VIA Rail held a groundbreaking ceremony to launch the construction and modernization of its Toronto Maintenance Centre (TMC).
This major upgrade will provide a state-of-the-art maintenance facility for VIA Rail’s new fleet of 32 trains in the Québec City-Windsor corridor and is an important pillar in VIA Rail’s large-scale modernization which aims to transform the way Canadians travel from reservation to destination.
“This modernized maintenance centre will support us in our mission to provide our passengers the most enjoyable travel experience and better connect Canadian communities,” said Mario Péloquin, VIA Rail’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “It will also allow our employees to work with the most modern equipment and will provide them the necessary tools to maintain the new fleet according to VIA Rail’s standards of excellence.”
The modernization of VIA Rail’s Toronto Maintenance Centre protects the investment in the new fleet by increasing its longevity. The innovative Vehicle Equipment Measurement System (VEMS) will allow VIA Rail to improve proactive maintenance with an early warning detection system, ensuring any issues are dealt with swiftly, safely, and without prolonged downtime.
“This pivotal step in our modernization process will allow VIA Rail to maintain the 32 trains of the new fleet that will offer an unparalleled customer experience for passengers travelling in the Québec City – Windsor corridor,” said Bruno Cacciola, Chief Business Transformation Officer.
The work will be conducted by Buttcon Limited, a construction firm with its head office in Woodbridge, Ontario and will create up to 475 local jobs in the trade and construction industries between now and completion in 2026.
“Passenger rail is an important part of Canada’s history, and VIA Rail has been an essential part of that story. Our Government is committed to ensuring that the future of passenger rail is bright. That’s why we made a significant investment to replace the VIA Rail fleet in the Québec City-Windsor corridor. I am pleased that this facility upgrade will ensure VIA Rail’s new fleet is serviced and maintained to the highest level possible. This is a great example of our Government’s long-term commitment to supporting passenger rail,” said Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.
The scope of the work includes:
- The demolition of a portion of the existing structure and the construction of state-of-the-art facilities;
- Construction of a new addition, removal, and replacement of tracks, and;
- The addition of a stand-alone wheel lathe facility (to maintain wheels and ensure smooth operation on the tracks) and critical infrastructure improvements throughout the maintenance yard.
The funding of the modernization of VIA Rail’s maintenance centres, the implementation and integration of various Information Technology (IT) systems as well as the transformation of maintenance processes are all part of the funding for VIA Rail’s Fleet Replacement Program provided in the 2018 federal budget.
“Buttcon is excited to embark on this amazing project,” said Peter Di Gaetano, President and CEO of Buttcon Limited. “This moment signifies the culmination of our collaborative partnership with VIA Rail, a testament to the unwavering dedication and ingenuity of every team member. We eagerly anticipate surpassing industry standards and transcending conventional construction practices, ensuring the seamless execution of the Toronto Maintenance Centre Modernization Project. Together, we embark on this transformative journey, driven by innovation, collaboration, communication, and the exchange of professional expertise.”
Featured image: (VIA Rail Canada)