1st light rail vehicle in final production stages, but may not arrive on time

The first light rail vehicle for the Region of Waterloo's Ion LRT is in the final stages of production, but Bombardier is at risk of missing its delivery deadline, regional councillor Tom Galloway says.

The first light rail vehicle for the Region of Waterloo's Ion LRT is in the final stages of production, but Bombardier is at risk of missing its delivery deadline. 

Representatives from the Region of Waterloo, including commissioner of transportation Thomas Schmidt and Coun. Tom Galloway, visited Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant on Wednesday to check on the status of the region's first light rail vehicle and put pressure on the company.

"It's a very impressive looking vehicle," Galloway said. "I was very, very pleased. It was everything I expected."

December delivery unlikely

But Galloway said he's doubtful Bombardier will be able to deliver the vehicle by the December deadline. 

Galloway told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Thursday that a retired engineer who works on behalf of the Region of Waterloo and Metrolinx, as a liason with Bombardier, says meeting that schedule is unlikely. 

"He's in the plant every day," Galloway said. "He's advising us that the date is probably too optimistic."

"What's really important to us is when the 14th vehicle arrives," Galloway said. 

More possible delays at Bombardier

But that too might be delayed. 

In May, Bombardier admitted it was behind on production and was having to move back delivery dates. Though all trains were originally supposed to arrive by December 2016, the company's revised schedule saw the first train arrive in December 2016, with the final cars arriving in October 2017. 

"Currently they are telling us that the 14th vehicle will be delivered in December of 2017, which of course would mean that the service wouldn't start until a few months thereafter," Galloway said.

In an email to CBC News, Bombardier's director of communication Marc-André Lefebvre said after discussions with the region, the company has said "all 14 vehicles would be delivered by the end of 2017."

"Bombardier is honoured to be a partner in the development of the region's transit system, and that is why we are deploying all of the efforts and resources necessary to honour our commitments," the statement said.

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