Alstom finalises $1.2bn railcar contract

10/12/2019 - 12:06

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Global manufacturer Alstom has signed a 10-year contract to assemble new railcars at Midland as part of the Metronet project, with the government saying the railcars will be delivered 22 per cent below its budget at $1.25 billion.

Alstom finalises $1.2bn railcar contract
Alstom will build a total of 246 railcars and establish a manufacturing facility in Bellevue.

Global manufacturer Alstom has signed a 10-year contract to assemble new railcars at Midland as part of the Metronet project, with the government saying the railcars will be delivered 22 per cent below its budget at $1.25 billion.

The project, originally budgeted at $1.6 billion, requires Alstom to build 246 new railcars, including 144 railcars to replace the ageing A-series and six railcars to replace the existing Australind service.

The French company will also establish a 12,000 square metre manufacturing plant in Bellevue, near Midland, where railcar maintenance will be carried out over the next 30 years, which Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said would ensure ongoing work and opportunities for local businesses.

The state government awarded several other contracts to local companies, including an $850,000 contract to Bassendean manufacturer Eilbeck for the supply of four cranes and a $3.8 million contract to Cockburn company Vector Lifting for the delivery of lifting jacks, a bogie press and bogie turntables.

At least 50 per cent of the contract is expected to be delivered locally, in line with the Western Australian government’s local content 2017 election commitment.

Since the Midland Railway Workshops were closed in 1994, new trains added to the network were predominantly built in Queensland, with only two per cent of the work completed in WA.

Ms Saffioti said the contract with Alstom would guarantee railcar production was returned to the Midland area following the 25-year hiatus.

“Not only is it cost effective to build our railcars locally, it also provides hundreds of local jobs and training opportunities,” she said.

“We’ve secured a quality deal of the state, by bundling multiple railcar orders into one super-contract, we have encouraged the market to make competitive bids for the work.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the project marked a turning point for WA jobs and apprenticeships.

“Metronet trains will be built here in WA, by Western Australians,” he said.

“It is the biggest investment in public transport the state has ever seen, and it makes sense that we maximize local jobs through policies like locally built railcars.”

The first fleet of trains manufactured at the plant will be ready for use in 2022, while the Australind railcars are expected to be ready in 2022-2023.

The six-car C-series trains will carry around 1,200 passengers – about 80 more passengers than two B-series trains – and have an operational life of 35 years.

Construction on the first stage of the Bellevue plant, led by global company Aurecon with Woods Bagot appointed as the architectural consultant, will commence next year and is expected to complete in 2021.

An artist's rendition of the Bellevue manufacturing facility. Photo: Woods Bagot

The heavy maintenance and assembly building and the high voltage testing facility will be built under stage one, Woods Bagot said in a separate announcement.

It said the consultant team had completed construction documentation for the two buildings, with construction on the second stage to include the new railcar depot, drivers sign on and amenities building.

The consultant team also includes SMEC as civil engineer and Urbis (landscape design).

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