2023 - WE ARE HERE
On October 13, 2023, the Government of Canada launched a Request for Proposals (RFP). Through the RFP, the Government of Canada will select a private sector partner to collaborate with to optimize the HFR project prior to a final investment decision by the Government of Canada.
On February 17, 2023, The Government of Canada launched a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The RFQ period closed on April 24, 2023. On July 20, 2023, the Government of Canada qualified three bidding teams to respond to the Request for Proposals. The goal is to select a partner in 2024 to co-develop and optimize the project. Learn More
On December 15, the Minister of Transport announced the establishment of the VIA Rail Subsidiary—VIA HFR to support High Frequency Rail and appointed three founding members to its Board of Directors. Earlier in the fall the HFR Team appointed three professionals to increase the expertise available to plan the HFR project.
On March 9, the Government of Canada took an important step towards launching the procurement process of the HFR project when the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the launch of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI). The RFEOI was released by Public Services and Procurement Canada the following day, March 10. It supports the procurement phase for the HFR project – a multi-year process that includes a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP).
With the RFEOI, the Government of Canada sought feedback from private sector parties that are interested in the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of the HFR project and from those with experience in delivering projects under collaborative co-development models. Submissions responding to the RFEOI were provided to Canada by May 31st, 2022. The Government of Canada has reviewed all responses, provided an update to the marketplace on October 31st, 2022. The gathered information from the RFEOI informed the next steps in the procurement.
On July 6, the Government of Canada announced the first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build a new train service from Toronto to Québec City.
These steps include:
- Engaging Indigenous Peoples and communities to obtain feedback on the project.
- Engaging with the private sector to determine capacity and seek perspectives on the best possible delivery model. The Government of Canada plans to finalize the delivery model and launch the process to select a private partner.
- Accelerating dialogue with partner railways to negotiate dedicated routes and, where necessary, shared access in and out of city centres.
In 2019, the Government of Canada granted funding for and established a Joint Project Office (JPO) as a joint venture between the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and VIA Rail to conduct de-risking, due diligence, pre-procurement and planning activities; to explore and analyze operating models; and to develop evidence-based options of procurement and financing for the HFR project. The JPO oversaw the HFR project through to the end of 2021.
VIA Rail put forward the concept of the construction of HFR between Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, and Québec City.