Alstom Completes Bombardier Transportation Acquisition

Alstom is now the owner of the proprietary Movia Automatic Light Metro (MALM) system and the big question is, will Alstom continue to produce the MK.2/3 cars or even honour Bombardier’s contracts with TransLink.

Will Alstom treat TransLink and regional politicians as rubes for the taking?

The early resignation of TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond, and the puff stories in the mainstream media about his tenure and TransLink, pure spin by all accounts, may provide an answer.

As noted here for the past several years, the Expo and Millennium lines need up to $3 billion in rehab, especially the aging Expo Line and this money has not been funded.

As the start of construction of the Broadway subway, chill financial winds are circling around TransLink as former customers are not returning to transit, which means former customers are not returning the very expensive light metro system.

Operating empty buses on empty routes can go on only for so long and politicians, as all levels of government will worry that the politically prestigious Broadway subway will slowly turn into a financial tar pit.

Another ill wind has now arisen, depite the hype and hoopla and well orchestrated news releases by TransLink about record ridership, mode share by transit has been declining.

I do not think the 2020’s will be kind to TransLink or the politicians who supported their grand schemes.

Alstom completes Bombardier Transportation acquisition to create ‘a global mobility leader’

29 January 2021

Alstom logo on Saint Ouen building

INTERNATIONAL: ‘Today is a unique moment for Alstom and the mobility sector worldwide, with the creation of a new global leader centred on smart and sustainable mobility’, said Alstom Chairman & CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge when the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation was completed on January 29.


2 Responses to “Alstom Completes Bombardier Transportation Acquisition”
  1. Sky says:

    Time will tell.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Now this is a rumor, I can’t confirm or deny it. By all appearances it seems that Alstom’s North American components, including its parts production facilities and vehicle assembly facilities will continue operating under the name Bombardier Transportation. The world wide components (outside of North America) will operate under the Alstom name. Product lines will be rationalized over time. Many existing Bombardier operations and products (sold and produced outside North America) will be absorbed into existing Alstom vehicle models and or entirely new ones will be created.

    In North America existing Alstom products will continue. Where Alstom and Bombardier products are competing existing Bombardier orders will be delivered but no new ones taken. Many new products and vehicle designs will emerge in the next few years for primarily the North American (US Market) due to the differing standards in many parts and rail vehicle standards, compared to the rampant standardization in rail products offered in the rest of the world.

    This doesn’t mean the MALM (Movia Advanced Light Metro Transportation System) product line (Vancouver’s Skytrain) will continue. It is most likely once existing orders are complete (the signed, confirmed and paid for orders not the orders that Translink were planning in the future), an entirely new product will appear. However, this will be based on Alstom getting multiple new MALM orders not just Vancouver’s.

    What is clouding the issue is support for systems that Bombardier Transportation were not continuing with but are core parts of the Skytrain system. Systems like the CITIFLO 650 Automation Operating System, which Bombardier stated that it would stop supporting because it was planning to replace it with a compatible new product. However, Alstom has at the least, 3 competing Automation Systems and has no plans to develop Bombardier’s follow up technology to the CITIFLO 650 but may force operators like Translink to a new Automation System. This is a problem because this will most likely mean a lot of new and very expensive trackside hardware upgrades.

    There are also issues with the software that tracks train deployment in tandem with the CITIFLO 650, it may need to be changed out as well. Alstom also has several existing products but again, more expensive hardware replacements or swap outs will be needed. There are several other operations and maintenance products that may or may not be supported by Alstom because Bombardier never developed the improved version or the compatible follow up technology before they were purchased by Alstom. All this uncertainty usually means proportionally much bigger capital and training costs increases, for the next follow on vehicle design.

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