The assembly process is underway on Melbourne’s new high capacity metro trains (HCMTs) in Newport in the city’s west, with the first train expected to start servicing the network next year.
Sixty-five of the 160-metre, 7-carriage trains (with a capacity of 1100 per train) are being assembled in Downer’s Newport manufacturing facility, following the delivery of components – including carriage shells – from Changchun, China, where they have been constructed by the Evolution Rail joint-venture between Downer, Plenary Group, and Changchun Railway Vehicles (CRRC).
“The delivery of the HCMT contract continues Newport’s proud train building history, creating hundreds of jobs and opportunities in our local community,” Labor’s member for Williamstown Wade Noonan said.
The $2.3 billion train construction project will see 60 per cent of the total content provided from Victorian companies, with bogie frames being built in Bendigo, traction and electrical systems made in Morwell and key electrical components and pantographs from Hallam.
“They arrive as a shell, and we will now move through and we’ll put bogies underneath,” Evolution Rail CEO Phillip Walker told Channel Nine.
“The bogies are manufactured in Bendigo, the traction motors are manufactured in Morwell, and then we’ll start to put air conditioning packs on top.”
175 workers are currently working on the trains in the Newport facility, and it is expected that, overall 1100 jobs across Victoria will be created throughout the delivery process.
At least 15 per cent of hours to be worked on the HCMT project will be carried out by apprentices, trainees or cadets, while 7 per cent will be undertaken by individuals deemed to face barriers in achieving employment, including workers transitioning from the auto-manufacturing sector.
The HCMTs, the first of which are expected to arrive Cranbourne and Pakenham lines in mid-2019, will become the primary fleet for the Metro Tunnel when it opens in 2025. The first train is to undergo testing in November 2018.
“By the middle of next year, we will see bigger and better trains on our busiest lines, carrying more passengers and delivering a more comfortable ride,” state transport minister Jacinta Allan said.
“This project helps set up Victoria for a long-term future in the rolling stock industry, creating more jobs and opportunities for local businesses.”