Construction Begins On New METRONET Manufacturing Facility

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Image credit: ABC

Construction has commenced in Western Australia on METRONET’s Bellevue manufacturing facility, where future METRONET railcars will be built.

The brand-new $46 million facility is a piece of the wider contract that Alstom and the Western Australian Government signed to manufacture the new METRONET railcars locally.

The contract awarded to Alstom, valued at $1.25 billion, is the largest order of railcars in Western Australian history, coming in at $347 million under the original budget.

This is the first time that rail manufacturing has returned to the Midland area since 1994 when the Midland Railway Workshops were shut by the then Liberal Government.

An anticipated 100 jobs will be created during construction and more upon commissioning, with around 50 per cent of the contract value to be delivered locally.

Western Australia’s Premier, Mark McGowan, said: “Today marks the start of the return of the railcar manufacturing industry to the Midland area,”

“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.”

The new METRONET railcars are poised to provide decent value for money, with the last order of B-Series trains that were manufactured in Queensland costing over $1.08 million more than the new C-Series.

The main manufacturing facility will include a railcar assembly area, workshops, storage areas, offices and two overhead cranes capable of lifting 25 tonnes each. A heavy maintenance railroad crane will be on-site, with a lifting capacity of up to 10 tonnes.

Upon completion of the new facility, around 246 METRONET C-series railcars will be produced, as well as 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.

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