Ontario Northland to refurbish 56 GO Transit bi-level coaches

April 11, 2022
The project is getting a $109 million investment from the provincial government and is expected to bring dozens of jobs to the North Bay repair facility.

Ontario Northland will refurbish 56 GO Transit bi-level coaches at its Remanufacturing and Repair Center in North Bay, Ontario. The project is being funded with C$109 million (US$86.73 million) from the government of Ontario.

The work to refurbish the rail cars will support expanded service across the GO rail network, as well as support the province’s plan to develop jobs and economic development in the northern part of Ontario.

"This vehicle refurbishment agreement is an important step in supporting the growth of our future rail capacity. We’re proud to make this progress, working with Ontario Northland and the communities of Northern Ontario," said Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster.

Refurbishment work

The project will begin in May and is anticipated to be completed in September 2025. Ontario Northland’s 150,000-square-foot remanufacturing and repair center is where 15 Metrolinx cab cars were refurbished under a 2019 agreement. The facility performs remanufacturing, repair, paint and overhaul services for passenger and freight cars, locomotives, wheel and truck work.

Each of the 56 bi-level coaches will be stripped in a complete overhaul that will include new seating and upgrades to washrooms, electrical components, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and door systems.

"This contract will provide job stability for our employees while contributing to economic growth in Northern Ontario. Our continued partnership with Metrolinx, specifically for refurbishment projects, confirms our exceptional skillset and reputation for high-quality remanufacturing services right here in North Bay. We are proud of the impact of this contract to the region as it will create long-term jobs as well as drive business to over 30 local suppliers," said Ontario Northland President and CEO Corina Moore.

The province says the agreement will support approximately 100 manufacturing jobs.

“Today’s investment is an important advancement in our government’s plan to strengthen economic growth and opportunities in the north,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, and MPP for Nipissing. “We’re taking action to build a stronger, more resilient manufacturing sector in Northern Ontario that will support high-quality, good-paying jobs.”

This is the second major rail car remanufacturing agreement executed by the provincial government. In late 2021, Metrolinx and Alstom signed an agreement for the overhaul of 94 GO Transit coaches at Alstom's Thunder Bay, Ontario facility. The C$171-million (US$134.2 million) project is also being funded by the government of Ontario.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.