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Vic commits $2bn for rail, sets out Rolling Stock Strategy

Melbourne tram. Photo State Government Victoria

Victoria’s Labor Government will on Tuesday announce a $2 billion plan to deliver 83 new trams and trains across the state’s metro and regional trains and tram network.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday said the funding will be portioned off to kick start a long-term plan for train and tram manufacturing in Victoria.

The scheme, called Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-25 – Victorian Rolling Stock Strategy, sets out a ten-year plan for 100 new metro trains, 100 new trams, and “a massive expansion” of Victoria’s regional tram fleet.

The 2015/16 Budget sets out to deliver the first set of these trains and trams, with funding set aside for the following:

  • 37 new high capacity metro trains ($1.3 billion)
  • 20 new E-Class trams ($274 million)
  • 21 new VLocity carriages ($257 million)
  • 5 new X’Trapolis trains ($90 million)
  • Maintenance and refurbishment to extend the life of the current Comeng train fleet ($75 million)
  • Extending the life of the B-Class Tram fleet ($21 million)

Andrews said the multi-billion dollar investment will provide greater certainty to rolling stock manufacturers and suppliers, which employ up to 10,000 people in Victoria.

“Victoria is the only state that makes trams and trains. We want to see these industries grow and employ more people, which is why we’re investing strongly,” Andrews said.

“This $2 billion investment in new trams, trains and jobs is part of our plan to transform Victoria’s public transport system and create local jobs – and we’re getting on with it.”

Beyond the initial investment, Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025 aims to identify a pipeline of train and tram delivery to meet the needs of the public transport network for decades to come.

This has been done to enable companies to invest in facilities, in new technology and in workers, Andrews said, sustaining high-skill manufacturing in Victoria.

State public transport minister Jacinta Allan said the funding, and the forward-plan, were designed to address a significant need in Victoria.

“The number of people using our public transport system is growing twice as fast as our population,” Allan observed.

“Without this critical investment and a long-term plan for rolling stock, our network would grind to a halt.

“Our investment today is a key part of the Andrews Labor Government’s plan for high-frequency public transport and high-skilled manufacturing in Victoria.”

The full report is available here. Rail Express will have analysis on the plan later this week.

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