Canadian rail operator VIA Rail has announced a $20m fleet renewal programme to overhaul a total of 99 vehicles.

The vehicles include 78 HEP 1 long-haul cars, which will be primarily used with Toronto-Vancouver streamliners, and 21 P-42 diesel-electric locomotives, which will be primarily used on the Quebec-Windsor Corridor.

The HEP 1 cars will be renovated for interiors and upholstery as well as electrical, heating/ventilating/air-conditioning and underframe systems.

Work will begin at a rate of seven cars per month with the first car scheduled to be renovated by this autumn.

The fleet of P-42 locomotives will undergo improvements on the underframe systems, main diesel engine, alternator and generator, enabling those to run for another 1.6 million kilometres or eight years.

The programme is being funded under the government’s $516m passenger rail capital improvement programme and by a $407m investment under the Economic Action Plan.