Petite-Rivière-St.-François (QC), Canada – Groupe Le Massif has contracted with Morelli Designers and Le Centre de réalisation d’outils innovateurs Inc. (CROI) to renovate and upgrade Pullman Standard railroad cars that will form the new Charlevoix tourist train, expected to begin running between Québec City and La Malbaie by summer 2011 and carry skiers and snowboarders to Le Massif de Charlevoix ski area the following winter.
Design and restoration work totaling close to CAN $5 million got underway on the eight rail cars in April. Advocating material re-use, the cars which formerly served suburban Chicago commuters will be restored and transformed into observation cars to maximize the scenery and passengers’ environmental awareness along the route bordering the St. Lawrence River northeast of Québec City.
“Railcar shell design will feature the maximum amount of windows structurally permissible in keeping with safety and regulatory norms,” explains Nancy Belley, general manager of Train touristique de Charlevoix.
“Among the challenges to optimize passenger experience are the treatment of structural elements like walls and ceilings, and the integration of state of the art technologies,” adds Benoît Milord, vice-president of development at Groupe Le Massif. He also says that interior configurations will be designed to maximize passenger comfort, yet remain functional for on-car personnel.
The complete rail car upgrade is expected to require one year. Once retrofitted, the cars will convey up to 550 passengers, with six cars each accommodating 72 passengers. Two other railcars with lesser capacity will be reserved for passengers with reduced mobility.
At the same time, work began last fall on the 140 km of track stretching between Québec City and Clermont and resumed earlier this month following the winter season.