The Region of Waterloo unveiled its new ION LRT car to the media Friday morning, in an invite-only event. 

The car actually arrived in the region on Thursday, making its way through Kitchener on its way to the testing area and storage facility on Dutton Drive in Waterloo. 

The first light rail vehicle was supposed to have arrived in August 2016, but problems assembling the train cars at Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant led to production delays and the delivery schedule being pushed back several times.

"We would have like to have done this six months ago, but they've got it here now and it's in relatively good shape. And from what we hear things are going very well in Kingston." said Coun. Tom Galloway, who is also the chair of the region's planning and works committee 

This is the one and only ION light rail vehicle produced out of Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant. The remaining 13 cars will be made in the company's Kingston location, which has been retooled for the job. 

No one was allowed to board the train for a look inside, but there will be a public event in April, Bombardier project manager Mark MacGregor told CBC K-W.

Next week Bombardier's staff will begin the testing process, starting with making sure the train is in the same condition as when it left Thunder Bay last week.

The vehicle will be inspected from top to bottom, including brake checks, before the vehicle is tested on short stretches of track outside the region's ION operations facility on Dutton Drive.

Actual test runs on the track between Conestoga Mall and Fairview Park Mall will begin in June or July, said Galloway.


  • An earlier version of this story indicated there would be a public event to view the light rail vehicle in March. That information was attributed to Counc. Tom Galloway. In fact, Bombardier's Mark MacGregor said the public event is expected to happen in April.
    Feb 24, 2017 12:41 PM ET