The Andrews Labor Government is well underway with the new trains for the North East Line, ensuring they are ready to run on the upgraded track.
The Labor Government has conditionally approved the scope of works and will work with the Australian Rail Track Corporation to ensure passengers are the priority as works begin in 2019.
The Labor Government wants to ensure that minimising disruption for passengers is the priority when works begin and that the schedule aligns with other works occurring within the corridor.
The new long-haul trains will provide improved comfort, modern features and accessibility and will be similar to VLocity trains currently in operation across the regional network. The new trains are being specifically designed to meet the needs of the North East line and will be built and ready to take passengers once the $235 million upgrade to the line is complete.
In August, the Labor Government announced it had reached an agreement with Bombardier Transportation Australia to complete the design of the bogies for the new standard gauge VLocity trains for the North East Line.
Bogies are the essential component under the train that bear the load and contain the axles, suspension and brakes. As VLocity trains have not previously been fitted with standard gauge bogies, this component will take the longest to design, construct and gain safety accreditation for the new North East trains.
Bombardier is also delivering the next stages of the design work for the new standard gauge VLocity trains for the North East Line, including the provision of facilities for food and drink options, sufficient luggage space and room for bikes, within the new long-haul VLocity trains.
The Labor Government’s $848.5 million investment in regional trains has provided a 40 per cent increase in regional rail services, with V/Line now running more than 2,000 services every week. The Government has also invested $15 million to improve comfort and reliability on the existing standard gauge Classic Fleet trains.
As noted by Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We said we’d have the trains ready by the time the track is finished – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
“Finalising the scope of works is an important step forward and we will continue to work with the Commonwealth Government to ensure passengers are the priority as works begin.”
As noted by Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“The trains that run on the North East line will be one of a kind – you can’t just buy them off the shelf, that’s why we’ve already started doing the work with Bombardier to ensure they’re ready to go.”