Work is underway to construct a $46 million railcar manufacturing facility, which will include three specialised cranes.
The 180-metre building will include a railcar assembly area, offices, workshops, storage areas, two overhead cranes able to lift 25 tonnes each and a heavy maintenance railroad crane capable of lifting 10 tonnes.
It is part of a wider $1.25 billion contract that the Western Australian Government signed with Alstorm to have the state’s railcars built locally.
The contract is the largest order of railcars in the state’s history and comes in at $347 million under the original budget.
Subiaco-based FIRM Construction won the contract to construct the new facility, along with a secondary high-voltage testing building.
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Around 100 construction jobs are expected to be created during the building phase, along with further jobs when railcar production and maintenance begins.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said the construction marks the return of the railcar manufacturing industry to the Midland area for the first time since 1994.
“In a year from now, local workers will be standing in this very spot assembling Western Australia’s new METRONET railcars,” McGowan said.
“At the North Metropolitan TAFE campus, just down the road, our specialist METRONET Trade Training Centre will ensure local apprentices and trainees learn the skills for this important work.
“The start of construction on this facility marks a major milestone for local jobs and apprenticeships and shows WA workers are capable of building anything.”
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Bellevue plant is where the state’s biggest ever order of railcars will be built, tested and maintained for decades.
“Around 250 railcars will be produced at Bellevue over the next decade. Bellevue will also serve as a permanent maintenance facility for the expanded METRONET fleet,” she said.
“This means more ongoing jobs and training opportunities for people in the eastern suburbs and Perth Hills.
“WA trains should be built by WA people, and the start of these works is another step to making this a reality again.”
Stage one of the facility is expected to be complete later in 2020, with the first railcars expected to go into service in 2022.