The Western Australian government has underpinned efforts to boost local freight railcar manufacturing with the establishment of a new Rail Collaboration Centre (RCC) in Karratha, with hubs located in Newman and Perth.
Backed by $998,000 from the state, the new centre is to focus on collaboration, innovation and skills for building and servicing rail freight wagons in WA.
The Centre will be operated by CORE Innovation Hub as partner of the Australasian Rail Association.
The Minister Assisting the Minister for State and Industry Development, Jobs and Trade Stephen Dawson (pictured), said the funding under the Local Manufacturing Investment Fund (LMIF) would enhance manufacturing and employment opportunities in the Western Australia’s rail sector.
Dawson said: “Establishing a new Rail Collaboration Centre will create jobs, training opportunities, and provide a huge boost to local manufacturing of rail freight wagons.
“Being able to locally assemble, manufacture, service, carry out research and development, and drive innovation for wagons, are fantastic developments for the Pilbara region.”
In June Rio Tinto and Gemco Rail announced they would expand existing operations in Perth and establish the first ever rail ore car manufacturing and bearing maintenance facility in the Pilbara.
Dawson said the new centre would fill a strategic gap as a collaboration platform to undertake world-class testing, research and development of new rolling stock, infrastructure, technology, and ideas.
The WA government’s $15 million LMIF is part of an election commitment to support local companies to enhance their competitiveness.
Rio Tinto to bring iron ore rail car manufacturing to the Pilbara
Picture: Stephen Dawson