Bombardier '100% committed' to delivering Ion vehicles by end of 2017
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Friday, February 24, 2017 12:23PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 24, 2017 6:51PM EST
The first vehicle for the Ion light rail transit line has arrived in Waterloo – and so has some clarity around when the other 13 will show up.
“We are 100 per cent committed to delivering all 14 trains by the end of this year,” Mark MacGregor, the project manager for light rail vehicle manufacturer Bombardier, said in an interview.
MacGregor was speaking from the Ion maintenance and storage facility on Dutton Drive, not long after the first vehicle was delivered to that location, bringing an end to its 1,500-kilometre journey from Thunder Bay.
Next week, it will be brought inside the facility and begin undergoing months of testing.
A five-person Bombardier team will be based in the region for the duration of that period, with as many as 10 other Bombardier employees being brought in at a time.
By early summer, the train will start its on-track testing in Waterloo.
The first vehicle had initially been expected to arrive in Waterloo Region in August 2016.
Delays in its production forced the region to delay the start of Ion service from late 2017 to early 2018.
The delays also prompted Bombardier to move production of the final 13 vehicles from Thunder Bay to a facility in Kingston.
MacGregor says the second vehicle is “well on its way,” but still a few months away from completion.
Regional officials expect it to arrive in June, with the remaining 12 showing up at approximately 15-day intervals between then and the end of 2017.
“There’s some reason to think that they have turned a corner and have got things more on-track,” said Coun. Tom Galloway, who chairs the region’s committee overseeing the Ion.
“We’re hopeful that they’ll be able to maintain their schedule from here on in.”
Bombardier officials say work has begun in Kingston on four Ion vehicles.
Representatives of the company will remain in Waterloo Region for a long time to come, as the vehicles’ warranty doesn’t begin until all 14 vehicles have been delivered.
With reporting by Marc Venema