The tender to build the METRONET railcar assembly and maintenance facility has been released.
As part of the overall Western Australian railcar budget, a builder is being sought to construct the $50 million assembly and maintenance facility which will return railcar manufacturing to Western Australia for the first time since the closure of the Midland Railway Workshops in 1994.
The facility is a 180m long main building housing offices, workshops and storage areas and includes two overhead cranes capable of lifting 25 tonnes each, and one heavy maintenance railroad with a crane which can lift up to 10 tonnes.
At least 246 railcars (41 six-car sets) will be assembled and tested in the new facility, 102 to provide for METRONET projects and 144 to enable retirement of the ageing A-series fleet.
While the final design and features of the railcars will be determined in liaison with the chosen supplier, they will need to meet a target of 50 per cent local content.
Final contract negotiations with preferred proponent Alstom are under way, with the tender expected to be awarded in November.
Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “The release of today’s tender to construct the Bellevue depot is another step towards bringing railcar manufacturing back to Western Australia.
“When the then Liberal Government closed the Midland Railway Workshops in 1994, we lost all the jobs and economic activity that went with it.
“The new manufacturing and assembly plant in Bellevue will bring railcar manufacturing back to WA and back to its home in the Midland area.
“It means hundreds of quality, local jobs, more training and apprenticeship opportunities for our kids and WA made trains, on our new WA built METRONET lines.”
State 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.”