Strong progress is being made on the $2.4 billion High Capacity Metro Trains project, with more than half of the 70-train order now operating.
Production, commissioning and operations are in full swing, with 38 of the bigger, better and more accessible trains now in use, a further 10 currently being commissioned, and four in production at the Newport railyards in Melbourne’s west.
Since 2020, the trains have been progressively entering revenue service on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines – significantly improving passenger experience, safety, comfort and reliability.
It is expected that, by the end of the year, the Cranbourne/Pakenham corridor will be operating solely using the HCMT fleet.
Following the expected opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025, the trains will run through to Sunbury and upon expected completion of the Melbourne Airport Rail project in 2029, will also run to Melbourne Airport.
Evolution Rail CEO Phillip Walker said the HCMT project is proving to be quite the local success story.
“It’s a privilege to be delivering what is the first new train design for Melbourne’s train network in nearly 20 years, and customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mr Walker said.
“These trains are bigger and better than any existing fleet and include design features that make them more accessible, comfortable and safer.
“We’re proud to be delivering these trains for Melbourne, and hundreds of jobs across the state in the process.
“We’ve formed great relationships with a host of local companies across Victoria and we’re on track to exceed our 60% local content commitment.
“For a project of this scale to be on time, on budget and tracking so well is a credit to all involved.”
The Evolution Rail consortium, comprising Plenary Group, Downer and CRRC, is delivering the $2.4 billion project – 70 trains and two maintenance facilities – in partnership with the Victorian Government.
The trains are being built using at least 60 per cent local content, with a host of Victorian suppliers providing key components such as bogies, traction, pantographs and heating and cooling systems.
The trains are being assembled at Downer’s Newport manufacturing facility.
A new state-of-the-art depot in Pakenham East was built using more than 90 per cent local content and is the main maintenance facility for the new HCMTs.
Overall, the project is creating 1,100 jobs throughout the local supply chain.
The 70th and final train is expected to be commissioned in early 2024, and Evolution Rail is contracted to maintain the trains for a further 30 years.