. The fleet has also been designed to exceed current accessibility standards for passengers with reduced mobility, with features including braille seat numbering, companion seating, at-seat emergency call buttons, accessible toilets, and an integrated mobility device lift.

Alongside Siemens, Bombardier, Stadler and Talgo were also shortlisted for the contract.

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