QUEBEC City has selected Alstom as preferred bidder to design, build and maintain the fleet of low-floor LRVs for the city’s $C ($US 2.9bn) light rail project.

The company was the only manufacturer to progress to the final stage of the tendering process after Siemens withdrew in 2022.

The original call for tenders was for a turnkey contract to design, build and equip the entire 19.3km line, which is planned to run from east to west across the city with 29 stops. However, the process was paused in June 2021 after only one company submitted a bid. Tendering was subsequently divided into two contracts - one for infrastructure design and construction for which submissions are still being assessed, and the other for the new LRV fleet.

Quebec City has specified 43m long bi-directional LRVs taking traction current from overhead catenary in view of the city’s long and cold winters. Alstom says the vehicles will be designed at its St-Bruno-de-Montarville site in Montreal and manufactured at the former Bombardier plant at La Pocatière in Quebec province. The contract will include maintaining the LRVs for 30 years under the supervision of Quebec City public transport authority, Capital Transport Network (RTC).

Canadian prime minister, Mr Justin Trudeau, announced in August 2019 a $C 1.2bn federal commitment to improving public transport in Quebec City, including building the new light rail line. After a long series of delays, city mayor Mr Bruno Marchand announced in April 2022 he was ready to get the light rail project rolling, in order to reduce pollution from road traffic and encourage modal shift.

Over 75% of the 19.3km light rail line route will be segregated from road traffic, but with the LRVs having priority at road junctions, and an 1.8km section will run under the city centre in tunnel. Construction is expected to take five years to complete and the line is due to open in 2028.

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