Thunder Bay – NEWS – The Ontario government is providing $171 million to refurbish 94 GO Transit bi-level rail coaches at the Alstom plant in Thunder Bay.
“As part of our plan to build Ontario, we have reached a deal that is good for transit and good for Thunder Bay workers,” says 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. This investment will support ongoing service expansion across the GO rail network, while supporting 200 manufacturing jobs and economic growth in Northwestern Ontario.
Dominic Pasqualino, President, Unifor Local 1075 says “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.”
“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,” states Bill Mauro, Mayor of Thunder Bay.
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,” says 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.