Government of Canada launches the next phase in the procurement process for High Frequency Rail
March 9, 2022 Ottawa Transport Canada
High Frequency Rail will transform passenger rail service in Canada through the creation of a faster, more frequent, more accessible and more sustainable rail service among the major centres of Québec City, Trois-Rivières, Montréal, Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis, announced that the Government of Canada is launching a Request for Expressions of Interest seeking the advice and views from industry on the High Frequency Rail project through Buyandsell.gc.ca.
High Frequency Rail is the largest transportation infrastructure project that Canada has seen in decades. Recognizing the project’s size and scale, the Government of Canada is seeking world-class knowledge and private sector expertise for all aspects of the project.
The Request for Expressions of Interest marks a major step in supporting the procurement phase for the High Frequency Rail project. It is an opportunity to:
- communicate the Government of Canada’s plan for advancing the project;
- seek feedback from experienced private sector companies to help shape the High Frequency Rail project; and
- provide information to industry so interested parties can prepare for subsequent phases of the procurement process, including the Request for Qualifications and the Request for Proposal.
As the participation of Indigenous Peoples is essential to the success of High Frequency Rail, the Government of Canada will seek a private sector partner that prioritizes and values meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada will carefully consider the views of Indigenous Peoples throughout the project and encourage collaboration with Indigenous businesses.
VIA Rail and its employees are central to the success of High Frequency Rail and will continue to play a key role across Canada as our national passenger rail provider.
The High Frequency Rail service could be fully operational in the early 2030s.
“High Frequency Rail is a transformational project that promises to fundamentally change the way Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Quebec, improving accessibility, and providing more travel flexibility. The Request for Expressions of Interest marks the first major step in the development and advancement of this project.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
"Many key benefits would be provided to travellers through an electrified High Frequency Rail system, including shorter travel times and faster trains, improved on-time performance, higher frequencies, and more direct routes with improved connectivity between cities and to other modes of transportation.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport
“High Frequency Rail is the largest transportation infrastructure project that Canada has undertaken in decades. This project will make an incredible difference in the lives of so many people, especially those in Mauricie. Today’s announcement is another big step that will connect our communities and one that will bring more economic opportunity to the region.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“High Frequency Rail is an infrastructure project with a size and scope that is unprecedented in modern Canadian history, which is why we are seeking to leverage the advice and views of private sector companies with concrete experience in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects across the world. This is a very exciting opportunity for private sector companies to make their mark on the procurement and development of this project.”
The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Public Services and Procurement
The next steps would include:
- Virtual information session on Request for Expressions of Interest: April 2022
- Deadline for response to Request for Expressions of Interest: May 2022
- Government of Canada issues Request for Qualifications: Fall 2022
- Deadline for response to Request for Qualifications: Winter 2022-23
- Government of Canada evaluation of Request for Qualifications and identification of Qualified Respondents: Winter 2022-23
- Government of Canada issues Request for Proposals: Spring 2023
- Deadline for response to Request for Proposals: Fall 2024
The size and scope of High Frequency Rail would drive transformational changes in how VIA Rail provides services in the Toronto to Québec City corridor to Canadians. In the meantime, VIA Rail continues the important work of rebuilding the passenger rail business in Canada following the pandemic.
The Government of Canada is committed to engaging the public, including communities currently served by VIA Rail between Toronto and Québec City, and consulting Indigenous Peoples to inform the project design and development.
Indigenous Peoples and Canadians interested in the project are encouraged to visit the High Frequency Rail Project website for additional information or to submit their views and questions.
The Government of Canada plans to incorporate strategies to enable socio-economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in the subsequent phases of the High Frequency Rail project.
In follow-on stages of the procurement process, the Government of Canada plans to evaluate the Indigenous participation plans of proponents to encourage collaboration opportunities with Indigenous Peoples, businesses, communities, and organizations.
As with any large-scale infrastructure project, the Government of Canada is using a phased approach to leverage input collected throughout the procurement process and inform the next steps and decisions regarding the implementation of the High Frequency Rail Project.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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