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Alstom officially began train manufacturing at the Metronet Bellevue assembly plant in Western Australia on June 7, describing the occasion as ‘a watershed moment’ for the local rail sector.
The start of work followed a formal inauguration of the new facility in the eastern suburbs of Perth, attended by state Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
As part of the Metronet programme, Alstom was awarded a contract to manufacture, test, commission and maintain for 20 years a fleet of 41 six-car electric multiple-units for the Perth suburban network and two three-car DMUs for inter-regional services.
The project is expected to create around 200 jobs in Western Australia, with roles for apprentices and aboriginal workers. As well as technology transfer, Alstom intends to provide fast-tracked training and skills development programmes through dedicated partnerships with local training organisations.
The supplier has committed to achieving at least 50% local content, helping to establish what it describes as ‘a thriving ecosystem of local suppliers, contractors and equipment vendors’, which will bring additional benefits to the local economy.
The C-Series EMUs are designed to be more energy efficient than the older stock they will replace. Each six-car train will carry around 1 200 passengers, and each vehicle will have three sets of double doors to facilitate rapid boarding and alighting.
The fleet will be maintained at PTA’s existing Nowergup depot, which is to be equipped with Alstom’s HealthHub predictive maintenance tools to help optimise the performance and reliability of the trains throughout their life.
‘Alstom is delighted to begin operating Metronet’s brand-new train manufacturing facility in Bellevue’ said Mark Coxon, Managing Director for Australia & New Zealand. ‘Over the coming weeks we will begin ramping up the production of these new trains in line with our commitment to deliver the latest rolling stock and maintenance technologies and develop the next generation of local, world-class railway manufacturing professionals.’
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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