Western Australia plans to build its own suburban trains

The Western Australian government is planning to integrate local rail car manufacturing into its ambitious plans to expand Perth’s suburban rail network.

The government , which has just taken delivery of the last of 78 Queensland-made B-series rail car sets, plans to let an order in 2019 for new Metronet trains.

The final three-car B-series set, made in Maryborough by a joint venture of Bombardier and Downer, was inspected by WA’s minister of transport, Rita Saffioti.

She said: “Since 2004, 78 three-car B-series have been brought online, at a cost of more than $760 million.

“The last B-series train is planned to go into service on the Joondalup and Mandurah lines next week, once its final commissioning is complete.”

Saffioti confirmed planning was underway for a $1.6 billion project to produce C-series Metronet trains in a new Perth facility.

The government is aiming for 50 per cent local content, with delivery due to begin in 2021.

The six-car sets will have a capacity for 1,200 and feature wider doors, LED lighting and regenerative braking.

“By placing the order for all the railcars at once, the Government expects to achieve a lower unit cost and encourage better development of local industry and securing the local manufacturing workforce for longer.”

Three groups are shortlisted for the contract – Alstom, CAF/UGL and Downer/Bombardier.

Construction is currently underway on the Perth network of the Yanchep Rail Extension and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.

Picture: Transperth/B-series rail car

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