The McGowan Government’s election pledge to bring rail manufacturing back to Western Australia is on track, with the METRONET railcars to be built locally.
Premier Mark McGowan recently announced that railcar manufacturer Alstom was the preferred proponent to build the 246 new C-series railcars at a new assembly plant in Bellevue, near Midland.
The $1.6billion METRONET railcar project will be delivered over 10 years, with 102 electric rail cars to be built for the METRONET rail expansion and 144 to replace the ageing A-series.
It is the biggest order of railcars in WA’s history.
Under the Government’s 2017 Election commitment, 50 per cent of the railcars must be made in WA, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs.
After the Midland Railway Workshops were closed in Midland in 1994, 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 new 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.
In another boost for local jobs, a new round of the Local Capability Fund offers WA businesses up to $20,000 to assist them to get involved as part of the METRONET railcar procurement initiative.
Premier Mark McGowan said the government was bringing manufacturing back to WA and its home in Midland.
"It means hundreds of quality, local jobs, more training and apprenticeship opportunities for our kids and WA made trains, on our new WA built METRONET lines” he said.
"These are WA trains, so they should be WA jobs.
"When people ride on a new METRONET train, everyone will know that it was built in Western Australia, by Western Australians.
"When the then Liberal Government closed the Midland Railway Workshops in 1994, we lost all the jobs and economic activity that went with it.”