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WA Government to return rail manufacturing to Midland area

The WA Government is set to revive the Midland area’s rich railway history, with Bellevue announced as the preferred site for the new METRONET railcar manufacturing facility.

The proposed manufacturing facility will also be co-located with the Public Transport Authority’s next railcar depot, where Transperth will carry out maintenance of the broader train fleet.

Located just one kilometre from the historic Midland Workshops, which for nearly a century provided hundreds of railway jobs for workers and apprentices, the new production facility site in Bellevue will bring more employment opportunities to the area.

Over the next decade, the facility will be used to assemble much of the extra 246 railcars required to service METRONET projects and replace ageing trains on the Transperth network.

A Development Application for the depot facility on the same site is currently before the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, with approval expected in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, three consortia have been shortlisted to participate in a tender for the supply of the new trains:

  • Alstom Transport Australia Pty Ltd
  • Momentum West (CAF and UGL)
  • EDI Rail – Bombardier Transportation Pty Ltd

A supplier will be selected in early 2019 and a key consideration will be their ability and commitment to manufacture or assemble 50 per cent of railcars in WA. This is significantly different to the policy under the previous Government, as most railcars were manufactured in Queensland or overseas, with only two per cent of the work completed in Western Australia.

The first stage of the project involves the delivery, in 2021, of 102 new railcars (17 six-car sets) to service the new METRONET projects as they come online.

A follow-on order for 144 railcars (24 six-car sets), to replace the ageing A-series railcars, will also be included in the tender and are expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2028.

Source: WA Government

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