Metrolinx and Bombardier play down light rail vehicle cancellation reports

Image: Bombardier.

Metrolinx, the transit authority for Greater Toronto and Hamilton, has filed “a notice of intention to terminate” its contract with Bombardier for up to 182 Flexity Freedom light rail vehicles.

The decision follows a delay in the delivery of the first test vehicle by Bombardier, which was due in 2014 – four years after the contract was signed.

Bombardier maintains it is not in default of its contractual obligations, with production of the Flexity Freedom fleet not scheduled to begin until early 2018 and not due to enter service until 2021.

Both Metrolinx and Bombardier have downplayed the announcement, with Bombardier describing it as a normal contractual procedure.

Metrolinx stressed that the notice did not mean that the contract had been cancelled, or will be cancelled. Like Bombardier it described the notice as part of a common contractual process.

Anne Marie Aikins, senior manager of media for Metrolinx, said the authority was working with Bombardier on the issue and would be visiting the manufacturer’s Thunder Bay site this week to see the progress of the first pre-series vehicle.

“We will continue to work with Bombardier on this issue and we will deliver on our transit commitments,” she added.

In a written statement, Marc-André Lefebvre, head of communications and public relations, Canada, Bombardier, said: “Work on this contract still goes on today, will go on tomorrow, and will continue for the duration of the project.”