X’trapolis Trains – Ministerial Response

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Original adjournment matter from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

I wish to raise an adjournment matter for the Minister for Public and Active Transport regarding the manufacture of X’trapolis 2.0 trains at the Alstom rail workshop in Ballarat. The action that I seek is for the minister to come to my electorate of Wendouree to visit the Alstom site, to see firsthand how our record investment of nearly $1 billion is creating manufacturing jobs in my community, supporting the local economy and delivering world-class trains made in regional Victoria.

I am so proud that the Ballarat-made Alstom X’trapolis 2.0 trains will include a minimum of 60 per cent local content, supporting Victorian jobs across the supply chain and in the minister’s own electorate of Dandenong.

The new X’trapolis 2.0 trains will replace the longest serving Comeng trains and provide more reliable journeys, better passenger information and improved accessibility, energy efficiency and comfort for passengers. The X’trapolis 2.0 trains are designed with wider doors to make boarding and alighting easier, helping maintain on-time running, and will have space for about 1225 passengers. Importantly, the interior designs improve accessibility for hearing-, vision- and mobility-impaired passengers, including 20 wheelchair spaces.

I wish to acknowledge and thank chief accessibility advocate Tricia Malowney OAM for her contribution to the X’trapolis 2.0 design process and her commitment to accessibility and inclusion for Victoria’s public transport system.

The X’trapolis 2.0 trains will also have enhanced accessibility features, including semi-automated boarding ramps, hearing loops, a continuous walkway throughout the train and clearer, more informative passenger displays. But there is more. The new X’trapolis 2.0 will have advanced air suspension systems enabling a smoother ride and advanced passenger information systems that provide more detail about the journey in real time. The trains will also be more energy-efficient and include designated mixed-use onboard spaces for bicycle and pram storage.

Long may we continue to support manufacturing in regional Victoria and delivering world-class trains that are made in Ballarat. I thank the minister for her commitment to my community of Ballarat and look forward to the minister’s visit to my electorate of Wendouree.

Response from the Hon. Gabrielle Williams MP, Minister for Minister for Public and Active Transport (17 April 2024) –

I thank the member for her question, and for her strong advocacy for local manufacturing in her community.

I was very pleased to join the member in a visit to the Alstom manufacturing site in Ballarat on 12 March 2024.

The Allan Labor Government is providing a major boost for local jobs in Ballarat, through its $986 million investment in the X’Trapolis 2.0 metropolitan train, which will gradually replace Melbourne’s long-serving Comeng fleet on the Craigieburn, Upfield and Frankston lines.

The government has worked closely with Alstom to bring the Ballarat site up to modern standards, and I was thrilled to see that these trains are being made in a state-of-the art manufacturing facility.

Manufacturing of the first train is well underway with the first few carriages now bolted together, with others soon to follow. As manufacturing progresses, each carriage will undergo rigorous testing during and fit out to ensure the quality and safety of the train.

These new trains will bring enormous benefits to the network. The Department of Transport and Planning and Alstom undertook an extensive design process over the past couple of years, with the final design being informed by numerous engagements with passenger and accessibility groups, as well as our skilled drivers and maintainers. Over 58 significant design changes have been implemented directly from feedback during engagement which is a testament to the project’s overall commitment to designing a train that is truly fit for our community.

Staff recruitment at the Ballarat site is steadily ramping up in line with production needs, including new apprentices and women in trades recently commencing in February 2024. 15 per cent of workers will be trainees and apprentices, skilling up and providing opportunities for younger workers in Ballarat. Seven per cent of workers will be long-term unemployed and disadvantaged Victorians, and all workers are receiving training, which will boost skilled employment in manufacturing.

The X’Trapolis 2.0 project is being delivered with minimum 60 per cent local content and will support up to 150 local jobs in the Ballarat region across its life cycle. We’re continuing to support skilled manufacturers and Victorian suppliers as part of our commitment to local rolling stock manufacturing.

The Allan Labor Government is proudly supporting the continuation of Ballarat’s legacy as a major hub in our thriving manufacturing industry, and we look forward to seeing the first train being rolled out for testing.

I thank the member again for her ongoing support, and look forward to further opportunities to celebrate the success of the X’Trapolis 2.0 Project, and local rolling stock manufacturing in Ballarat.


Watch and read more of my speeches to Parliament here, including responses from ministers on how we’re working for Wendouree.