Victorian Government has reached an agreement with Bombardier Transportation Australia to complete the design of the bogies for the new standard gauge VLocity trains for the North East Line.
Currently, Bombardier is working on the existing orders for 87 VLocity carriages and the design of the bogies is an additional requirement.
As VLocity trains have not previously been fitted with standard gauge bogies, this component will take the longest to design, construct and gain safety accreditation for the new North East trains. Detailed design of the new standard gauge bogie has recently commenced and will take up to 12 months until they reach the production, accreditation and track testing stage.
The full build of the new long-haul VLocity trains that will run between Albury-Wodonga and Melbourne will take two years to complete.
Starting this work now will ensure the new rolling stock is available when the upgrade of the North East line is completed, as part of the Regional Rail Revival, a joint initiative of the Australian and Victorian Governments.
The upgrade will bring the track up to Victorian Class 2 standard – the necessary standard before the modern, long-haul VLocity trains can operate between Melbourne and Albury/Wodonga.
The Government’s investment in regional trains has provided a 40 per cent increase in regional rail services, with V/Line now running more than 2,000 services every week.
The contract with Bombardier for the new carriages is part of Government’s AUD 848.5 million (USD 625 million) investment in regional rolling stock. At the end of 2017, Bombardier signed the contract for the supply of additional 27 VLocity diesel multiple unit railcars for Transport for Victoria (TfV) and Victorian State Government. This will bring the total fleet to 264 railcars (88 3 car-sets) in passenger service by 2019. The total value of the contract was USD 112 million.