The Victorian state government has unveiled a $986 million plan to roll out 25 new energy efficient trains, with the mostly locally manufactured fleet to start late next year.
The X’Trapolis 2.0 model trains are the ticket to modernising Victoria’s public transport options to deliver what the government says will be more reliable journeys. The roll out of the new fleet is also part of a plan to transition the retirement of the state’s longest-running trains on the metropolitan network, the Comeng fleet.
“We’re designing and building Melbourne’s new train fleet right here in Victoria, delivering better journeys for Victorians in some of our fastest-growing suburbs,” acting premier James Merlino said ahead of Thursday’s state budget.
The government hopes that the new trains will support 750 jobs, describing the initiative as a ‘vital boost’ to the local advanced rolling stock manufacturing industry. Alstom’s Ballarat facility in regional Victoria is expected to be a beneficiary of the program with at least 150 new jobs to be created there as a result of the new fleet program.
Local member for Buninyong Michaela Settle commended the jobs that the train manufacturing would buoy in Ballarat.
“Ballarat has a proud history of making trains and this is great news – keeping high skilled jobs in our local community, backing our local economy,” Settle siad.
The new trains have been earmarked to service growing suburbs along the Craigieburn, Upfield and Frankston lines.
According to the Victoria minister for public transport Ben Carroll, in addition to manufacturing jobs, the boost to network services would offer more transport options to thousands of commuters.
“We’ve added hundreds of new services to our timetable – and we’re delivering a big pipeline of new trains and trams to support our Big Build projects and support thousands of jobs,” he said.
The government confirmed that detailed design work for the new fleet is already underway.