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Government of Canada announces the groups that will be able to submit a proposal for the High Frequency Rail project

The High Frequency Rail project, the largest Canadian infrastructure project, aims to provide clean, safe and efficient transportation to Canadians while supporting our economic growth and strengthening our Indigenous relations. A major milestone in this project's procurement was reached last February with the launch of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ). This was a crucial step towards selecting a private developer partner who will work collaboratively with VIA HFR to design and develop the High Frequency Rail project.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, announced the outcome of the Request for Qualifications stage of the project.

The following groups have been invited to move to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage:

  • Cadence (CDPQ Infra, SNC-Lavalin, Systra Canada, Keolis Canada)
  • Intercity Rail Developers (Intercity Development Partners, EllisDon Capital, Kilmer Transportation, First Rail Holdings, Jacobs, Hatch, CIMA+, First Group, RATP Dev Canada, Renfe Operadora)
  • QConnexiON Rail Partners (Fengate, John Laing, Bechtel, WSP Canada, Deutsche Bahn)

Once the RFP launches this September, participants will be asked to present their proposal, including a technically and commercially feasible solution, a business plan and a management plan for the co-development, construction, and operations phases of the project. This approach will incentivize respondents to identify and prioritize the benefits to Canadians in their proposals, while also providing them with the flexibility to take innovative approaches to meet or exceed the desired project outcomes.

The entire procurement process has been and will continue to follow the highest standards and is overseen by a fairness monitor. This fairness monitor is an independent consultant that acts as an objective, third-party observer, who monitors the procurement process and ensures that it is conducted in a fair manner.

Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a priority for the Government of Canada, and this is why early engagement with Indigenous communities is already underway. As part of the RFQ process, respondents were required to demonstrate their capacity to work with the government to create mutually beneficial, socio-economic development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous reconciliation is critical to the success of the HFR project and will be integrated in all phases of the project.

National security and related risks will also be assessed throughout the project, along with measures to address such risks. Selection of the chosen private developer partner will depend on several conditions, including national security.

High Frequency Rail is a transformational project that promises to fundamentally change the way Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Québec, improving accessibility, and providing more travel flexibility.


Member company Proposed role Headquarters
CDPQ Infra Developer – Investor Canada
SNC Lavalin Designer – Operator Canada
Systra Canada Designer France
Keolis Canada Operator France

Intercity Rail Developers / Développeurs Ferroviaires Interurbains

Member company Proposed role Headquarters
Intercity Development Partners Developer – consultant Canada
EllisDon Capital Developer – Industrial Canada
Kilmer Transportation Developer – Real Estate and Infrastructure Canada
First Rail Holdings Developer United Kingdom
Jacobs Designer United States
Hatch Designer Canada
CIMA+ Designer Canada
RATP Dev Canada Operator France
First Group Operator United Kingdom
Renfe Operadora Operator Spain

Partenaires Ferroviaires QCONNEXION Rail Partners

Member company Proposed role Headquarters
Fengate Developer – Investor Canada
John Laing Developer – Investor United Kingdom
Bechtel Developer – Industrial United States
WSP Design Canada
Deutsche Bahn Operator Germany

Courtesy of: Government of Canada

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