All of the 40m bidirectional articulated vehicles must be compatible with Edmonton’s existing 1435mm-gauge light rail infrastructure, 750V dc overhead electrification and VLSE communications systems.

The LRVs must also easily integrate with wayside, operation and maintenance areas on both sections of the Valley Line, and allow for level-entry boarding at all stops.

In addition, they must be proven to operate well in similar climate conditions to Edmonton and be capable of operation in both segregated and mixed automobile traffic rights of way.

The new vehicles will supplement Edmonton’s fleet of 26 Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRVs, planned for operation on the 13km Valley Line Southeast section, which is due to open in 2021.

The city will host a market sounding event this month to generate and gauge interest in the project before the tender is launched. Following the launch of bidding, interested parties will be shortlisted, with the contract scheduled for signing in the third quarter of 2021.

Procurement will be conducted via SAB Ariba, a web-based tool for procurement, contract and invoice management processes. In addition, a notice regarding the posting of the sourcing event will also be published on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website.

Valley Line West is the second phase of the 27km Valley Line light rail project, which will run between Mill Woods in the southeast of the city, via downtown, to Lewis Farms in the west. It will also include an operations and maintenance facility and an additional storage facility at the Lewis Farms terminus site.

The news follows the start of construction on the 1.5km phase 1 of the Edmonton Metro Line Northwest extension between the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Nait) and Blatchford, which began in June.

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