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PriestmanGoode designs interiors for VIA Rail Canada’s new Corridor fleet with an experience that’s unparalleled, fully accessible and barrier free.

Sleek, modern interiors designed by PriestmanGoode were proudly featured as VIA Rail Canada unveiled the first test train-set of its new fleet that will serve the Québec City – Windsor corridor. The reveal, hosted by President and CEO Cynthia Garneau in Ottawa includes features that usher in a new era for passenger experience in rail.

VIA Rail’s train of tomorrow offers passengers an enhanced onboard experience in terms of accessibility, comfort, and personal space. An optimal interior environment and configuration, together with a colour palette, materials, and finishes support the service reputation that VIA Rail Canada is known for.

Particular attention was paid to the selection of durable materials to ensure the interiors are built with longevity in mind, contributing to VIA Rail’s sustainability commitment.

PriestmanGoode also designed the livery of the fleet and the distinctive nose detail of the locomotives. During the project, the studio created a range of visualisation assets to help VIA Rail employees engage in the early development phases and support the launch.

Paul Priestman, designer, and chairman of PriestmanGoode said: “Our goal was to deliver a design that represents a new icon for transportation in Canada – and one the rest of the world will envy. The new interiors, as well as the livery and nose design – all acknowledge the unique role that transport design can play as an emblem of a city or country. From the yellow taxis in New York, to the Shinkansen train in Japan, the Vaporetto in Venice or the Tube in London, transport is fundamental to how we experience our environment, both as locals and as tourists. VIA Rail Canada has earned a reputation for listening to passengers and building their requirements into their service proposition. This focus on people matches our own dedication to human-centred design in all of our projects.”

Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO of VIA Rail Canada added: “VIA Rail’s Fleet Replacement Program is a pillar of our modernisation plan which will redefine how Canadians travel, and the unveiling of this first train-set marked a milestone in our journey.  Working with PriestmanGoode we incorporated unparalleled accessibility features in the Corridor fleet including multiple mobility aid spaces, onboard wheelchair lifts, enhanced signage, and communications capabilities. VIA Rail’s customers will enjoy bespoke seats, available privacy pods, modern lighting, and a host of features to make their travel more comfortable and productive while enjoying the stunning Canadian scenery only train travel can provide.”

PriestmanGoode also designed the new livery for the fleet, featuring Canada’s iconic Maple Leaf and draws upon Canada’s rich history of bold graphic design and carries that heritage forward. The new livery is the embodiment of VIA Rail’s vision to be the smarter way to travel.

A further design feature of each locomotive is the distinctive nose detail, created by the industrial design team at PriestmanGoode which adds visual impact as the new train sets arrive at stations against the dramatic Canadian landscapes.

Winter trials of the test train began in December 2021, with the first train expected to go into service in Q4 2022.

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