WA boosts railcar manufacturing with first fully completed C-series train

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Image credit: Premier Roger Cook's LinkedIn

The Western Australian Government announced that the first fully built, locally manufactured C-series train is now available for testing on the network, marking a significant milestone for local railcar manufacturing in the state. 

The new 143-metre train, made up of at least 50 per cent local content and has over 400 seats, is set to enter operations later this year on the Joondalup and Mandurah Lines, the government revealed in a media statement.

Two C-series train sets are already undergoing extensive diagnostic testing on the network, but seating and handrails, as well as the external design, must yet be installed.

Once operational, the six-car C-series train will securely, dependably, and efficiently handle more than 103,000 passenger boardings per day.

Later this year, when the first brand-new C-series train starts running, it will be the first locally made and manufactured train to join the rail network in more than 30 years, the government said. 

Premier Roger Cook expressed his delight at the initiative, emphasising the importance of local manufacturing in the state’s commitment to bring rail manufacturing back to the region.

“As we continue to build new rail across our suburbs through METRONET, our new locally built C-series train will help to ensure a safe, smooth, and reliable ride for Western Australians,” the premier said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti stated that the announcement is a massive achievement for local train manufacturing in Western Australia.

“The idea of bringing rail car manufacturing back to Western Australia is something our Government committed to many years ago, and to see the first fully completed C-series is something all Western Australians should be proud of,” Minister Saffioti remarked. 

The B-Series was imported from Queensland and put immediately on the network, but this new train will be the first to commence operations later this year and the first locally made train to enter our network since the 1990s, the minister said.

In particular, more than 15 Western Australian businesses are working with manufacturer Alstom to provide components for the railcars including bogie frames from Hofmann Engineering; fuel tanks and battery boxes for the C-series from their Forrestfield Fabrication Facility (Aerison); passenger seats (McConnell); piping (Parker Hannifin); and metallic components (Unique Metal).

Over the duration of the 10-year contract with Alstom, 246 new C-series railcars and six new Australind railcars will be manufactured, while more than 130 workers will be directly employed at the METRONET Bellevue Railcar Manufacturing and Maintenance Facility.