Toronto

Bombardier gets $428 million order for GO Transit rail cars

Metrolinx says it has no concerns placing a multimillion-dollar order with Bombardier for GO Transit railcars despite an ongoing dispute with the company over the delivery of light-rail vehicles.

Regional transit planner not concerned by delays getting light-rail vehicles delivered

Bombardier will build 125 two-level rail commuter cars for GO Transit, a contract Bombardier values at $428 million. (CBC)

Metrolinx says it has no concerns placing a multimillion-dollar order with Bombardier for GO Transit railcars despite an ongoing dispute with the company over the delivery of light-rail vehicles.

Bombardier announced Tuesday that Metrolinx — which oversees transit planning for Greater Toronto and Hamilton — has ordered 125 new bi-level commuter railcars in a contract valued at $428 million.  

But last month, Metrolinx expressed concern over delivery delays of vehicles for Eglinton-Crosstown and Finch West, Toronto light rail commuter lines that are under construction.

In a letter, Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said Bombardier was almost two years late delivering LRT vehicles needed for testing. The letter also raised concerns about unresolved issues surrounding manufacturing and quality.

The TTC is also in a tussle with Quebec-based Bombardier over late delivery of badly needed new streetcars. Bombardier was supposed to deliver 73 of the new streetcars by the end of 2015; so far only 22 have been delivered.

So why is Metrolinx handing Bombardier another multimillion-dollar contract?

Aikins said the light-rail vehicles and GO train coaches are really separate issues. She said Bombardier has a decades-long track record of building quality vehicles for the expanding GO system.

"We have a longstanding 40-year relationship with Bombardier for building our GO Transit trains," said Aikins. "They have been delivering on time and the quality that we want."

She said unlike heavy-rail GO trains, light-rail vehicles are a new design.

"The LRT is brand new that seems to be causing them the issues but it's very unique and separate from the GO train," she said.

Production of the bi-level GO Transit railcars is scheduled to start in Thunder Bay in the second quarter of 2018. Final delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.

The Montreal-based company says the cars have been deployed or ordered for transit authorities in 14 metropolitan regions across Canada and the United States.

With files from The Canadian Press

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