MONTREAL (AFP) – German manufacturer Siemens saw off Canadian rival Bombardier to clinch a Can$989-million contract to produce 32 trains, Canada’s state-subsidized passenger rail company announced.
Siemens Canada will manufacture the trains to replace an aging fleet on the line between Quebec and Windsor via Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto – the country’s most-used – VIA Rail said.
VIA Rail and Siemens also announced a $23.7 million 15-year parts and technical services deal.
”Siemens Canada was selected following a fair, open, rigorous and transparent bidding process under the oversight of an independent fairness monitor and VIA Rail’s board of directors,” said the company.
Canadian transport minister Marc Garneau reiterated that in order to conform with trade deals with the EU, Canada and Mexico, VIA Rail was not able to require local content in requesting proposals.
But Quebec’s economy minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon said he was ”very disappointed” – and argued selection criteria could have been applied that indirectly favored local content.
The announcement spells another blow for Bombardier, whose aerospace division last month announced 5,000 job cuts over the next 12 to 18 months.