The Western Australian Government is set to launch a pre-qualification tender this week as the process to procure 246 new carriages for Perth’s rail network over the next decade begins.
Around A$1.6 billion will be spent on the C-Series train building programme – one of the biggest orders for rolling stock in the state’s history.
The scheme will see 102 carriages configured into 17 six-car sets for Metronet – the public transport agency overseeing extensions to Perth’s transport network – and 144 carriages configured into 24 six-car sets to replace ageing A-Series trains.
The A-Series trains were built by rolling stock manufacturer Walkers Limited, now a part of Downer Rail, and were the first electric trains on the Transperth network when they entered service in the 1990s.
Maintenance of the new fleet for 30 years is also included in the contract as well as the construction of a train assembly facility and associated works.
Premier Mark McGowan announced that the state is poised to release the pre-qualification tender at the Transperth depot in Nowergup, where the first trams from a final order of 10 three-car B-Series trains are being delivered for the under construction Forrestfield-Airport Link, on April 22.
The B-Series trains were mostly manufactured in Queensland or overseas. Only two per cent of the work was completed in Western Australia.
A target of 50 per cent local content has been stipulated for the C-Series trains.
McGowan said that Metronet projects will deliver thousands of new construction jobs and the increased demand for carriages will “create a pipeline of work to boost [the] local manufacturing industry and maximise WA jobs”.
He added: “These will be our Metronet trains, so it makes sense that they are our local jobs.
“My government’s number one priority is WA jobs and with a long-term plan to boost local manufacturing, it makes sense that we cement this strategy in place to build these extra railcars in WA.
“Once these trains are delivered, our existing A-Series trains operating on the heritage lines will be coming close to or exceeding their operational life of 30 years.”
Delivery of the 17 new trains is set to begin in 2021. The remaining 24 trains are expected to be operational between 2023 and 2028.
The shortlisted companies will progress to a tendering process before a final supplier is chosen in 2019.
The C-Series trains will be allocated to the Joondalup and Mandurah lines, according to Metronet, where trains can travel at higher speeds. That means some B-Series trains will move onto the Midland, Fremantle and Armadale and Thornlie lines to improve service capacity on these lines.