Work has officially started on the Bellevue manufacturing facility where the next generation of METRONET railcars will be built, tested and maintained for decades to come.
The new $46 million facility is part of the wider contract the McGowan 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.
By having the new railcars built in Bellevue, the McGowan Government is returning rail manufacturing to the Midland area for the first time since 1994 when the Midland Railway Workshops were closed by the then Liberal Government.
At least 50 per cent of the contract value will be delivered locally, in line with McGowan Government’s commitment to using local content.
The decision to deliver more of the contract in WA has created local jobs and delivered 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.
Subiaco-based FIRM Construction will now be tasked with building the new multi-functional assembly and maintenance facility, as well as a secondary high-voltage testing building.
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.
Around 100 jobs will be created during construction of the facility, along with further jobs when railcar production and maintenance begins.
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.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Today marks the start of the return of the railcar manufacturing industry to the Midland area.
“In a year from now, local workers will be standing in this very spot assembling Western Australia’s new METRONET railcars.
“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.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The Bellevue plant is where Western Australia’s biggest ever order of railcars will be built, tested and maintained for decades to come.
“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.
“This means more ongoing jobs and training opportunities for people in the eastern suburbs and Perth Hills.
“WA trains should be built by WA people, and the start of these works is another step to making this a reality again.”
As stated by Midland MLA Michelle Roberts:
“This will be brilliant for Midland and our wider eastern region, returning hundreds of train manufacturing jobs to our area.
“This builds on the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in Midland through the new train station, the hospital, the university and METRONET Trade Training at Swan TAFE.
“I’m proud of what the McGowan Government is delivering for Midland.”