Renaissance (railcar)

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Renaissance coaches on a Corridor train
A GE P42DC with ten Renaissance coaches laying over at the Via Toronto Maintenance Centre.
Interior of a Renaissance coach
Interior of a Renaissance coach.
In service 2002–present
Manufacturer Metro Cammell
Number built 139
Capacity 48 seats (coach, club cars)
48 seats (dining car)
10 double rooms (sleeping cars)
Operator(s) Via Rail
Maximum speed 200 kph (125 mph) [1]
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Renaissance fleet is a set of intercity railroad cars owned and operated by Via Rail Canada.

The cars were built by Metro Cammell in the mid-1990s for the proposed Nightstar overnight service between the United Kingdom and continental Europe via the Channel Tunnel. In 2000, after the Nightstar concept was abandoned, Via acquired the entire fleet, including many unfinished shells, for C$130 million. The cars entered Canadian service in 2002.


The Council for Canadians with Disabilities successfully sued Via Rail in Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail Canada Inc. over the lack of accessibility of the Renaissance cars. The Canadian Transportation Agency ordered Via to retrofit some of the fleet to ensure the availability of accessible accommodations. Nevertheless the Renaissance cars remain the least accessible in the fleet.[2]:2–3[3]:129–130

Car types[edit]

Via acquired the entire original 139-car fleet; as designed it comprised 72 sleepers, 47 coaches, and 20 service cars.[4] Via rebuilt fifteen of the sleepers into dining and baggage cars.

Type In service Fleet numbers Notes Image
Baggage car[5] 9 7000–7011 Built out of unused sleeping car shells.
Club car[1] 14 7100–7114 48-seat capacity in a 2+1 configuration.
Coach[6] 33 7200–7232 48-seat capacity in a 2+1 configuration. Renaissance comfort class.jpg
Lounge car[7] 20 7300–7316; 7354–7359 Via Rail refers to these as "service" cars. Renaissance service car lounge area.jpg
Dining car[8] 3 7400–7402 48-seat capacity; built out of unused sleeping car shells.
Sleeping car[9] 57 7500–7589 10 double bedrooms. 29 are stored at Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Baggage car/transition[10] 3 7600–7602


External links[edit]