A consortium of twelve companies is seeking authorisation from the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to go ahead with the development of a passenger rail service throughout Canada’s Greater National Capital Region.

The Mobility Ottawa-Outaouais Systems & Enterprises (Moose) consortium was founded in 2015 and its member firms include Remisz Consulting Engineers and MTBA Architects.

Canada’s Aon Reed Stenhouse (AON) is serving as Moose’s insurer of record, while the project’s health and safety management planning is led by Dr Bill Pomfret & Associates.

Moose will use existing railway corridors and bridges to connect urban and rural sectors of both eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

"Moose will use existing railway corridors and bridges to connect urban and rural sectors of both eastern Ontario and western Quebec."

The 400km inter-provincial service will exchange passengers with Ottawa’s new Light-Rail Transit (LRT) system at Bayview Station in Lebreton Flats and at the Tremblay Road VIA station. It will also link with Gatineau’s Rapibus service.

As part of the project, three-coach double decker diesel-electric passenger trains will be operated with hourly service through Ottawa and Gatineau.

It will cross the Ottawa River on the Prince of Wales Bridge, which is located between Lebreton Flats and the University of Québec en Outaouais (UQO) campus. It is expected to generate 100km² worth of sustained property value enhancement.

Remisz Consulting Engineers’ president Wojciech Remisz said: "We have now formally submitted Moose’s $50m plan to retrofit the bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau.

"In addition to the repairs and upgrades required to restart railway operations, this will include a new cycling pathway cantilevered off the upstream side and a pedestrian walkway on the downstream side, with picnic areas on Lemieux Island offering a direct view of Parliament Hill."

Moose consortium estimates operations will achieve 20,000t of net CO2 reduction per year.

Moose’s director general Joseph Potvin said: "All the infrastructure and operational financing will be based upon the value added to property income and capital near stations.

"Each station will be owned, developed, and operated as an autonomous enterprise under common regulation and monitoring."

After obtaining federal authorisation, the consortium plans to initiate formal negotiations for the use of rail corridors from VIA Rail, several freight companies, and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau.

Moose expects to have the CTA authorisation in hand by September this year.