A consortium of Australian, Chinese and international investors will build 65 new high capacity trains in Victoria over the next six years.
The Evolution Rail consortium, which comprises the Downer Group, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles and the Plenary Group has been appointed by the State Government of Victoria to deliver the High Capacity Metro Trains transport project.
The project will include the construction of new maintenance facilities in Pakenham (an hour south-east of Melbourne) and Calder Park (30 minutes north-west of Melbourne).
It will create 1,100 full time local jobs, more than 140 positions for apprentices, cadets and trainees and 70 jobs for disadvantaged workers - such as former automotive and shipbuilding workers.
The new trains will have capacity to carry at least 1,380 passengers, including 26 allocated wheelchair spaces.
They will be purpose built for Melbourne - but based on the award winning A-Type platform, which currently operates in fleets on Hong Kong's MTR rail network.
Evolution Rail will deliver more than 60 per cent local content by engaging with Victorian regional and metropolitan businesses across the supply chain.
The new fleet will be built at Downer's Newport precision engineering and assembly facility in Melbourne's west which will receive a A$16 million upgrade.
The project will benefit from the engineering skills, training and transfer of technology from the world's largest rolling stock manufacturer in CRRC (China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation).
The Chinese state owned rolling stock manufacturer has more than 170,000 employees, and is the largest rolling stock manufacturer in the world.
The Plenary Group brings financial management skills based on its global reputation in the delivery of Public private partnerships.