The State Government has signed a 10-year contract with rail manufacturer Alstom, to build the new METRONET railcars in Western Australia.
The McGowan Government announced in August, that Alstom was the preferred proponent to build the 246 new C-series railcars at a new manufacturing assembly plant in Bellevue, near Midland.
As part of the contract, Alstom will undertake railcar maintenance at the plant for the next 30 years.
The contract is the biggest order of railcars in WA’s history and is expected to come in $347 million under the original projected costing of $1.6 billion.
Under the Government’s 2017 Election commitment, 50 per cent of the railcars must be made in WA, which is expected to support hundreds of local jobs.
As a pilot project under the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS), the METRONET Railcar Procurement project is the first strategic project under the WA Jobs Act.
The government has already awarded several contracts to WA companies as part of the METRONET project, including $850,000 to Bassendean manufacturer Eibeck to supply four cranes and $3.8 million to Cockburn company Vector Lifting to deliver lifting jacks, a bogie press and bogie turntables.
The locally built railcars also fulfils another government election commitment to bring rail manufacturing back to WA after the Midland Railway Workshops were closed in Midland in 1994
Previously, almost all of the new trains added to the network were built in Queensland, with only 2 per cent of the work done in WA.
The new trains are expected to be up and running on the Mandurah and Joondalup lines by 2022, with the six-car trains able to carry about 1200 passengers and have a lifespan of 35 years.
The trains will also feature USB charging points, as well as wider than normal passenger doors for easy access for commuters, and LED lighting and regenerative braking will also be installed to make the trains more efficient.
Premier Mark McGowan said METRONET trains would be built in WA, by Western Australians.
"It marks a turning point for WA jobs and WA apprenticeships, and the return of a local railcar manufacturing industry,” the Premier said.
"We've delivered on our promise and managed to deliver the 10-year contract $347 million under budget.
"This just shows that WA is capable of anything, and building railcars locally makes economic and financial sense.
"METRONET is the biggest investment in public transport that the State has ever seen, and it makes sense that we maximise local jobs through policies like locally built railcars."