A builder is being sought to construct a $50 million METRONET railcar manufacturing facility, with the tender being released to the market.
The Bellevue railcar manufacturing facility will build and service new railcars for the METRONET project, as part of the overall WA railcar budget.
This will return railcar manufacturing to Western Australia for the first time since the Midland Railway Workshops closed in 1994.
The facility is expected to create 200 long-term jobs along with hundreds of indirect jobs.
It will include a main building, measuring in at 180 metres long, which will house offices, workshops and storage areas. It will include two overhead cranes capable of lifting 25 tonnes each and one heavy maintenance railroad with a crane that can lift up to 10 tonnes.
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At least 246 railcars will be assembled and tested in the new facility, 102 to provide for METRONET projects and 144 to retire the ageing A-series fleet.
The final design of the railcars has not yet been determined; however, they will need to meet a target of 50 per cent local content.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the release of the tender is another step towards bringing railcar manufacturing back to the state.
“The new manufacturing and assembly plant in Bellevue will bring railcar manufacturing back to WA and back to its home in the Midland area,” he said.
“It means hundreds of quality, local jobs, more training and apprenticeship opportunities for our kids and WA made trains, on our new WA built METRONET lines.”
WA Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said one of the State Government’s key election commitments was to bring rail manufacturing back to WA.
“This is the largest railcar order in WA history – we’ve done that deliberately to maximise competition for this large contract, thus maximising the amount of local content companies are willing to commit to,” she said.
“We’re committed to bringing back local manufacturing, and ensuring these new trains are built by local people. They’re our trains, and they should be our jobs as well.”
The tender is expected to be awarded in November.