Full steam ahead for Belle­vue

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS - Lisa Thomas

THE State Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced Belle­vue as the pre­ferred site for the Metronet rail­car man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, which is set to be built next year.

The pro­posed site, near the his­toric Mid­land rail­way work­shops, will be used to as­sem­ble the 246 rail­cars re­quired to ser­vice Metronet pro­jects, as well as re­place age­ing trains in the Transperth net­work, over the next 10 years.

The fa­cil­ity will be colo­cated with the Pub­lic Trans­port Author­ity’s next rail­car de­pot, which is be­ing as­sessed by the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­de­vel­op­ment Author­ity.

A sup­plier for the new trains will be se­lected in early 2019, with a key com­mit­ment to man­u­fac­ture or as­sem­ble 50 per cent of the rail cars in WA.

Premier Mark McGowan said the project would cre­ate lo­cal jobs.

“It’s ex­cit­ing we are in a po­si­tion to bring brains well and truly back into the Mid­land precinct at a new pur­pose- built fa­cil­ity in Belle­vue,” he said.

“Metronet is not only a world- class pub­lic trans­port sys­tem, but will cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal workers.”

Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said it was an ex­cit­ing time for the re­gion.

“The Mid­land area is en- ter­ing a very ex­cit­ing era. Pro­jects like the Belle­vue Rail Ex­ten­sion, new Mid­land Sta­tion, re­de­vel­op­ment of the his­toric work­shops and now the re­turn of rail pro­duc­tion to the area are all start­ing to gain mo­men­tum,” she said.

“The suc­cess­ful pro­po­nent for the rail­way con­struc­tion con­tract will have in­put into the fi­nal de­sign of the fa­cil­i­ties at Belle­vue and con­struc­tion work will start in 2019.”

Swan Mayor David Lu­cas said the an­nounce­ment was a nod to the re­gion’s ex­ten­sive rail his­tory.

He said it was a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“This an­nounce­ment marks the re­turn of rail pro­duc­tion to Mid­land, an area with nearly a cen­tury of in­dus­trial rail­way his­tory,” he said.

“The Mid­land rail­way work­shops ran for nearly 100 years and were vi­tal to the de­vel­op­ment and main­te­nance of the state’s rail sys­tem. Now we are see­ing the be­gin­ning of a new era for the in­dus­try, with the prom­ise of a pur­pose- built fa­cil­ity just one kilo­me­tre away from the his­toric work­shops precinct.

“This fa­cil­ity will bring jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties for our lo­cal com­mu­nity and help en­hance Mid­land as a key strate­gic met­ro­pol­i­tan cen­tre for WA.”

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