The Victorian Government awarded Bombardier Transportation a contract for the supply of 18 additional Vlocity trains that will be designed and manufactured in Dandenong, using 69 per cent local content.
The order is part of the rolling stock manufacture and supply agreement signed in 2018 for the delivery of 54 new VLocity carriages to public transport operator V/Line for operation across the regional rail network in Victoria.
Bombardier has announced the contract in July, without mentioning the customer, only unveiled its value of EUR 122 million for Asia-Pacific region.
The new Vlocity trains will be a mix of broad and standard-gauge vehicle fleet and they will run on the standard gauge tracks on Victoria’s regional network. They will operate the railway routes from Melbourne to Albury/Wodonga for the first time following the completion of the AUD 235 million (USD 172.2 million) North East Line upgrade and a rigorous testing programme. Starting 2021, they will replace the aging classic fleet on this line providing passengers with a more modern, comfortable journey between Melbourne and Albury.
“Alongside the upgrade of the North East Line, these trains will deliver a more modern, comfortable journey for passengers travelling between Melbourne and Albury – we can’t wait for them to hit the tracks,” the Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said.
Incorporating feedback from passengers and V/Line staff, the standard-gauge trains will feature built-in USB chargers, shared tables, dedicated spaces for six luggage racks and overhead luggage storage, space for bikes, modern catering and food facilities and six accessible spaces for people who use mobility aids with companion seats nearby.
The new contract will support 100 direct local jobs and hundreds more through the local supply chain.
With an investment of AUD 340 million (USD 249.15 million) in the 2019/20 Victorian budget, this new order will include 12 broad-gauge trains to improve capacity on Victoria’s busiest regional lines and six standard-gauge trains for the North East line, which is currently being upgraded. The broad-gauge trains are designed for both short and medium distance services and will include a facelift including modified drivers’ cab, dedicated storage area for bicycles and accessibility improvements.
All the new VLocity trains also include mobile phone signal boosters to deliver improved coverage for passengers throughout their journeys.