The Evolution Rail consortium, comprising Downer Rail, CRRC, and Plenary, has been selected as the preferred tenderer to build Melbourne’s 65 new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) following an extensive 12-month global tender process.
Making the announcement, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the project will create 1,100 highly-skilled local jobs, bolstering the state’s reputation as a global hub of rolling stock manufacturing.
He said all 65 of the new trains will be built in Victoria, with 60 per cent local content and a strong industry participation plan that includes 15% Victorian apprentices, trainees and cadets, as well as workers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“The state’s largest single order of new trains will be built in Victoria, for Victoria,” Mr Andrews said.
“This brings enormous benefits to our state, creating 1,100 local jobs and cementing Victoria’s reputation as the nation’s hub for high-skilled manufacturing and a global hub for train building.”
To answer the demands of a project of such magnitude, Downer’s Newport manufacturing facility will undergo a $16 million upgrade, whereas CRRC will establish a new regional headquarters in Melbourne.
In addition, a new maintenance and stabling depot in Pakenham East will be built with 87% local content, providing 100 new long-term ongoing jobs for the community.
The new HCMTs will not only be longer than existing trains, but will also be safer, more reliable and more comfortable for passengers.
The first train will be delivered by November 2018, with all 65 trains rolling out as a dedicated fleet in time for the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2026.
“This is every train we need to boost services in Melbourne’s south east and run the turn-up-and-go services we’ll deliver by building the Metro Tunnel,” said Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan.
“These new high capacity trains will do the heavy lifting on the Cranbourne-Pakenham lines, ahead of the opening of the Metro Tunnel, enabling more passengers to travel during the busiest parts of the day.”
To meet demand on the network prior to the roll-out of HCMTs, nine new six-car trains will also be ordered from Alstom, securing work at the company’s Ballarat workshop until at least 2019.