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Bombardier says it has won an eight-year contract valued at $331-million from Montreal’s regional transport authority to operate and maintain a commuter rail fleet in the greater Montreal area. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Bombardier says it has won an eight-year contract valued at $331-million from Montreal’s regional transport authority to operate and maintain a commuter rail fleet in the greater Montreal area. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

Bombardier wins eight-year contract from Montreal’s transport authority Add to ...

Bombardier Inc. is taking over the operation of commuter rail service in the Montreal region under an eight-year contract worth $331-million. 

Montreal-based Bombardier has provided maintenance services for the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport’s fleet of 264 coaches and 41 locomotives since 2010. This new deal extends that work and expands it to include operations on the AMT’s six lines, which means Bombardier will provide the personnel that run and drive the trains. 

The agreement underscores an effort by Bombardier to shift its revenue mix by winning more-profitable services contracts. Roughly 29 per cent of its $30-billion (U.S.) train unit backlog at the end of the third quarter 2015 were services deals. Manufacturing rolling stock, including locomotives and rail cars, made up 61 per cent of the order book while the rest was signalling and systems.

In the last 18 months, the company has won every single North American service project on which it submitted a bid, said Bombardier spokesman Marc-André Lefebvre. That includes major contracts with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority in Los Angeles and North County Transit District in San Diego. Total value of the service deals won over that time span is about $1.4-billion, he said.

The AMT is the second biggest commuter train transit system in Canada as measured by traffic and the sixth biggest in North America. Its annual ridership is about 19 million. The network is subject to harsher winter weather conditions than other systems in the country, which has affected its reliability in recent years.

Bombardier is taking over operations of the AMT network from Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which own the tracks. The contract took effect Nov.18.

The win in Quebec comes amid continued trouble in Ontario, where Bombardier is working to fix manufacturing problems that have triggered delays in the delivery of new streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission. There are also questions about its ability to deliver on a separate $770-million light rail vehicle contract for Ontario regional transportation agency Metrolinx after the company missed the latest deadline for delivering a prototype vehicle.

Bombardier is the only global rail equipment manufacturer with a significant presence in Canada, employing roughly 4,000 workers.

Bombardier shares gained 1 per cent in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to $1.89.

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