The Victorian Government have boosted its public transport stocks this week after the purchase of 30 new train carriages from French manufacturing company Alstom, which has a site in Ballarat.
The new trains, which will cost close to $120m, will include around 40% Australian-sourced parts with the core of five full trains to be built in Poland then assembled in Ballarat.
In addition to the purchase of the carriages, the Victorian Government is planning a long-term rolling stock strategy for the state, which is intended to provide certainty for the state’s industry and its workers.
The strategy will be unveiled as part of the State Government’s May Budget.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined Ballarat MPs Shanon Knight and Geoff Howard at Alstom’s Ballarat-factory this week to announce the purchase of the X’Trapolis trains.
The X’Trapolis trains have an operating speed of up to 130km/h with a passenger capacity of more than 1,400 passengers. Each car has three passenger doors per side, customised seating layout and is equipped with a digital passenger information system.
Premier Andrews said in statement that the Government considered the trains to be a savvy investment.
“This investment is good for workers, good for Ballarat and good for every single person who uses Melbourne’s train network,” he said.
According to the Age, the purchase of the trains will ensure the survival of Alstom’s Ballarat site, which currently employs 70 workers, until 2016.
Alstom Australia chief executive, Bernard Joyce, told the ABC that without the new contract to supply trains for the State Government, work at the company would have diminished by September.
“This is very, very important for regional manufacturing in Australia and also very important for the regional suppliers for us in Victoria,” he said.
“The security of the future of the facility is dependent on the order of trains for Victoria.”