Buttcon and Pomerleau have secured contracts from VIA Rail Canada to upgrade its maintenance centres in Toronto and Montréal.

Part of the Corridor Fleet Replacement Program, the modernisation will enable the centres to serve as the home base for the maintenance of VIA Rail’s 32 new trains. It will also continue to maintain and service its current fleet.

Under the contract, Buttcon will engage in the construction of the Toronto Maintenance Centre.

Pomerleau will be responsible for work on the Montréal Maintenance Centre.

The firms were said to be chosen under the supervision of an independent fairness monitor through a transparent bidding process.

Both projects secured funds under the 2018 federal budget. Construction is expected to start early next year.

VIA Rail president and CEO Martin Landry said: “We are proud to work with two exceptional Canadian partners on these two projects.

“The modernisation of our maintenance centres is an important step in the fleet replacement program and in VIA Rail’s overall modernisation process.

“These centres will allow us to maintain the new Corridor fleet that embodies the vision we have for the VIA Rail of tomorrow.”

The new fleet’s first train took in passengers this month while a full commercial launch is expected next year.

In August this year, VIA Rail ratified collective agreements for nearly 2,400 employees, with an average pay hike of 3.83% over three years.