A tender will be released before the end of April 2018 calling for proponents to build 246 new METRONET railcars for Perth over the next decade.

The pre-qualification tender for the $1.6 billion project will include a local content target of 50 per cent for the manufacturing of new railcars, honouring a key election commitment as part of WA Government’s Plan for Jobs.

Funding for a local railcar assembly facility and associated infrastructure is also included within the project’s budget.

The first stage of the project involves the delivery of 102 new railcars (17 six-car sets) to service the new METRONET projects as they come online.

A follow-on order for 144 railcars (24 six-car sets) will also be included in the tender, to replace the network’s aging A-series railcars which were the first electric railcars on the network.

$508 million was allocated in the 2017-18 State Budget for the METRONET railcars, but the project will now be expanded to include the replacement of the A-series railcars and associated infrastructure.

Delivery of the first 17 new trains, known as the C-series, is due to begin in 2021. The additional 24 trains are expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2026.

The companies who apply to build the next generation of METRONET trains will be shortlisted to progress to an interactive tendering process before a final supplier is chosen in early 2019.

A key consideration of this tender process will be the supplier’s ability and commitment to manufacture or assemble 50 per cent of the railcars in WA.

They will also be expected to maintain the railcars for 30 years, creating an ongoing pipeline of work.

Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “Not only will METRONET deliver thousands of new constructions jobs, but the increased demand for new railcars will create a pipeline of work to boost our local manufacturing industry and maximise WA jobs.

“Once these trains are delivered, our existing A-series trains operating on the heritage lines will be coming close to or exceeding their operational life of 30 years.”

Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said the trains will travel up to 280,000km a year for 35 years.

“This is a great opportunity to deliver the next generation of trains that can provide more capacity, and faster transfers, and tap into our local workforce to deliver WA projects with local skills,” Ms Saffioti said. 

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