THUNDER BAY — Alstom has completed an order of bi-level commuter rail cars for Metrolinx GO Transit.
Alstom celebrated the milestone and the Thunder Bay plant’s 45-plus year relationship with Metrolinx GO Transit. Since 1975, the facility has produced more than 990 bi-level cars.
“It’s such a long relationship with GO Transit and delivering that last car is bittersweet for us,” said Lindsay Fenton, the plant’s general manager. “We’ve been able to do a lot of positive things with changes to the cars and with the quality aspect and we wanted to celebrate and acknowledge how everything can evolve together with the customer. It was very special.”
The Thunder Bay plant, which Alstom bought from Bombardier earlier this year, produced 301 cars in this contract.
Looking ahead, the newly awarded Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) contract to build 60 street cars is ramping up.
“Right now, we are preparing,” says Fenton. “We have a lot of internal steps to take to make sure that we are ready for what we call “execution” which is when we’re going to start production in Thunder Bay in early 2022.”
Fenton says the production line in the plant that they had set up for delivery of the first 204 cars, is still intact.
“It’s really about calibrating our tools, making sure we have everything available for when we start and making sure parts are available for start-up, so we are really looking at all of the things that could impact us so that we are prepared,” she said. “The line itself is ready to go and we are looking froward to starting this.”
On the horizon, there is talk about a potential contract to overhaul the TTC bi-level cars, but things are far from finalized.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal