In the latest setback for Canadian aerospace and transportation manufacturer Bombardier “You’ll Get It When You Get It” Incorporated, Via Rail has awarded the $989-million contract to modernize their aging rolling stock to the Danish denizens of interlocking plastic blocks: Lego.
“After reviewing all of the options at a local retailer – having already acknowledged that we wanted our trains this century, knocking Bombardier out of the running – we decided Lego was far and away the best fit,” said Via Rail CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, making the announcement to reporters in a Montreal-area Walmart.
“Providing modular construction, user-friendly assembly diagrams, high consumer familiarity, and the ability to source replacement parts locally, Lego was an easy choice,” Siciliano continued, holding up what was presumably just a model of the passenger trains his company has purchased to ply the 12,500 kilometres of track they operate on. “Our test audiences were overwhelmingly favourable to the idea, especially those in the 7-12 age range. Which is one of our largest growing markets.”
“The toy company?” asked Alain Bellemare, CEO of Bombardier, reached for comment following the announcement. “Makes sense. I don’t begrudge that in the slightest, and wish Lego the best of luck with their expansion into full-scale construction of high-speed vehicles. My only wish is we had thought of using proprietorial plastic blocks in our own projects sooner. As they say in Denmark: “Der bedste er ikke for godt.” Mr. Bellemare then excused himself to seek asylum in a distant land.
The new trains – expected to arrive by Christmas – will offer such features as seats that passengers can pressure fit into the accommodating holes in the backs of their butt cheeks, and ground-breaking “explosion zones” in the event of a crash, instead of the customary crumple zones that metal cars offer.
Addressing concerns that Lego trains may not be up to the rigours of travelling across the world’s second-largest nation, and currently rely on child-provided propulsion, the Danish company’s head of development, Magnus Larsen, was succinct in his response.
“Certainly the project offers new challenges. But at least we say our products are a choking hazard up front. Unlike Bombardier, who let you spend billions of dollars before discovering that.”