Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu
Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder
New Trains On Track For Completion In Ballarat
Victor P Taffa
New trains being built in Ballarat are on track to be delivered months ahead of schedule, helping build capacity on the metropolitan rail network.
Premier Ted Baillieu and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder visited Alstom’s Ballarat Maintenance Centre today where the first of seven new X’Trapolis trains are under construction and are expected to be delivered before the end of this year.
This will be less than 18 months after the signing of the contract and well ahead of the planned February completion date.
Premier Baillieu said Victoria would reap huge gains from the production of the new X’Trapolis trains in Ballarat.
“These will be the most competitively priced of Melbourne’s X’Trapolis trains and will include the highest levels of local content.” Premier Baillieu said.
The seven X’Trapolis trains under construction are also helping to boost employment opportunities in regional Victoria.
In total 65 direct jobs and 70 indirect jobs will be secured as a result of this contract.
“This reinforces the Government’s commitment to significant local content in major contracts and is a sign of the great work being performed in Victorian manufacturing.” Premier Baillieu said.
Mr. Mulder said the new trains would add capacity to the network and allow for planning further improvements to the network.
“Nearly 1,000 new weekly services have been added in the last year and these trains will give Metro greater flexibility to run the network.” Mr. Mulder said.
In April this year, Alstom completed an order for 38 X’Trapolis trains delivered on-time and on budget.
The company now plans to invest $8 Million to develop the Ballarat site, creating high-skilled jobs for regional Victoria.
This order of seven trains is the first stage of the Coalition Government’s commitment to delivering 40 new trains for Melbourne.
Preliminary work has already begun to investigate the best options for delivering 33 high-capacity trains.
Last week the Premier and Transport Minister joined the Prime Minister Julia Gillard to announce the awarding of the final contract for the Regional Rail Link project.
Victoria’s three largest regional cities, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat, will soon have their own dedicated tracks through the metropolitan system, improving the capacity and on time performance for metro and regional services.
Separating the regional and metropolitan lines will increase capacity for regional and metropolitan commuters.
Approximately 5,600 people will be employed either directly or indirectly on the RRL project.
Upon completion there will be enough capacity for extra train services to move up to 9,000 extra passengers across the network during peak times.
The project will see the first new railway line being constructed in Melbourne for 80 years.