The first of Victoria’s new bigger and better trains is another step closer to being in service, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Last week, the new train was transported from the manufacturing facility at Newport to the new Pakenham East depot using 4 locomotives, 22 freight wagons and one power car.
Victoria’s bigger trains will allow room for 20 per cent more passengers to reduce overcrowding and will deliver a more reliable service for Melbourne’s south east and Gippsland from 2019, with all 65 trains rolling out as a dedicated fleet in time for the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025.
Passengers in the south-east and Gippsland are set for a transformation with the Labor Government to remove every level crossing in Pakenham and a level crossing free Cranbourne line 2025, including a superstation at Pakenham with a new platform to separate V/Line and Metro Trains.
At the purpose-built depot in Pakenham, the train will undergo safety testing, ahead of it going into service from the middle of next year on the Cranbourne/Pakenham lines.
The largest train order in Victoria’s history is creating 1,100 high-skilled jobs throughout the supply chain, ensuring on-going work for locals and further establishing Victoria as a world leader in building rolling stock.
Local workers at the Pakenham East depot will ensure the train meets the highest of standards over the next few months, as parts are locally sourced from across Victoria.
Bogie frames have been built in Bendigo, traction and electrical systems made in Morwell, interior components from Hallam, gearboxes from Altona, wheelchair ramps from Braeside and air-conditioning units made in Derrimut.
Manufacturing of the new train began in Newport in June, after a multi-million upgrade of the historic rail yard facility. The brand-new Pakenham East depot includes maintenance sheds, a train simulator and stabling.
To get ready for bigger trains, major infrastructure upgrades – including an overhaul of power and signalling – will continue along the corridor throughout December.
As these works are underway, buses are replacing trains along sections of the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines from 1-23 December. During this time, coaches will replace Gippsland line services for the entire journey, and free travel is offered to affected commuters on these lines from 1-23 December. For more information, visit ptv.vic.gov.au.
As noted by Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re getting on with removing level crossings, delivering bigger, better trains and creating local jobs along the way.”
As noted by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Between upgrading decade old signalling, removing every level crossing on the Cranbourne and Pakenham line – we’re doing the work to boost safety, free up traffic and run more trains more often.”
As noted by the Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“Whether it’s building bigger trains, running more services, or enforcing tougher new contracts – all of our work is about ensuring passengers can get where they need to go, sooner.”
As noted by Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale
“These works will help improve our public transport system – we’re working towards reconnecting the community split by the train line, removing all level crossings and building a new station.”