Via Rail unveils a new fleet of trains to the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor

OTTAWA – By the end of next year, your train ride to Toronto or Montreal could be much more enjoyable.

Via Rail previewed the first of 32 new Siemens trains Tuesday at their Tremblay Road station in Ottawa.

“Canadians’ travels will never be the same,” said Martin Landry, Chief Commercial Officer at Via Rail.

The trains will be used on the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor, serving destinations such as Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. Some of the new improved features on the train include:

  • wider corridors;

  • adjustable tray tables;

  • more comfortable headrests;

  • automatic non-contact interior doors; and

  • high speed reliable wifi.

New Via Rail trains

New Via Rail trains

Ottawa South Liberal MP David McGuintyn was present at the premiere and said: “I can tell you that they will offer a new era of comfort and efficiency to the workers, families and tourists who travel on these tracks.”

Passengers are expected to board the new trains before the end of 2022.

Winter trials begin overnight on the track in Ottawa. Crews will test the new train and its advanced technology under harsh conditions such as snow and extreme cold.

Landry says Canadian winter poses a challenge for the trains. “The train could start in Windsor with rain, get into Toronto with freezing rain, and when it comes to Quebec City, it’s a blizzard … those conditions are really stressful. We want to undergo the full winter test until spring.”

The trains are also fully accessible and each includes wheelchair lifts, large accessible toilets, Braille and signage.

Via Rail says the trains are some of the most environmentally friendly intercity fleets in North America. They include diesel engines and are two-way.

New Via Rail trains

McGuinty says “These two-way trains can run in both directions, which will save time and reduce delays.”

Cynthia Garneau, VIA Rail President and CEO, says it was a priority to ensure that the trains were environmentally friendly and that they will continue to find ways to reduce the footprint.

“We want to be able to reduce waste on our trains, so we want to do pilot projects and put them in place throughout the corridor,” she says.

Garneau adds that the new fleet “marks a new era of passenger train services in the corridor, where we served over 4.7 million passengers in 2019, and which represented 96% of our pre-pandemic for passengers.”

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