By Railfan & Railroad Staff
TORONTO — VIA Rail Canada is looking to replace the passenger equipment on its long-distance and regional trains. Last month, the railroad issued a “Notice of Market Consultation” to seek potential builders of new cars for trains outside its main corridor between Windsor, Ont., and Quebec City.
The request is not unlike one Amtrak recently issued to replace its own long-distance fleet.
VIA has been investing heavily in updating its corridor trains with new locomotives and cars from Siemens, but the long-distance network is still using decades-old stainless steel cars built in the 1950s and some remote routes still use Budd Company Rail Diesel Cars. The “Notice of Market Consultation” would help gauge the interest of potential builders. The request comes as VIA works hard to keep what it has going; just last fall it began adding “buffer” cars to all trains using the stainless steel cars due to issues with the frames.