THE Victorian Coalition has just upped the ante in the rail wars with a $633 million commitment for new regional trains.
In a joint announcement late yesterday the Liberal Nationals said the investment would replace the ageing fleet of diesel hauled trains with new-generation, faster, long haul variants of the successful V/Locity trains.
The first step to “revolutionise the regional rail service” would be to replace V/Line’s ageing diesel hauled train fleet with new rail cars that will provide better comfort and leg room, safety and amenity for passengers and most importantly, will be reliable.
The Coalition said, if elected, it would place an order in June 2019 with the new fleet delivered during the first term of government.
Supporting maintenance facilities which will provide more Victorian jobs will also be constructed. Current plans include an upgrade to the Newport workshops or a new facility at Seymour.
The fleet replacement of 16 new train sets, consisting of 96 new railcars, capable of speeds up to 160kmh will be built in Victoria as a new variant to suit longer haul country travel.
It is expected that there will be six cars per train which will be able to be configured flexibly where required.