Ontario invites bids for $17bn rail expansion PPP

Seeking to quadruple rail capacity, authorities in the Canadian province of Ontario have issued a request for qualifications for the US$16.7bn GO RER rail public-private partnership.

It’s being called a "once-in-a-generation" project.

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx are seeking parties to design, build, finance and operate the project, which will expand the province’s current GO system.

Ehren Cory, the president of IO, said: "We are pleased to begin procurement on this once-in-a-generation project. We look forward to a robust, competitive procurement process that will bring together the very best companies from Ontario, Canada and abroad focused on delivering the results we need."

Phil Verster, president of the Metrolinx public transport agency, added: "This is a momentous time as we get set to quadruple weekly train trips, electrify the network and connect the people of our region to where they want to go better, faster and easier."

The work will involve the following elements:

  • The finance, design, build, finance, integration, maintenance of the railway corridor, including civil engineering, tracks, electrification and signalling;
  • Operation of train services;
  • Refurbishment, maintenance, servicing and cleaning of all rolling stock and procurement of new rolling stock;
  • Construction of new maintenance and train storage and/or layover facilities;
  • Reconstruction of Union Station track and platforms.

This project is part of the province’s GO expansion programme. GO RER will provide faster and more frequent service on the GO network, which will also be partially electrified.

The funding model is derived from IO’s Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model, which, IO says, transfers construction and finance risk to the private sector.

Image: A GO Transit commuter train on the Lakeshore West line in Toronto (GTD Aquitaine/Creative Commons)

Further reading:

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. A project of this size rules out 99.9% of the global contractor pool, and likely 99.99% of the Canadian options. Why not break it down into smaller pieces so Canadian companies can go at it???

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News