Canadian Rail: Busy and Booming

Posted by Steve Thomas on Monday, March 25, 2019

It’s never been a better time to find a rail engineering job in Canada. There are numerous large and interesting rail projects to choose from for rail systems engineers, signalling engineers, and rail electrification engineers, not to mention project, programme, design, commercial and construction managers with rail experience. Many of the projects are also being delivered as PPP or P3 projects, requiring construction professionals who are experienced with this type of contract. Here are some of the exciting rail projects coming up this year or already underway.

Rail Projects in Western Canada

The Government of Canada recently issued a request for qualification (RFQ) for the Edmonton Valley Line West Light Rail Transit project. This line will link southeast Edmonton to west Edmonton by extending the current line by 14km and is the second phase of the Valley Line LRT project. Funding approval for this Design-Build-Finance project is expected in Spring 2019, giving rail engineers and project managers the chance to be part of this project from the outset.

Also, towards the end of last year the Surrey City Council in British Columbia gave the green light for an extension to the SkyTrain, the fully automated train system connecting Vancouver to the surrounding areas. The CAD$2.9 billion, 16.5km extension will include 8 new stations and will include substantial civil engineering works for the grade-separated tracks, making it one of the more interesting rail projects available for rail systems engineers and signalling engineers.

Sky Train Project Map


In Calgary, Alberta, Stage 1 of the Green Line Light Rapid Transit (LRT) rail project was approved last year. This CAD$1.53 billion project will see 20km of new rail track built as well as 14 new stations – approximately half of the full Green Line rail project. Enabling works are already underway, and the project is expected to need rail systems engineers, project managers, quantity surveyors, and estimators until 2026.

Rail Projects in Eastern Canada

Ontario is always a regional hotspot for rail projects, and often an area where demand for rail electrification engineers as well as rail systems engineers outstrips the supply – making it a good position to be in. The Finch West LRT project (CAD$2.5 billion) is due to start this year, and the Hurontario LRT project (CAD$1.4 billion) and Sheppard East LRT Expansion project are both on the horizon. Add in the current rail projects that are already underway in Ontario – such as the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project in Toronto (CAD$2.2 billion) and Confederation Line Extension Project in Ottawa (CAD$3.6 billion) and there’s steady demand for rail engineers and construction jobs in rail aren’t hard to find.

Rail electrification projects are also abundant in Ontario. The Davenport Diamond Rail Project is one such project, part of the GO Transit Regional Express Rail (RER) plans to electrify rail lines across the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area of southern Ontario, along with other rail and track upgrades. Around CAD$1.8 billion has been committed for these upgrade works, keeping rail electrification engineers, rail signalling engineers, and construction professionals with rail experience busy for some time.

In Quebec, the Réseau Électrique Métropolitain (REM) automated LRT system just passed it’s first anniversary of breaking ground. Billed as one of the largest and most innovative LRT system projects in the world, yet with a completion date for 2020, the REM will need the best and brightest rail engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, and design managers to meet this ambitious target.

Rail Engineers Required

With all this activity, rail systems engineers, rail electrification engineers, and rail signalling engineers can pretty much take their pick of which project they want to work on across Canada. However, it pays to know the best locations and projects for your goals, which is where we come in. Contact Steve Thomas for our current rail jobs in Canada and how we can help you find the best fit for your skills.

About the Author

Steve Thomas
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
I am responsible for the Maxim Recruitment office in the UK where our team of recruitment consultants specialise in the recruitment of quantity surveyors, commercial managers, delay, dispute and claims consultants for civil engineering and building contractors and specialist construction consultancies.  I am also responsible for growing our recruitment operation in Canada and the USA where we are increasingly busy.  I have over 20 years’ experience in construction recruitment and enjoy working on both contingency and search/headhunting assignments for our repeat clients.
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