Thunder Bay Bombardier plant to produce 65 Go Transit cars

There was good news for the workers at the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay this morning, as the province announced it would buy 65 new bi-level GO Train cars from Bombardier.
Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle speaks to Bombardier employees on Friday. The Ontario government says it's placing an order for new GO Transit suburban rail cars to be built at Bombardier Transportation's plant in Thunder Bay. The order could be worth up to $481 million if the government buys all 140 cars. So far, it has placed firm orders for 65 of the two-level passenger cars and taken out options for another 75. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

There was good news for the workers at the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay this morning, as the province announced it would buy 65 new bi-level GO train cars from Bombardier.

Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro announces that Ontario is ordering 65 new GO train cars from Bombardier in Thunder Bay. He is pictured here with Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle and Aaron Rivers, vice president, Bombardier Transportation Thunder Bay Business Unit. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

The order will increase GO Transit’s fleet of train cars to 743, and is an important step toward introducing two-way, all-day service on all seven GO rail lines. The purchase is part of The Big Move, a 25-year, $50-billion plan announced in 2008 for improving gridlock conditions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

About 250 workers will work on the $481 million order, which is expected to be delivered between June 2016 and July 2017.

“Our investments in mass transit continue to sustain and create jobs at Bombardier in Thunder Bay,” said Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay–Atikokan.

“Today’s announcement is good news for the employees at the plant and to the economy of Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario as a whole.”

'We have the answer'

The vice president of the Bombardier Transportation Thunder Bay Business Unit said he’s glad for the order.

“We are pleased to provide Metrolinx with additional Bombardier bi-level coaches for GO Transit and welcome our customer’s renewed confidence in the products we deliver,” Aaron Rivers said.

According to a press release from Bill Mauro’s office, bi-level cab cars and passenger coaches have been part of GO Transit’s fleet since 1978 and are manufactured by Bombardier in Thunder Bay, which is the only Canadian manufacturer of commuter rail coaches.

Unifor's Dominic Pasqualino said workers are really excited. "It's great when Michael Gravelle and Bill Mauro come back into town and come to the plant, because they always come with good news." (Gord Ellis/CBC)

The president of Unifor local 1075, which represents the workers, said his members "are very happy they have decided to choose us to solve the problems in Toronto."

Dominic Pasqualino added that every time he goes to Toronto it seems more and more congested.

"And we have the answer here in the street cars, in the bi-level cars and the subway cars."

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