It is a big one. So said Infrastructure Ontario (IO) executive vice-president, civil group, Derrick Toigo as he briefed delegates attending the recent Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) conference in Toronto on the latest procurement details for Metrolinx’s eagerly awaited GO Regional Express Rail (RER) Package 2 and Package 3 projects.
Metrolinx and IO have not yet released cost estimates for the two packages but it was estimated by one presenter at last year’s Transport Futures conference that Package 3 alone could be worth $8 to $10 billion. It would become Ontario’s largest ever public-private partnership project.
The RER project involves the installation of new systems and infrastructure for the electrification of five GO lines over the next 10 years.
Toigo said Feb. 6 that requests for qualifications (RFQs) soliciting teams to show interest in the projects would go out in the next few months.
For Package 2, which he said was a combination of six new stations, six SmartTrack stations and the renovation of more than 36 other stations — “so a fairly significant project” — he mentioned “spring.” For Package 3, he said the RFQ is set to go out at the end of March or early April. A slide he presented indicated March for the Package 3 RFQ.
He said the project involves capital rebuilding, electrification of the GO system, alternative forms of energy, operations and maintenance plus a 30-year concession period.
The IO slide said RER Package 3 would be procured using a design, build, finance, operate and maintain model and noted, “The largest rail project in Canada will allow numerous employment and economic opportunities across the infrastructure industry.”
Toigo said, “We have had the benefit of talking to many world partners the last two to three weeks to hear what their concerns are with this and how we can best deliver it and there has been a lot of discussion in the industry on how to actually engage on these projects.”
On Package 3, he told the ORBA members, “If you haven’t started talking with your colleagues in the industry you should reach out because you will soon see this coming out to market and it is a big one.”
Package 3 also includes vehicle procurement and maintenance and operation of the entire GO fleet.
IO’s Market Update issued last fall said both the procurement model and RFQ timing for both projects were to be determined.
The first RER package of projects is already in procurement. Toigo called them enabling works of a variety of sizes and said they are being delivered to enable the two larger projects.