The Victorian Government has called for expressions of interest for the design, construction and maintenance of a new generation of trains for Melbourne’s suburban network.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said this was a significant milestone in the future of public transport in Victoria, representing the biggest investment in new rolling stock in Victorian history
The Government said it will spend $1.3 billion on 37 High Capacity Metro Train (HCMT) units to run on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, Melbourne’s busiest. “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,” said Allan.
She said that combined with other improvements like signalling upgrades and the removal of level crossings, the new trains will boost capacity on the Dandenong corridor by 42 per cent, to carry 11,000 extra passengers every morning peak.
Allan said the Labor 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.
More information is available at www.tenderlink.com/ptv. An industry briefing will be held on 6 July 2015, with EOIs closing in August 2015.
Meanwhile the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is pointing to the release of an Infrastructure Australia (IA) Audit Report probing Australia’s transport, water, energy and telecommunications systems to stress the need for keeping investment in trains on track.
The peak rail industry group is backing IA’s and argument that without action, congestion could cost Australia $53 billion over 15 years with road travel times in major city corridors expected to increase by at least 20 per cent in the same period.
“Government, with the support of the private sector, must take decisive action to meet the nation’s burgeoning infrastructure needs,” Interim ARA chairman, Bob Herbert said.
“Rail infrastructure underpinning passenger transport must be in place to meet population growth which, according to the Audit, will swell demand for public transport by 55 per cent in Sydney, 121 per cent in Melbourne and around 89 per cent in other capital cities.
“This is a massive challenge and it will require an imaginative approach as to how best to invest, fund and finance these infrastructure necessities.”
The biggest call from the ARA is that planning to infrastructure needs requires a collaborative approach between governments and commitments that endure their election cycles.
With Julian Bajkowski
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