Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty visited Thunder Bay Friday to announce the purchase of 60 new Go Train cars, which will be manufactured at the plant. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Bombardier in Thunder Bay has been given the green light to build 60 new GO Train cars that will be destined for public transit service in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Bi-level cab cars and passenger coaches have been part of GO Transit’s fleet since 1978 and were designed by Bombardier in Thunder Bay — the only Canadian manufacturer of commuter rail coaches.

"GO trains are a huge success and have been responding to commuter needs for more than 30 years now," said René Lalande, vice-president Bombardier Transportation, Thunder Bay Business Unit.

"GO Transit’s fleet comprises 650 of the more than 1,000 bi-level cars manufactured in Thunder Bay for North America. We are proud to offer GO Transit a new version of the very popular bi-level car that features next-generation enhancements."

Design of the new passenger cars is underway, with the first delivery of the new fleet scheduled to arrive in spring 2015. 

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty visited Bombardier in Thunder Bay on Friday to make the announcement.

"These 60 new bi-level commuter train cars will help GO Transit meet our commitment to two-way, all-day service, while strengthening the economy and sustaining jobs in Thunder Bay," McGuinty said in a press release.

Since 2003, the province has invested more than $13.4 billion in transit, including more than $6 billion in GO Transit, which carries about 57 million passengers a year.

Bombardier said it will have to hire more workers to build the cars — about 100 in all. The plant is now the largest private sector employer in the city with about 1,300 staff.