A full-size model of a new High Capacity Metro Train has been unveiled in Melbourne, enabling the public to get a glimpse at the future of their daily commute.
The model train will be on display at Birrarung Marr near Federation Square. Members of the public will be able to gain access to the train, while a variety of activities will be available for children, along with competitions and prizes.
When the display ends on Saturday 17 February – with a light show alongside Melbourne’s White Night events – the train will reportedly be used for ongoing testing, manufacturing and training purposes.
“[With this public display] Victoria will get their first look at the biggest, most advanced train in Victoria’s history,” premier Daniel Andrews said.
“We’ve worked with passengers, drivers and the experts to get the design of the new trains right, and now we’re getting on with building them – to create jobs and a better transport network for Victoria.”
Last year, 2,500 pieces of feedback were provided by the public on the design of Melbourne’s new High Capacity trains, including feedback from accessibility and passenger groups, train drivers and technical experts.
A total of 157 design changes reportedly came out of the public consultation process, and include the provision of better hand holds, extra priority flip-down seating and improved bike and pram zones.
At 160 metres long (and with 7 carriages), the trains will be able to hold up to 1100 passengers, around 20 per cent more than existing Metro passenger trains.
The government is hoping that the $2.3 billion project will establish Victoria as a future train supplier, both in Australia and internationally, thereby providing more local manufacturing jobs. The trains are to be built in both China and Victoria, with the final assembly work occurring at Downer’s Newport railyard in the west of Melbourne.
Traction and electrical auxiliary power systems for the trains will be built in Morwell by Times Electric Australia, while SIGMA Air Conditioning will supply the trains’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems from their existing Derrimut facilities in Melbourne’s west.
Ultimate (Australia) Transportation Equipment, based in Melbourne’s south-east, has received the contract to supply and assemble the passenger seats, hand and grab rails and other interior fittings for the new trains, while Fire Protection Technologies in Waverly has won the six-year contract to supply the trains’ fire detection systems.
Construction of the trains will soon get underway in workshops at Newport, the government has said. The first of these are to begin servicing the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines in 2019, while the whole fleet is expected to be ready for the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2026.