Premier Ted Baillieu and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder today announced that the Coalition Government will purchase 40 new V/Line carriages to meet increased service levels when the Regional Rail Link opens in 2016.
Mr Baillieu said the new V/Line carriages would be built by Victorian train manufacturer Bombardier at its Dandenong South factory.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Victoria’s public transport network, especially for residents of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon who will benefit from these additional carriages,” Mr Baillieu said.
“It is also great news for manufacturing jobs in Victoria with this contract securing more than 70 jobs at Bombardier.
“The Coalition Government has secured excellent value for money for Victorian taxpayers for this contract worth more than $200 million.
“This order will deliver 40 new carriages which will help to meet the demands of continuing growth as well as the expansion that will be made possible with the completion of the Regional Rail Link in 2016.
“The previous government failed to include funding to purchase the new carriages required to deliver Regional Rail Link and today we continue fixing the problems left behind by Labor by delivering a better transport network for Victoria,” Mr Baillieu said.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the first of the carriages was expected to be delivered in 2014, and the last of them expected to arrive in late 2016.
“This is the first new order of regional trains since 2009, during which time demand on key regional lines has grown significantly,” Mr Mulder said.
In 2011/12, 14 million passengers used V/Line trains, up 500,000 on the previous financial year.
Mr Mulder said the new train order was the latest step to plan for the future as more people embraced our regional rail network.
“The previous government failed to properly plan or fund the Regional Rail Link project,” Mr Mulder said.
“The Coalition Government has undertaken the detailed work needed to re-scope the project, including adding two grade-separations and signalling that was missing from Labor’s plan.
“Construction works on the Regional Rail Link project are now underway and the Coalition Government is investing record amounts in maintaining and renewing our rail network.
“The Coalition Government is making an historic investment in our public transport fleet.
“The Government now has on order 40 new VLocity carriages for the regional network, seven new trains for the metropolitan network and 50 new trams to build capacity for years to come,” Mr Mulder said.
“This is in addition to our commitment to purchase up to 33 additional new trains for our metropolitan network.
“The investment in new trains for V/Line will increase the existing fleet of 134 VLocity carriages.
“The VLocity fleet has served Victoria well and we are confident that these trains will continue to perform for years to come.
“We are delighted that these new train carriages will be manufactured in Victoria, securing local manufacturing jobs.
“Today’s announcement comes on top of our recent order of seven new trains for the metropolitan network, which Alstom is assembling in Ballarat.”
Mr Mulder said the new trains were expected to include approximately 70 per cent local content.
Mr Baillieu said this was a win for Victorian rail commuters and our manufacturing industry, and would ensure that the Coalition Government’s investment in improving the rail network extended beyond the tracks.