Metrolinx has chosen Alstom as the new light rail vehicle (LRV) supplier to run on the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HLRT) line.

Alstom is a global rail vehicle supplier based in France. The particular model that will be running on Hurontario is called the Citadis Spirit. It’s 100 per cent low-floor for accessibility, and is designed for North American environments.

A single Alstom LRV measures 48 metres (157 feet) in length and is rated to carry up to 292 people, sitting and standing, depending on the internal layout. The maximum speed is 100 km/h, though it’s unlikely to reach that on Hurontario.

Compared to the Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRVs, the Alstom vehicles are more expensive but accelerate faster and carry more people. The vehicles are also longer.

Alstom Citadis Spirit LRV testing in Ottawa on the Confederation Line.

Ottawa has ordered 34 for its new Confederation Line LRT opening in 2018, while Metrolinx has ordered 61 for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Alstom LRVs are used throughout the world, including Jerusalem, Dubai, Paris, Dublin, Rotterdam, and Melbourne, among others cities.

All three of the short-listed Hurontario LRT bid teams operate Alstom LRVs elsewhere (Keolis in Melbourne, Transdev in Dublin, and RATP in Paris).

Metrolinx had previously ordered 182 Bombardier vehicles for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Finch West LRT, but as soon as it became clear that the $770 million contract would be late, they attempted to cancel the order. A model of this vehicle has toured around the GTA, and was supposed to also have been used on the Hurontario LRT and Hamilton B-Line LRT.

The Hurontario LRT is scheduled to begin major construction next year (some utility work has already begun) and will begin operating in 2022 between Port Credit GO and Brampton Gateway Terminal at Steeles Avenue.