METRONET Railcar Depot Tender Announced

Western Australia: METRONET, which is part of the Public Transport Authority in Western Australia and which is responsible for developing public transport in Perth, has announced a tender for the construction of the Bellevue railcar depot.

The tender for the assembly and maintenance facility that will build METRONET railcars has been released to market. The facility will manufacture and service rolling stock that will run on METRONET lines. The tender also includes the construction of a high-voltage testing building. METRONET will announce the successful bidder in late 2019 – likely November. Construction is then to begin in 2020.

A-series trains for Transperth in depot
A-series trains for Transperth in depot

The funds for the railcar assembly facility will come out of the WA railcar budget. The facility itself is to cost 50 million AUD and will mark a return of railcar manufacturing to the state of Western Australia. This goal was part of the Labor Party’s 2017 election campaign.

The majority of the trains currently added to the METRONET network are manufactured in Queensland. For example, the Bombardier-EDI Downer B-series trains.

Bellevue METRONET Railcar Depot

The main building will be 180m long. It will house offices and workshops and feature storage areas. The facility will also have two overhead cranes, each one capable of lifting 25 tons. Furthermore, there will be one heavy maintenance railroad with a crane capable of lifting 10 tons.

METRONET Rolling Stock

The facility will assemble and test at least 246 railcars (41 six-car trainsets). These will be the new Transperth C-series trains. 144 (24 six-car sets) of these railcars will allow the ageing A-series fleet to retire, while 102 (17 six-car sets) will add to the METRONET fleet.

Last month Alstom won the bid to be the manufacturer of these trains. However, they will need to meet a target of at least 50 percent local content.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said:

“One of our key election commitments was to bring railcar manufacturing back to Western Australia – today's tender release is another step in bringing those manufacturing jobs home. The new Bellevue facility will be where our new, locally built trains are assembled and maintained. This is the largest railcar order in WA history – we've done that deliberately to maximise competition for this large contract, thus maximising the amount of local content companies are willing to commit to. We're committed to bringing back local manufacturing, and ensuring these new trains are built by local people. They're our trains, and they should be our jobs as well.”

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