Regional passengers are set to see the first of the new VLocity carriages from next month and a refresh of Victoria’s regional train fleet paving the way for bigger trains, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan visited train manufacturer Bombardier in Dandenong today to inspect the first of the next 39 new VLocity carriages which will enter passenger service in November.
Bombardier are set to commence the VLocity Refresh Project which will deliver upgraded regional trains that will improve capacity, comfort and reliability for passengers. Modifications will pave the way for nine-car VLocity trains, that can carry more people on our busiest routes. Investigations are also underway to determine what works will need to be carried out at V/Line stations to deliver nine-car trains.
The project upgrades the existing fleet of 75 VLocity regional trains to make them more comfortable and accessible, bringing the oldest of the regional train fleet up to the best standard. The carriages will improve the travel experience for all passengers with wider toilet doors for wheelchair access, hearing loop technology, automatic announcements, and new floor markings and handrails.
Bombardier will deliver the works that will support up to 45 local jobs in addition to the 500 local jobs created to build 87 new trains on order. Works are expected to start in mid-2019 and be completed in 2021.
The first of the 39 new improved VLocity carriages includes more seating in each carriage, along with accessibility improvements, and mobile signal boosters to improve mobile phone coverage for passengers on the Bendigo, Geelong, Ballarat, Gippsland and Seymour lines.
Bombardier is also delivering the next stages of the design work for the new standard gauge VLocity trains for the North East Line.
Earlier this year work commenced to design standard gauge bogies for the new VLocity trains that will be delivered once the $235 million upgrade of the track is complete. Design works are also underway to include facilities for food and drink options within the new 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 Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re building bigger better trains that will carry more passengers, and at the same time we’re creating jobs right here in Victoria for Victorians.”
“We said we’d deliver the road and rail projects Victoria needs, and we are. Whether it’s delivering brand new regional trains or upgrading every regional passenger line, we’re getting people where they need to go, sooner.”
As noted by Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We’re delivering real projects now to get regional Victorians where they need to go.”
“We’ve added hundreds of services across the network, we’re upgrading every regional rail line, building better trains and getting on with planning for our next big build, to get passengers home safer and sooner.”