Building Ontario with Investments in GO Transit Bi-level Rail Coaches

Published on November 30, 2021

Made-in-Ontario railcars support manufacturing jobs and economic growth in Thunder Bay


News Release

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing $171 million to refurbish 94 GO Transit bi-level rail coaches at the Alstom plant in Thunder Bay. This investment will support ongoing service expansion across the GO rail network, while supporting 200 manufacturing jobs and economic growth in Northwestern Ontario.

“As part of our plan to build Ontario, we have reached a deal that is good for transit and good for Thunder Bay workers,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “It simply makes sense to refurbish these made-in-Ontario railcars in the same facility that built them. This is part of our plan to advance Ontario’s transit priorities while supporting good-paying jobs in the province.”

The refurbished bi-level coaches are expected to be delivered starting in 2023 and will be equipped with new seating, washroom upgrades, updated electrical outlets with USB ports and other cosmetic improvements.

By extending the life of these coaches, Metrolinx will have the rail fleet required to support GO Transit expansion, which will provide faster and more convenient service across the GO rail network.

“Our government understands that we need to do everything possible to support economic development, and today’s announcement will help support that by securing high quality, good-paying jobs in the North,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Ontario is a world-leading manufacturing powerhouse, and targeted investments like these will continue to create the conditions for economic growth and job creation in Northern Ontario, making it the best place to work, live, and prosper.”

As part of Ontario’s commitment to support public transit and manufacturing in Northern Ontario, Metrolinx is working closely with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) on opportunities for the refurbishment of additional bi-level coaches and locomotives.


Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s $171 million investment for the refurbishment of 94 GO bi-level Series 7 coaches is in addition to the purchase of 36 bi-level cars from the Thunder Bay plant in September 2019.
  • First delivery of the refurbished vehicles will start in 2023 and refurbishment work is anticipated to be complete by 2024.
  • In May 2021, Ontario announced $180 million for the purchase of 60 new streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). This investment is being matched by the Government of Canada, with the City of Toronto investing an additional $208 million. The streetcars will be produced in Thunder Bay.

Quotes

"As we continue to work on the long-term viability of the Alstom Plant in Thunder Bay, today’s announcement confirming the refurbishment of 94 bi-level coaches in Thunder Bay can provide a bridge forward to much needed additional work. I want to thank Minister Mulroney for being in Thunder Bay with us today as we continue to collaborate and work towards a robust workforce at our local plant."

- Bill Mauro
Mayor of Thunder Bay

"We are delighted with the opportunity to extend our 45-year partnership with GO Transit with the overhaul of these bi-level cars and we thank the Ontario government for their renewed trust and confidence and for recognizing the unique industrial expertise of our team in Thunder Bay. We look forward to continuing to serve transit users of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area."

- Michael Keroullé
President, Alstom Americas

"Thunder Bay’s Alstom plant employees have tremendous experience with our bi-level GO Transit coaches. This is an incredible opportunity to use that expertise to extend the life of our fleet, supporting the expansion of GO service in the coming years and improving the customer experience onboard our trains."

- Phil Verster
President and Chief Executive Officer of Metrolinx

"Unifor Local 1075 has eagerly anticipated the signing of this contract. Our highly skilled members have an important relationship with the Ontario Government that must grow stronger as the United States and governments around the world continue to increase protectionist policies. Together, we can build a brighter future for Ontario and we look forward to additional orders to solidify the footprint of this facility for years to come."

- Dominic Pasqualino
President, Unifor Local 1075