THE Victorian Government last week called for expressions of interest for the design, construction and maintenance of a next generation, high-capacity train for Melbourne, which will be built in Victoria.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan described the release of the Expression of Interest (EOI) invitation as a significant milestone in the future of public transport in Victoria.
"These trains will be built in Victoria, for Victoria. The EOI represents what this Government is all about: local jobs, skills and better public transport," Ms Allan said.
"The new high-capacity trains will carry more people with every journey, and is part of our plan for a bigger, better public transport system through Melbourne Metro Rail and the removal of our worst level crossings."
According to the government, its $1.3 billion investment in 37 high-capacity trains is the largest investment in new rolling stock in the state's history.
The new trains will be longer than existing trains – able to carry more people with every journey – and will use the latest technology, making them safer, more reliable and more comfortable for passengers.
The high-capacity trains will run on Melbourne's busiest rail line, the Cranbourne-Pakenham line. Together with signalling upgrades and the removal of every level crossing between Dandenong and the city, the new trains are expected to boost capacity on the Dandenong corridor by 42 per cent, to carry 11,000 extra passengers every morning peak.
The government has mandated that at least 50 per cent of the construction must take place locally and companies will be required to demonstrate how they will boost local employment, training and investment through the delivery of new trains for Melbourne.
The 37 new trains are part of the government's recently-released rolling stock strategy, Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025, which outlines a ten year plan for 100 new trains, 100 new trams and a boost to the regional train fleet.