Omar Alghabra

Advancing procurement process for High Frequency Rail

eAwaz Local News

Ottawa  – High Frequency Rail will transform passenger rail service in Canada through the creation of a faster, more frequent, accessible, and sustainable rail service among the major centres of Québec City, Trois-Rivières, Montréal, Ottawa, Peterborough, and Toronto.

Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, announced the next steps in the procurement process for High Frequency Rail (HFR) through an update to the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI). This update reflects input and provides answers to key questions received through the RFEOI process. It provides industry and Canadians with new information about the HFR and its procurement.

Feedback from the RFEOI includes:

  • Responses from a total of 54 interested parties, confirming a high level of domestic and international interest in the project.
  • Responses confirming support for the overall approach; seeking clarifications on some elements of the project, including roles and responsibilities of the Government and private partner; and suggesting ways to enhance the design of the procurement process.
  • Recommendations for strategic changes to the procurement timelines, such as shortening the Request for Proposal period.

The next step in the procurement process, the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), is anticipated to begin in early 2023.

Launched in March 2022, the RFEOI marked the first step in the procurement phase and delivering benefits for Canadians. The RFEOI was undertaken to share the Government’s vision for the project and to obtain the market’s feedback on the HFR Project.

The Government of Canada is committed to an ongoing dialogue and building nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Input and feedback from Indigenous Peoples throughout the life of the project will be essential to developing an effective project.

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. A subsidiary of VIA Rail is being established to act as a dedicated Project Development Office. It will be responsible for leading several key project activities, and will work collaboratively with the private partner to co-develop and optimize the HFR project. Canada will work with VIA Rail and the private partner to ensure that workforce changes required for the advancement of the HFR project would be done in consultation with unions to protect the interests of VIA rail employees.

Please visit the HFR website for a full list of changes and clarifications to the procurement process, or to get involved in the project by providing feedback, asking questions, and signing up for project updates.

“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. We’re pleased with the market’s interest in this project and in the Government obtaining over 50 responses from interested parties. Feedback from these parties was critical in making this project even better and will be used to move the next phase of the project forward – the request for qualifications.” – Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport