Icomera has signed a ten-year managed services contract with Canadian long-distance train operator, VIA Rail. Under the terms of the deal, the UK/Swedish subsidiary of EQUANS will deploy and operate improved WiFi services on the fleet of 32 new passenger trains set to run on the Canadian company’s busiest sections of track.
Icomera says it will lead the development of the passenger WiFi service to be deployed on the newly-built Siemens trains coming into operation this year. The fleet will operate mainly along the Québec City-Windsor corridor. In addition, Icomera will participate in the creation of an on-board digital platform which will include content from VIA Rail’s website and a journey-tracking system, among other elements.
VIA is responsible for running more than 500 trains per week across eight Canadian provinces. Its operations span some 12,500km of track – almost all of which is owned and maintained by the Canadian National Railway company, along with other smaller rail outfits. The majority of its nearly 5 million annual passenger journeys are made on the Québec City-Windsor corridor
In close collaboration with VIA Rail’s teams, the new WiFi project will be spearheaded by the Icomera Canada office, led by the project management and technical services team out of Mississauga, Ontario, and supported by its US team.
Delivery, installation and testing of the new services will be carried out in Sacramento, in California and in Montreal. The first train sets are due to hit the tracks later this year.
Magnus Friberg, CEO of Icomera, commented “The future of travel is becoming a reality in Canada – together, as industry partners, we have a shared mission for green mobility in today’s digitally transformed world.”
Last year, Icomera signed up with Go Transit – owned and operated by the government of Ontario, to roll out free passenger WiFi on all of the province’s buses and just over half of its trains. GO Transit is a division of Metrolinx and serves a population of around 14.6 million residents in the greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. It carries over 70 million passengers annually. Metrolinx has signed an agreement with Icomera Canada Inc. to connect all 1,399 GO buses and trains to WiFi.
Track-side connectivity and on-board WiFi provision will be the main subjects of this year’s Traincomms Conference.
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