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Infrastructure Bank commits $2B to Ontario GO Transit expansion as province issues RFP to four bidders

By David Kennedy   

Construction Financing Infrastructure

The multibillion-dollar expansion aims to modernize the Toronto area's regional rail network through a series of new construction projects and upgrades

Go Transit’s Union Station hub. The wide-reaching expansion project includes significant rail corridor and station work, along with many other aspects. PHOTO: Canada Infrastructure Bank

TORONTO—A multibillion-dollar project to expand Ontario’s GO Transit network took two major steps forward May 30, with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announcing an investment of up to $2 billion and the province shortlisting four consortia to advance to the next stage of procurement on the project.

The rail system expansion — officially known as the GO Regional Express Rail On-Corridor project — has been in the works for years and involves significant construction work along the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area rail corridor, a new train maintenance facility and upgrades at Toronto’s Union Station. The wide-reaching project also incorporates rail electrification, refurbishment and maintenance on trains and oversight of train control and dispatch operations, among many other aspects.

To meet the long list of requirements each of the teams bidding on the project include a diverse set of construction, engineering, rail specialists and financiers.

Revealed May 30, the four consortia to advance to request for proposal stage are: EnTransit, MTR Kiewit Partners, ONcore Transit and ONxpress Transportation Partners (scroll to the bottom of this page for a complete breakdown of the individual companies involved).


“Partnering with the private sector to deliver this program will minimize construction delays and financial risks to taxpayers,” Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of Infrastructure, said in a statement. “That allows us to protect front-line services and programs that matter to people — all while bringing good jobs and new investment to this region.”

Official project costs and timeline specifics won’t be disclosed until the province picks one of the bid teams, but a business case for the expansion released last November estimated costs at $16.2 billion, including $12.2 billion in capital costs and $4.3 billion for operations and maintenance.

The $2 billion commitment from the Infrastructure Bank will give the project a substantial leg up.

The CIB said the backing will “improve the cost of financing and attract private capital while ensuring appropriate risk transfer to the private sector.” Unlike traditional funding, the money will come in the form of a standardized debt financing package offered to all proponents during the RFP period. Once the province singles out a preferred proponent, the CIB will finalize the credit deal with the winning team and provincial agencies Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario.

The financing deal follows the CIB’s first investment in Montreal’s Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project. The bank, which is tasked with investing $35 billion in federal funding, announced it would loan the project $1.28 billion last August.


The four bid teams and their constituents:



Applicant Lead: SNC-Lavalin Capital, Siemens Project Ventures, Keolis
Construction Team: SNC-Lavalin, Siemens
Design Team: SNC-Lavalin, Siemens, Balfour Beatty Rail
Operations & Maintenance Team: Keolis SNCF, SNC-Lavalin, Siemens
Financial Advisor: National Bank

MTR Kiewit Partners

Applicant Lead: MTR, Kiewit
Construction Team: MTR, Kiewit
Design Team: MTR, Arup, Mott Macdonald
Operations & Maintenance Team: MTR
Financial Advisor: Scotiabank

ONcore Transit

Applicant Lead: ACS
Construction Team: Dragados Canada
Design Team: AECOM, Sener
Operations & Maintenance Team: ACSIC, RATP Dev, Bombardier
Financial Advisor: Astris Finance and Rubicon

ONxpress Transportation Partners

Applicant Lead: Aecon Concessions, John Holland, Meridiam Infrastructure, Alstom Transport Canada
Construction Team: Aecon IM, John Holland, Alstom
Design Team: WSP, Hatch, Alstom
Operations & Maintenance Team: Deutsche Bahn, John Holland, Aecon O&M
Financial Advisor: RBC Dominion Securities


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