Construction has begun on METRONET’S Bellevue manufacturing facility, where future METRONET railcars will be built.
The new $46 million facility is part of the wider contract the WA Government signed with Alstom to have Western Australia’s new METRONET railcars built locally.
The $1.25 billion contract, awarded to Alstom, is the biggest order of railcars in WA history and came in $347 million under the original budget.
The facility will return rail manufacturing to the Midland area for the first time since 1994 when the Midland Railway Workshops were closed by the then Liberal Government.
The project is expected to create around 100 jobs during construction and more upon commissioning, and it is expected that at least 50 per cent of the contract value will be delivered locally.
Subiaco-based FIRM Construction will be tasked with building the new multi-functional assembly and maintenance facility, as well as a secondary high-voltage testing building.
“Today marks the start of the return of the railcar manufacturing industry to the Midland area,” WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said.
“At the North Metropolitan TAFE campus, just down the road, our specialist METRONET Trade Training Centre will ensure local apprentices and trainees learn the skills for this important work.
“The start of construction on this facility marks a major milestone for local jobs and apprenticeships and shows WA workers are capable of building anything.”
An economically efficient facility
The METRONET railcars are also expected to provide good value for money. The cost per railcar under the last order of B-Series trains – built in Queensland – was $4.05 million, while the cost under the new C-Series contract is around $2.97 million.
The main facility will include a 180m-long building with a railcar assembly area, offices, workshops and storage areas, two overhead cranes able to lift 25t each, and a heavy maintenance railroad with crane capable of lifting 10t.
Once completed, the facility will produce 246 METRONET C-series railcars and an additional six railcars to replace the existing Australind service.
“The Bellevue plant is where Western Australia’s biggest ever order of railcars will be built, tested and maintained for decades to come,” WA Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said.
“Around 250 railcars will be produced at Bellevue over the next decade. Bellevue will also serve as a permanent maintenance facility for the expanded METRONET fleet.”
Stage one of the Bellevue facility is expected to be complete later this year, with the first C-series railcars expected to go into service in 2022.