Transport Canada announced the outcome of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) stage of the High Frequency Rail project, the next step in selecting a private developer partner who will work collaboratively with VIA HFR to design and develop the project.

The following groups have been invited to move to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage:

  • Cadence (CDPQ Infra, SNC-Lavalin, Systra Canada, Keolis Canada)
  • Intercity Rail Developers (Intercity Development Partners, EllisDon Capital, Kilmer Transportation, First Rail Holdings, Jacobs, Hatch, CIMA+, First Group, RATP Dev Canada, Renfe Operadora)
  • QConnexiON Rail Partners (Fengate, John Laing, Bechtel, WSP Canada, Deutsche Bahn)

“I am thrilled that High Frequency Rail — the largest infrastructure project —is advancing to the next stage of the procurement process. This exciting initiative will require strong collaboration between Transport Canada, VIA HFR, and the selected private developer partner to create a sustainable foundation for the design and development of the project. I look forward to the next phase of this project,” said Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.

Once the RFP launches this September, participants will be asked to present their proposal, including a technically and commercially feasible solution, a business plan and a management plan for the co-development, construction, and operations phases of the project. This approach will incentivize respondents to identify and prioritize the benefits to Canadians in their proposals, while also providing them with the flexibility to take innovative approaches to meet or exceed the desired project outcomes.

“The qualification of these three teams confirms that our bold project is on track, on schedule and gaining momentum. VIA HFR looks forward to partnering with the consortium that brings us proven expertise and an innovative approach to advance the development of the future intercity passenger rail that is frequent, fast and green,” said Robert Pritchard, chair of the Board of Directors, VIA HFR – VIA TGF Inc.

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Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a priority for the Government of Canada, and this is why early engagement with Indigenous communities is already underway. As part of the RFQ process, respondents were required to demonstrate their capacity to work with the government to create mutually beneficial, socio-economic development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous reconciliation is critical to the success of the HFR project and will be integrated in all phases of the project.

National security and related risks will also be assessed throughout the project, along with measures to address such risks. Selection of the chosen private developer partner will depend on several conditions, including national security.

“Today, we’re one step closer to completing the high-frequency train project, which will offer Canadians faster train journeys, more frequent departures and greener travel. The project will also connect new communities, like Laval and Trois-Rivières, and allow people in the surrounding areas to benefit as well,” said Pablo Rodrigez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant.

Featured image: (Transport Canada)

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