The first of Victoria’s new bigger and better trains is another step closer to being in service as last week the new train was transported from the manufacturing facility at Newport to the new Pakenham East depot using 4 locomotives, 22 freight wagons and one power car.
At the purpose-built depot in Pakenham, the train will undergo safety testing, ahead of it going into service from the middle of next year on the Cranbourne/Pakenham lines, part of Melbourne’s rail suburban network.
Each 7-car train has a length of 160 metres and has a capacity of 1100 passengers. Victoria’s bigger trains will allow room for 20 per cent more passengers to reduce overcrowding and will deliver a more reliable service for Melbourne’s south east and Gippsland from 2019, with all 65 trains rolling out as a dedicated fleet in time for the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025.
In November 2016, Evolution Rail consortium and Victorian Government signed the contract for finance, design, build and maintain the 65 high capacity trains. The Evolution Rail consortium is comprised of Downer, CRRC and Plenary.
Bogie frames have been built in Bendigo, traction and electrical systems made in Morwell, interior components from Hallam, gearboxes from Altona, wheelchair ramps from Braeside and air-conditioning units made in Derrimut.
Manufacturing of the new train began in Newport in June, after a multi-million upgrade of the historic rail yard facility. The brand-new Pakenham East depot includes maintenance sheds, a train simulator and stabling.
To get ready for bigger trains, major infrastructure upgrades – including an overhaul of power and signalling – will continue along the corridor throughout December.
“Whether it’s building bigger trains, running more services, or enforcing tougher new contracts – all of our work is about ensuring passengers can get where they need to go, sooner,” Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said.