The Canadian government has published a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Québec-Trois-Rivières-Montréal-Ottawa-Peterborough-Toronto corridor high frequency rail (HFR) project.
This step seeks to identify and qualify up to three lead candidates who will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, which is expected to begin in the summer of 2023.
The RFQ is the next step after the Request for Expressions of Interest that opened in March 2022.
The High Frequency Train contracting process is designed to encourage innovation, provide flexibility and identify the optimal solution for the project, the TSB said. Therefore, RFQ respondents will have the flexibility to consider alternatives to meet or exceed the project outcomes described in the RFQ. This would include opportunities to increase speeds beyond 125 mph (200 kph) in some segments, if it is cost-effective to do so.
TSB/Infrastructure Canada thus summarizes the importance of this high-frequency railway project that will transform interurban passenger transport in the corridor between Québec City and Toronto in various ways, among others:
Offer more frequent services.
More reliable and punctual services.
Reduction of journey times. For example, commuters will save at least 90 minutes between Toronto and Ottawa.
Add new services to Peterborough and Trois-Rivières. and
Provide a greener rail travel option using electrified technology.
Next steps in the HFR contracting process include:
Evaluation of qualification applications and identification of qualified candidates: April-July 2023.
Launch of the request for proposals: August-September 2023.
Evaluation of requests for proposals: summer 2024.
The project intends to engage the public, including the communities currently served by VIA Rail between Quebec City and Toronto, and to form meaningful, nation-to-nation relationships with indigenous peoples, to inform the design and development of the project on an ongoing basis. People interested in sharing their views on the project, asking questions, or signing up for project updates can visit the VIA HFR website.
This is an excellent opportunity for Canadian and international companies with experience in high-speed rail projects to contribute their skills and technologies. About 54 interested companies that came forward during the RFEOI phase, and provided written responses wishing to participate in the project. At Deltana Ingeniería we hope to be able to collaborate in the next phase of the process, supporting the estimation of quantities in the different alternatives that are studied to support one of the three proposals that finally participate. Given our experience in this type of process in Canada, this project represents an interesting challenge for our team and an opportunity to add value to it.