NOW departing from Ballarat – new state-of-the-art trains bound for Melbourne.
The first of seven new trains to be made by Ballarat rail manufacturer Alstom was delivered to the state government yesterday.
Completed five months ahead of schedule at the Creswick Road factory, the Metro X’Trapolis trains will start hitting the Melbourne train system as early as October.
The new six-carriage train is the first of seven to be completed under the current contract with the state government.
An additional six trains are expected to completed over the next six months..
Visiting the Ballarat factory yesterday, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder thanked the Ballarat workers who had finished the train not only on budget but five months ahead of schedule.
Alstom was contracted by the government to complete a set of seven trains in June last year.
The government has promised a total of 40 new trains to be added to the Melbourne lines.
“It’s not often a minister gets to announce projects that are running on budget and well ahead of time,” Mr Mulder said.
“No doubt the people of Ballarat can be very proud by what the workers here have done.”
Alstom has recently invested $8 million to upgrade its Ballarat facility and is hopeful of securing future contracts for the remaining 33 promised trains.
It is yet to be announced who will be awarded the contract once the first seven trains are completed, but Alstom chief executive officer Chris Raine remained hopeful his company would get the nod.
“We think with the work we have done here in Ballarat ... puts us in great position for the process when it comes,” he said.
“We’re very hopeful and are going to be working very hard to get that work into Ballarat.”
Sixty-five jobs were created in Ballarat as part of the current contract, plus an additional 70 indirect jobs.