Alstom confirmed as LRT vehicle supplier

OBJ Staff
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French infrastructure firm Alstom said Thursday that it had finalized a contract to supply and maintain the vehicles for Ottawa’s light-rail line.

The Citadis Spirit rail vehicle will be built by French firm Alstom.

Alstom will be developing 34 new vehicles for the project as part of a contract worth about €400 (the equivalent of more than C$533 million), the company said in a news release.

The model of vehicle the firm is introducing, which it calls the Citadis Spirit, includes features such as on-car bike storage, a top speed of 100 km/h and the ability to operate in “extreme winter conditions.”

The vehicles are part of the $2.1 billion the city is spending to the develop the line, which will feature 12.5 kilometres of light-rail, 13 stations throughout the core and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel beneath downtown.

Bombardier and Siemens were among the other companies expected to vie for vehicle supply contract. Bombardier had aligned itself with the Ottawa Transit Partners, a consortium led by Vinci Concessions that was unsuccessful in its bid to lead the massive construction project.

The city announced earlier this week it is ready to sign the contract with Rideau Transit Group, the consortium of companies made up of firms such as SNC-Lavalin and construction firm EllisDon, to start building the line this year. It expects the project to be ready for everyday use by 2018.

Alstom plans to assemble and test the trains in Ottawa, said Michelle Stein, a spokeswoman for the firm. That follows through on a promise Rideau Transit made when they were announced as the winning bidder last December.

The €400 figure also includes the amount of money the firm will be paid for 30 years of maintenance, Ms. Stein said. When that is added to the construction cost, the total that will eventually be billed to the city rises to $3.8 billion.

Alstom has previously developed trains in 40 cities around the world, according to the release. In 2011, it won a $34 million contract with the City of Ottawa to provide six vehicles to help expand O-Train service.

Organizations: Alstom, Bombardier, Rideau Transit Group Ottawa Transit Partners SNC-Lavalin EllisDon

Geographic location: Ottawa

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