Melbourne suburban train.

AUSTRALIA: The government of Victoria has invited expressions of interested by August 14 in the High Capacity Metro Train PPP contract to finance, design, supply and maintain a fleet of 37 suburban electric multiple-units for Melbourne’s Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

At 160 m, HCMT would be longer than existing trainsets, and together with signalling upgrades and the elimination of level crossings would boost capacity on the Dandenong corridor by 42%, enabling an additional 11 000 passengers to be carried in the morning peak.

The availability-based PPP contract is expected to be worth around A$1·3bn. Minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio said there would be an ‘unprecedented’ focus on local content and jobs to support ‘high-skill, high-value manufacturing’ in the state, with at least 50% of construction required to take place locally.

The request for proposals is expected to be released in November, with proposals due to be submitted by April 2016. Financial close is planned for November 2016, with the first train to be delivered in late 2018. The operations and maintenance contract would run for 30 years from fleet acceptance, which is planned for mid-2022.

There would be options for 25 HCMTs for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and 38 to replace the Comeng fleet by 2026.

The order forms part of the state government’s Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025 rolling stock strategy announced on May 4, which outlined a 10-year plan to acquire 100 new trains and 100 new trams.

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