AECOM and Arup consortium selected as Owner’s Engineers


January 29, 2020

Disponible en français

MONTRÉAL – The Joint Project Office (JPO) between VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announced the hiring of a joint venture formed by AECOM and Arup, that will act as the Owner’s Engineers for the analysis of the High Frequency Rail (HFR) project in the Québec City – Montréal – Ottawa – Toronto corridor.

“We are pleased to have secured the expertise of these renowned firms. This is an important step of our mandate to complete the de-risking engineering and technical analysis; which are components required for a final recommendation on High Frequency Rail”, said Vernon Barker, Project Director of the JPO.

The owner’s engineers (OE) role during the pre-procurement due diligence phase is to support the Joint Project Office with all technical and engineering matters and form an integral part of the JPO team.

The OE’s scope of work includes general technical and engineering support for all of the JPO workstreams and specific planning and engineering activities. The OE will also support the JPO in obtaining an environmental assessment and undertaking site investigation studies, including geotechnical studies.

The decision to contract this consortium was made after a rigorous competitive procurement process and a thorough evaluation of the proposals.

In 2019, the Canada Infrastructure Bank committed $55 million in funding for planning and pre-procurement work and working with VIA Rail to further explore VIA Rail’s proposal for the High-Frequency Rail project. The Government of Canada added $16.1 million in funding for Transport Canada and VIA Rail to support VIA Rail’s contributions to the important work of the JPO.

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About the High Frequency Rail Project

High Frequency Rail (HFR) is VIA Rail Canada’s proposal to transform passenger rail service in Canada. It would create new trains on dedicated tracks between major centres (Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto). New routes would be established on discontinued and lower density rail infrastructure between Toronto-Peterborough-Ottawa, Ottawa-Dorion-Montréal and Montréal-Trois-Rivières-Québec City. The High Frequency Rail project involves separating passenger and freight rail operations, creating more capacity for sustainable transportation for both people and goods, as well as the opportunity to optimize current services along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

About VIA Rail

As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at

About Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has a mandate to invest $35 billion in complex infrastructure transactions via innovative financial tools over the course of 11 years. The CIB is attracting investment from private sector investors and institutional investors, in infrastructure projects in Canada or partly in Canada that generate revenue and that are in the public interest. The CIB has a unique expertise in infrastructure financing and provides advisory services on transformational projects.