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Metrolinx files notice to end contract with Bombardier for Eglinton Crosstown

Bombardier misses deadline on test vehicle delivery for Eglinton Crosstown
WATCH ABOVE: A pilot light rail vehicle was supposed to be delivered to Metrolinx for the Eglinton Crosstown by the end of August. Bombardier says it's completing its own testing first. Mark McAllister reports.

Metrolinx is growing increasingly frustrated with the pace of production of light rail vehicles (LRV) for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and has filed a notice of intention to terminate its contract with Bombardier.

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins confirmed the provincial transit agency has taken action that may see its $770 million contract with the Quebec-based plane and train manufacturer quashed.

“I can confirm we issued a notice of intention to terminate. This doesn’t mean the contract with Bombardier for Toronto LRV projects is cancelled however,” Aikins said in a statement.

“There have been some concerns about Bombardier’s performance as there have been significant quality and manufacturing issues that, to-date, have not been resolved. As a result, we have taken the next step available to us through our contract.”

Bombardier said in a statement on Friday they are aware of the notice but that it is a “normal contractual” and not legal procedure initiated by Metrolinx.

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“Work on this contract still goes on today, will go on tomorrow, and will continue for the duration of the project,” said Bombardier spokesman Marc-André Lefebvre. “As we’ve stated since July, Bombardier is not, in no way, in default of its contractual obligations in the Metrolinx project.”

READ MORE: Bombardier misses deadline on test vehicle delivery for Eglinton Crosstown

Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca issued a statement saying the province needs “certainty” on the project.

“We need certainty that everyone involved can deliver on the many components of this plan.” Del Duca said. “As a result, we have taken the next step available to us through our contract. We will continue to work with Bombardier on this issue and we will deliver on our transit commitments.”

Aikins said Metrolinx has yet to receive a pilot vehicle for the Crosstown LRT project which was expected to available in August. The $5.3 billion Eglinton Crosstown project calls for up to 182 LRVs to be delivered.

Bombardier said ongoing talks between both parties continue and that a meeting has been scheduled next week for a walkthrough of the prototype vehicle at its plant in Thunder Bay.

The test vehicle delay was yet another blow to Toronto’s burgeoning transportation network which has seen continued delays on several projects including restocking the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) with new streetcars.

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READ MORE: Eglinton Crosstown LRT delayed by one year until 2021

In April, Bombardier announced it cut by more than half the number of streetcars it had promised to deliver this year, angering the TTC, city council and Mayor John Tory.

The Crosstown, a 19-kilometre light rail corridor from west to east-end Toronto, is expected to be operational in the fall of 2021.

The light rail line will consist of 25 stations and stops, linking to bus routes, three subway stations and GO Transit lines.

-With a file from Cindy Pom and The Canadian Press