Labor pledges more trains

Gippsland train travellers could benefit from some of 20 new VLocity V/Line carriages if Labor is elected to govern the state in November.

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews announced yesterday Labor would commit to purchase 30 new trains for the metropolitan network and 20 new VLocity V/Line carriages as part of an $800 to $900 million boost for both the Victorian public transport network and Victorian jobs.

Public Transport Victoria said an order for these new trains was urgent, according to Labor.

Mr Andrews said stage one of this initial order would be funded in Labor’s first budget, with the first of the new trains to be on the tracks within Labor’s first term.

He said stage one would see a $310 million order for these new trains, and $40 million for new VLocity V/Line carriages, with additional funding to be slated for future years.

The Opposition leader said Labor would aim for a minimum local content requirement of at least 50 per cent to ensure Victorian rolling stock is built locally, not manufactured overseas and only assembled here.

Meanwhile the Coalition Government yesterday welcomed the first three VLocity railcars to service, as part of a 43-strong batch of new V/Line carriages.

The three-car train, which will seat 228 passengers, comes as part of a $261 million order made in November 2012.

Transport minister Terry Mulder said the new VLocity railcars were being manufactured in Dandenong South with 70 per cent local content, and had secured 70 local jobs.