WA celebrates historic maiden journey of locally manufactured passenger train

Image credit: metronet.wa.gov.au

In a significant achievement for local manufacturing, Western Australia has celebrated the inaugural journey of its first passenger train crafted within the state in over three decades.

Departing from Stadium Station, the train embarked on a 50-minute round trip along the Joondalup Line, marking the completion of the first of 41 locally-built C-series trains, slated to commence formal passenger services the following day, operating along the Mandurah and Joondalup Lines.

Stretching 143 metres in length, the new train boasts close to 400 seats and a capacity to accommodate over 1,000 passengers.

With a daily ridership projection exceeding 103,000 boardings, the six-car train promises enhanced accessibility with additional doors, modern passenger display information, and USB ports strategically located under select seats.

The resurgence of railcar manufacturing in Western Australia underscores a longstanding commitment of the WA Labor Government, which pledged to revitalise the sector as part of its 2017 Election agenda, the government said in a media statement.

This commitment materialised with the establishment of a new railcar manufacturing facility in Bellevue, currently providing employment opportunities for approximately 150 workers.

The reinvigoration of railcar manufacturing in WA extends beyond employment, with 15 local businesses contributing to the production of components for the new trains.

From bogie frames crafted by Hofmann Engineering in Bassendean to metallic components manufactured by Unique Metals in Wangara, local participation is driving the state’s industry capabilities forward.

Notably, the government’s efforts have resulted in a substantial increase in local content, currently meeting a 50 per cent target compared to a mere two per cent under the previous B-series, developed during the Liberal-National Government’s tenure.

Premier Roger Cook expressed his satisfaction with the resurgence of local rail manufacturing in Western Australia, affirming its permanence under his Labor Government’s leadership.

He stressed, “Through METRONET, we’re already expanding our rail network and transforming our suburbs, and now we’ve delivered locally-built railcars.

“We’re not stopping here, with hundreds of ‘Made in WA’ METRONET railcars set to roll out onto the network over the coming decade – creating long-term local manufacturing jobs for WA,” the premier concluded.

Similarly, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti reflected on the government’s pledge to revive railcar manufacturing in Western Australia, emphasising the pride associated with witnessing the inaugural trip of the first C-series train.

“We’re continuing to exceed our local manufacturing target of 50 per cent – with 15 local businesses across Perth currently delivering key components for the trains,” the minister stated.

She also anticipated a sense of pride among Western Australians as the first C-series train commenced passenger services on the Mandurah and Joondalup Lines, symbolising the tangible outcome of local workforce dedication and expertise.

With a 10-year railcar contract in place, the future promises a steady influx of METRONET C-series trains into passenger service, with expectations set for a new train to debut every few months.