The McGowan Labor Government will build new METRONET railcars locally, helping stimulate the local economy and creating hundreds of new, quality jobs.
Alstom has today been announced as the preferred proponent to build 246 new C-series railcars, six cars to replace the existing Australind service and a manufacturing and assembly plant in Bellevue.
Under the policy, which was taken to the 2017 election, a new 50 per cent local content target has been set to ensure jobs are maximised in Western Australia.
Since the Midland Railway Workshops were closed in 1994, new trains added to the network were predominately built in Queensland, with only two per cent of the work completed in WA.
Construction on the first stage of the Bellevue plant is expected to start next year and be completed in 2021, creating new jobs in itself. Meanwhile, construction of the following stages, including the new railcar depot and diesel facility will continue to 2023.
Budgeted at $1.6 billion over ten years, the project will deliver 246 new railcars over the next decade (102 for the METRONET rail expansion and 144 to replace the ageing A-Series) – the biggest order of railcars in the State’s history.
Once the contract is finalised, expected to be later this year, the successful proponent will also be responsible for maintaining the fleet of rail cars for the next 30 years.
From 2022 the new trains will run on the Mandurah and Joondalup Lines initially, as these have the highest patronage demand, highest service frequency and the highest line speed.
While the final design and features of the railcars are still to be finalised, the six-car trains will carry about 1200 passengers and have an operational life of 35 years.
Additional and wider than normal passenger doors will make it easier to get on and off, while technology including USB charging points, LED lighting and regenerative braking will also be installed to make the new trains more efficient.
Funding of up to $20,000 is available through the Local Capability Fund to assist local businesses interested in working on METRONET projects to improve their capability and competitiveness in supplying goods and services.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“These are WA trains, so they should be WA jobs.
“When people ride on a new METRONET train, everyone will know that it was built in Western Australia, by Western Australians.
“When the then Liberal Government closed the Midland Railway Workshops in 1994, we lost all the jobs and economic activity that went with it.
“Currently the work carried out locally is limited to window tinting and passenger seating, just two per cent of the work – WA can do so much more than that.
“So we’re bringing railcar manufacturing back to WA and back to its home in the Midland area, with a new railcar facility in Bellevue.
“It means hundreds of quality, local jobs, more training and apprenticeship opportunities for our kids and WA made trains, on our new WA built METRONET lines.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“This major job-creating project will deliver 246 new railcars over the next decade – the biggest order of railcars in our State’s history.
“The tender process has confirmed that it is more cost-effective to build railcars locally.
“Just like we promised at the election, we have set a target of at least 50 per cent local content to generate as much local economic activity as possible.
“Alstom will also be responsible for maintaining the fleet of railcars over the next 30 years, creating a pipeline of work for local businesses, maximising opportunities for local workers and local content.
“This has been an important project of mine since I was Shadow Transport Minister and travelled over east to learn how the Victorian Government locally manufactured their trains.
“I knew that WA had the workforce and the skills to make this happen and I am proud that the Premier and I are able to deliver on this important election commitment.”