Three consortia to compete for $1.6bn train contract in Western Australia

A stock photo of an A-series train. Photo: LockieCurrie.
A stock photo of an A-series train. Photo: LockieCurrie.

A shortlist of companies who will participate in a tender for the supply of 246 new rail cars has been revealed by the Government of Western Australia.

Alstom Transport Australia is joined by Momentum West (CAF and UGL) and EDI Rail-Bombardier Transportation on the list of companies that will bid for the A$1.6 billion train contract.

The first stage of the project involves the delivery of 102 new railcars (17 six-car sets) in 2021 to service the state’s new Metronet projects as they come online.

A follow-on order for 144 railcars (24 six-car sets) to replace ageing A-series railcars on Perth’s commuter rail network is also included. These are expected to be delivered between 2023-2028.

A supplier will be chosen in early 2019. A key consideration will be the bidders’ commitment to manufacturing at least 50 per cent of the railcars in Western Australia, creating local jobs in the process.

This differs from past policy that has seen most railcars manufactured in Queensland or overseas, with only two per cent of work completed in Western Australia.

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A preferred location for the Metronet railcar manufacturing facility in Bellevue has also been chosen by the state government, reviving the area’s rich railway history.

The proposed site – 1km from the historic Midland Workshops – will also be the location of the Public Transport Authority’s next train depot.

Over the next 10 years, the facility will be used to assemble much of the extra 246 railcars required to service Metronet projects and replace ageing trains on the Transperth network.

A Development Application for the depot facility on the same site is currently before the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, with approval expected in the coming weeks.

Premier Mark McGowan said: “It’s exciting we are in a position to bring trains well and truly back into the Midland precinct at a new purpose-built facility in Bellevue.

“Metronet is not only a world-class public transport system, but will create new opportunities for local workers.

“The key target of 50 per cent will help revitalise WA’s manufacturing industry and put WA jobs first.”

Read more: Victorian government vows to build mammoth Melbourne rail loop