Posted on 07. May, 2010 in Victoria

Ballarat rail workers are reaping the benefits of the first of 19 metropolitan trains to be fully assembled in Victoria, generating new jobs and supporting the state’s rail manufacturing industry. 

Premier John Brumby and Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula today visited UGL Rail’s Ballarat workshop to unveil the first new X’Trapolis train to be assembled in Ballarat as part of a local content agreement that is boosting jobs in the state’s manufacturing industry. 

The Victorian Government ordered 38 X’Trapolis trains for the metropolitan network of which  three trains are in service and a further three are undergoing commissioning and testing at the Newport rail yards. 

The new train unveiled by Mr Brumby and Mr Pakula today is the first of 19 X’Trapolis trains being assembled in Ballarat as part of the Victorian Government’s order.

“Our Government is securing the lifestyles of Victorians in the Ballarat region by investing in infrastructure that creates local jobs,” Mr Brumby said.

“When we originally contracted Alstom to assemble these new trains in Ballarat, they agreed to a significant increase in the local content for the trains’ manufacture and supply.

“Alstom is now taking their local content agreements even further by engaging more local businesses. As a result we expect these new trains to create 135 jobs across Victoria including 65 for UGL Rail and Alstom workers here in Ballarat.  

“This is great news for Victoria’s manufacturing industry with local contracts and opportunities expected to be worth more than $75 million.

“The combination of manufacturing and maintenance brings the local content deal up over 50 per cent over the life of the contract which exceeds the minimum of 40 per cent outlined in the $245 million Building Our Industries for the Future strategy

“This creates new jobs, secures existing jobs and supports Victoria’s renowned and proud rail manufacturing industry.”

Mr Pakula said the package for the 38 new trains totalled $1.2 billion and included funding for new train drivers, infrastructure improvements and new stabling yards.

“We are rolling out a $440 million train stabling project to ensure there is enough housing for trains in place as they roll out onto the network and begin passenger service,” Mr Pakula said.

“And in regional Victoria, we are continuing to roll out the popular VLocity rail carriages with 22 out of 54 already in service.”

The first of the Ballarat assembled trains will enter service next year. Three trains are in service and another three are undergoing commissioning and testing at the Newport rail yards. Train 7 is en route from Europe and expected to arrive in a month.

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