Metrolinx in bitter fight to get new supplier for LRT trains

Metrolinx has had talks with a different transit manufacturer to ensure it gets the vehicles it needs to finish the Eglinton Crosstown LRT by the 2021 finish date. And the bitter legal argument in court seems to make clear that Metrolinx wants out of its deal with Bombardier. Canadian Press says the Ontario corporation filed a lengthy document in court, including affidavits, in response to an injunction filed last month by Bombardier. The Montreal firm appears intent on trying to stop Metrolinx from cancelling the $770 million contract for 182 vehicles. Thursday, Metrolinx said Bombardier has repeatedly failed to deliver a prototype vehicle on time for the scheduled opening of the $5.3-billion line.


Metrolinx describes the Bombardier injunction as a tactic to force it into months of litigation that would make it impossible for another supplier to provide the vehicles in time. Bombardier has denied this allegation. The CP account says Bombardier claims Metrolinx’s has other reasons for wishing to end the contract which “have nothing to do with its ability to deliver.” But the story does not say — perhaps because Bombardier does not say — what these other reasons might be. Bombardier claims Metrolinx has refused to inspect the pilot vehicle since October and won’t use a dispute resolution process included in the contract.


The Globe and Mail remarks on one especially juicy affidavit from Metrolinx which says: “Bombardier’s record of failure to perform its obligations on public infrastructure projects around the globe is well-known and publicized.” This damning remark is said to be authored by Metrolinx executive Mark Ciavarro. Wikipedia list nine other Canadian “rolling stock” manufacturers but it isn’t clear if they can build light rapid transit trains. They are  ARS Canada Rolling StockNational Steel Car (National), Canadian Car and FoundryUrban Transportation Development CorporationMontreal Locomotive WorksToronto Transit Commission subway cars, Preston Car CompanyHawker Siddeley CanadaOttawa Car Company – interurban cars, Arva Industries