AUSTRALIA: Three consortia have been shortlisted for the High Capacity Metro Trains public-private partnership contract to supply and maintain 37 electric multiple-units for Melbourne suburban services, Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport & Employment Jacinta Allan announced on November 9.

The shortlisted bidders are:

  • Bombardier (Bombardier Transportation Australia, Macquarie Bank, ITOCHU and Infrared Capital Partners);
  • Eureka Rail (Alstom, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and John Laing);
  • Evolution Rail (Downer EDI, Changchun Railway Vehicles and Plenary).

The government said the call for expressions of interest had produced ‘an extremely high standard of responses from train builders around the world’. Formal proposal are to be submitted in the second quarter of 2016, with the contract due to be awarded by the end of 2016 and the first train delivered for testing in late 2018.

The availability-based contract is expected to be worth around A$1·3bn. It would require manufacturing within Victoria and will include construction of a new depot in Pakenham. The operations and maintenance element of the contract would run for 30 years from fleet acceptance, which is planned for mid-2022.

The EMU procurement forms part of the state government’s Trains, Trams Jobs 2015-2025 strategy announced in May. This 10-year plan envisages 100 new suburban trains, 100 trams and expansion of the regional train fleet.