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Via to buy new trains

Via Rail is preparing to launch a process to replace aging trains on its main Canadian corridor after federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced funding Monday by the government.

The national passenger service says it will launch a request for qualifications, followed by a request for proposals.

The unspecified funding to replace its fleet in the Quebec City to Windsor corridor was included in the recent federal budget.

Via has said it expects the new trains will be in service by 2022.

They will reduce environmental emissions with more fuel-efficient engines, enhance accessibility for visually, hearing and physically impaired passengers and improve on-time performance from reduced mechanical breakdowns.

Via Rail president Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said in a news release that the funding will improve service by ensuring there is sustained uninterrupted access along the busy rail corridor.

The budget also earmarked $8 million for Transport Canada to conduct economic analysis on a proposed high-frequency rail between Quebec City and Toronto.



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