Melbourne's new High Capacity Metro Trains to begin testing
The first in a fleet of 65 new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) will begin testing on the mainlines before their progressive roll out on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines in 2019.
The seven-car, 160 metre long trains undergo final assembly at the Newport workshops with the main body of each carriage manufactured by CRRC and shipped to Australia from China. Bogies, traction systems, pantographs, gearboxes and braking systems are all manufactured in various regions of Victoria.
Similarly, X'Trapolis trains which predominantly operate on the Belgrave, Lilydale, Glen Waverley, Alamein, Mernda and Hurstbridge lines, have their carriage shells manufactured in France and final fit-out is carried out at Alstom's workshops in Ballarat. A small order of X'Trapolis trains is currently being fulfilled as well.
HCMTs will be the longest passenger trains on the metropolitan network when they begin rolling down the Pakenham/Cranbourne lines. The seventh carriage, as well as an updated interior fit-out, will allow a single train to carry 1,380 passengers - a marked increase from existing rolling stock that operates in Melbourne.
The new fleet of trains will be limited to the Pakenham/Cranbourne line to begin with, however once the Metro Tunnel opens the new fleet will be the workhorse of the Sunbury line as well.
Government will enter caretaker mode tonight
As election writs are issued today, the government will enter caretaker mode at 6pm and the campaigns, although officially launched on Sunday, are now in full swing.
The ALP, aside from their North-East Link commitment, have focused almost entirely on major public transport projects as part of their election pitch. The Suburban Rail Loop, Melbourne Airport Rail Link and faster rail services to Geelong & Ballarat, as well as full electrification to Melton and extra track and metro services to Wyndham Vale round out their top list.
The opposition Liberal party is focused on regional rail service upgrades and suburban extensions to Clyde as well as a road intersection grade separation program.
The electoral roll closes on November 6th at 8pm. If you are in Victoria and need to update your enrolment, see vec.vic.gov.au