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VIA Rail to overhaul 78 cars, 21 locomotives

Earlier this week, VIA Rail Canada Inc. and the government of Canada unveiled a $20 million program aimed at renewing and upgrading the railroad’s locomotives and passenger cars.

Funded through a $400 million passenger-rail allocation under Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the program calls for renovating 78 stainless-steel cars and 21 diesel-electric locomotives. The cars primarily are assigned to VIA Rail’s Toronto-to-Vancouver streamliner and the locomotives are used in the Quebec-Windsor corridor.

Locomotive upgrades will focus on underframe systems, structural work, main diesel engines, alternators and generators. The repairs will prep the units for another eight years of reliable service, according to VIA Rail.

Car renewals will focus first on 40 sleeping cars, then dining cars. Work includes new carpeting and upgrades to mechanical, HVAC and underframe systems. Overhauls will proceed at a rate of seven cars per month, with the first cars scheduled for completion this fall.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/23/2009