This morning at a media conference in the historic Newport Workshops, the Premier, Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Industry and Employment announced the Evolution Rail consortium was the successful bidder for the contract to supply the next generation of Melbourne's train fleet: High-Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT).
Keen to emphasise the employment opportunities, 15% of the expected 1,100 jobs created through the awarding of this contract will be for apprenticeships, trainees and cadets and transitioning automotive workers.
We’re guaranteeing more local work than ever with 60 per cent local content, as well as ensuring the inclusion of 15 per cent Victorian apprentices, trainees and cadets, and a partnership with Toyota to help transition workers out of the auto industry.Wade Noonan, Minister for Industry and Employment
The Evolution Rail consortium comprises Downer Rail (ASX: Downer EDI Limited), CRRC and Plenary. Furthermore, the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) will set up an Australian regional headquarters and establish "Australia's only bogie manufacturer" in Melbourne, the Victorian Government media release states.
Downer Rail has previously worked with a CRRC subsidiary - Changchun Railway Vehicles - to create the most recent fleet of trains operating on Sydney's rail network, the A Sets, better known as the Waratah fleet.
The historic Newport workshops will see a $16 million upgrade to allow manufacturing to occur on-site.
As foreshadowed when the tender was announced, a new dedicated maintenance facility will be built in Pakenham East - as well as a light service facility in Calder Park - and the new fleet will be dedicated to the Pakenham/Cranbourne lines, with the Sunbury line being added to the list once the Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel project connects all three lines.
The first tranche of new trains is set to begin testing in 2018 and they will begin roaming the mainline in 2019 after the Caulfield-Dandenong level crossing removal project has been completed. The entire fleet order of 65 new trains will be operating once the new Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel is complete in 2026.
These new high capacity trains will do the heavy lifting on the Cranbourne-Pakenham lines, ahead of the opening of the Metro Tunnel, enabling more passengers to travel during the busiest parts of the day.Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public Transport
The new trains will be formed in seven car consists and passengers will be free to move to any part of the train once aboard. The longer train and internal configuration will purportedly enable 20% more space in each train compared to trains which currently operate on the Melbourne network.
In an ASX media release before market open at 10am on Monday, Downer EDI Limited stated:
The Evolution Rail consortium will deliver the HCMT project which includes
- Design, manufacture and commissioning of 65 HCMTs for use on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines in Melbourne;
- Design and build of two training simulators;
- Design, construction and commissioning of a train maintenance facility and stabling yards at Pakenham East;
- Design, construction and commissioning of a light service facility at Calder Park; and
- Maintenance of the rolling stock fleet for 30 years and also of the train maintenance facility, the light service facility and the simulators.
Downer's scope of work includes:
Downer EDI Limited ASX media release
- Project management services for the HCMT construction;
- Design, construction and commissioning of the train maintenance facility, stabling yards and light service facility; and
- Maintenance and overhaul of the HCMT fleet, train maintenance facility, light service facility and simulators for 30 years
The Premier's media centre now has a section dedicated to rail: http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/trains/