The Victorian Government has unveiled a ten-year rolling stock plan to acquire 37 new High Capacity Metro Trains, totalling more than 200 new carriages.
The $2 billion Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025 – Victorian Rolling Stock Strategy will be partly funded though the $1.2 billion budget surplus which Treasurer Tim Pallas is expected to announce when he reveals the budget later today.
According to the press release by Premier Daniel Andrews, the 2015-16 Victorian Budget will finance the purchase of 37 new High Capacity Metro Trains ($1.3 billion), 20 E-Class Trams ($274 million), 21 VLocity Carriages ($257 million), five New X’Trapolis Trains ($90 million), and provide $75 million for maintenance and refurbishment to extend the life of the current Comeng train fleet as well as $21 million to extend the life of the B-Class Tram fleet.
Premier Andrews said the multi-billion investment would provide greater certainty to rolling stock manufacturers and suppliers – which employ up to 10,000 people in Victoria – and create new jobs in the process.
“This $2 billion investment in new trams, trains and jobs is part of our plan to transform Victoria’s public transport system and create local jobs – and we’re getting on with it,” Mr Andrews said, adding that the Labor Government would work with the TAFE sector to develop programs for apprentices in the rolling stock industry, training the next generation of engineers.
“Victoria is the only state that makes trams and trains. We want to see these industries grow and employ more people, which is why we’re investing strongly.”
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan said the strategy identified a pipeline of train and tram delivery to meet the needs of the public transport network for decades to come. She said that would enable companies to invest in facilities, in new technology and in workers, sustaining high-skill manufacturing in Victoria.
“The number of people using our public transport system is growing twice as fast as our population. Without this critical investment and a long-term plan for rolling stock, our network would grind to a halt,” the Minister said.
“Our investment today is a key part of the Andrews Labor Government’s plan for high-frequency public transport and high-skilled manufacturing in Victoria.”
The full Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025 – Victorian Rolling Stock Strategy is available here.