Bellevue METRONET Railcar Facility reopens railcar manufacturing

Bellevue METRONET

The Western Australian government marked WA Day by opening the Bellevue METRONET Railcar Facility, returning railcar manufacturing to the state for the first time since 1994 when the Midland Railway Workshops were closed. 

“We always said that our METRONET trains would be built in WA, by local WA workers. We have delivered on that promise,” Premier Mark McGowan said. 

“With the opening of the Bellevue METRONET Railcar Facility, we have returned manufacturing to its home in Midland, after the original Midland Railway Workshops were closed by the then Liberal Government in 1994. 

“This milestone marks the completion of the first of my government’s nine current METRONET projects, which are continuing to create thousands of local jobs in Western Australia, he said. 

The new Bellevue METRONET Railcar Facility will be home to 246 METRONET railcars and six new Australind railcars, where they will be built, tested and maintained. 

The facility, manufactured using 8,500 tonnes of locally fabricated steel, will generate over 200 long-term jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs. 

“Over the next 10 years, 246 METRONET C-series railcars and six Australind diesel railcars will be built right here by local workers,” Transport minister Rita Saffioti said. 

“Our decision to bring back railcar manufacturing to WA will create hundreds of ongoing WA jobs and secure a reliable supply chain of parts and equipment. 

Over 50 per cent of content will be sourced locally, including the seats and battery boxes, supporting local WA businesses. More than 200 local workers will be employed in this facility, which will also create traineeships and apprenticeships,” she said. 

At least 50 per cent of the contract value will be delivered locally, in line with the Western Australian government’s commitment to using local content. With the facility now handed over to operator Alstom, the first of the government’s nine current METRONET projects is complete. 

Local suppliers who have been awarded contracts on the project include: 

  • Australian company McConnell, which will establish a dedicated facility to manufacture railcar passenger seats 
  • Aerison, a company with fabrication facility in Forrestfield to provide cab structures, battery boxes and fuel tanks 
  • Knorr-Bremse, will supply air-conditioning and air supply equipment and brake components from its premises 
  • Pyrotek will be supplying insulation and floor panels 
  • Austbreck will be supplying pantographs from its Kewdale facility 
  • Hofmann Engineering will be delivering bogie frames from their existing premises 
  • Vector Lifting, based in Cockburn, delivering bogie turntables and lifting jacks 
  • Kulbardi, an Indigenous company which supplied furniture for the facility 
  • Parker Hannifin, which will supply piping from their Welshpool facility 
  • Camco, based in Canning Vale, which provides jigs and fixtures for Bellevue 
  • Unique Metal, a Wangara sheet metal fabricator which will provide metallic components 
  • Dellner, will procure components from suppliers and assemble the couplers 
  • Chess Engineering, from Welshpool, which is assembling the fitting stations at the facility. 

The $1.25 billion railcar contract, awarded to Alstom, is the biggest order of railcars in WA history and was $347 million under budget. 

“The McGowan government committed to returning manufacturing to its home in Midland and today we deliver on this promise,” Midland MLA Michelle Roberts said. 

“This is a great day for Midland, and I can’t wait to see these locally made trains rolling through our community again.” 

Work on the new trains will commence later this year, with the first locally made train anticipated for late 2022.