WA’s first locally-manufactured train in 30 years has been unveiled

WA’s first locally-manufactured train in nearly 30 years has been unveiled.

Emblazoned with the words “Made in WA” and fitted out with green and yellow seating, the first of the new C-series rail cars will still need to complete 12 months of testing on live tracks before taking passengers next year.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new rail cars — the first built in WA since 1994 — were 20 per cent bigger than the current B-series rail cars, so they would be able to carry more passengers during peak hour travel times.

“This has capacity of 1200 (people) on the train, compared to 1000 on the current B-series,” she said. They also have more doors to allow passengers to enter and exit more quickly, she said, which would be a particular advantage for major stadium events.

The trains would be rolled out on the Joondalup and Mandurah lines, which have the highest demand, by the end of next year after about 12 months of testing in “real life conditions”.

One of the locally manufactured trains for Metronet
Camera IconOne of the locally manufactured trains for Metronet Credit: supplied/supplied

“We’re building extensions to those rail lines and we need the extra capacity to make sure there’s enough room for passengers along that line,” she said.

Ms Saffioti said the train also had a different, more spacious layout. “It’s modern, the driver’s cabin is a lot bigger than the current B-series, so it’s very impressive,” she said.

While some electrical components were imported, more than 50 percent of the rail cars are being manufactured in Perth.

“It is a really incredible milestone to have the first rail cars built in WA, after 30 years,” she said.

Ms Saffioti said rail patronage had rebounded in recent months, sitting at around 85 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

Liberal MP Libby Mettam called on the McGowan Government to reveal the opening date for the Forrestfield Airport Link, which is around two years behind its original schedule.

Bellevue workers constructing the trains for Metronet.
Camera IconBellevue workers constructing the trains for Metronet. Credit: supplied/supplied
Bellevue workers are constructing the new Metronet trains.
Camera IconBellevue workers are constructing the new Metronet trains. Credit: supplied/supplied

“The delivery of Metronet has been a project management failure,” she said. “What was proposed to be a $3 billion project is now about $10 billion. The real question is, when will Forrestfield Airport link be open?

“The Forrestfield Airport link is now two years late, and West Australians are still in the dark about when this project will become complete.”

Ms Saffioti insisted an announcement was imminent, and that there had been “massive delivery” across the Metronet network.

“This is an unprecedented level of investment, and of course, we’ve been hit by a series of external shocks, like COVID and like impacts on the supply chain because of what happened in Russia and Ukraine,” she said.

In the next decade, 246 new C-series rail cars will be built locally.

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