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New Perth railcars in doubt
« on: October 26, 2015, 02:52:49 AM »
ABC News --> New Perth railcars in doubt as WA Government reconsiders $1.2b promise

New Perth railcars in doubt as WA Government reconsiders $1.2b promise
By Charlotte Hamlyn

Updated about 8 hours agoSun 25 Oct 2015, 6:07pm

Plans to double the size of Perth's train fleet are being reconsidered by the Western Australian Government, with Transport Minister Dean Nalder blaming the state's economic downturn.

The Government had promised to add 50 new "C series" six-railcar trains to Perth's rail system, at a cost of $1.2 billion.

An initial $5 million was allocated in the May budget to plan for the purchase, with the railcars expected to be delivered to Transperth over a 10-year period starting in 2019.

But Mr Nalder told the ABC while the railcars remained a long-term requirement for WA, their purchase was being reviewed in light of the economic environment.

"[We are] just looking at whether we actually need to lock in the lot, or whether we should split it and do other things like that, so we haven't made any firm decision on that at all at this point," Mr Nalder said.

"We're still going through all the options to consider."

Mr Nalder said he had discussed the rail project with Treasurer Mike Nahan.

"Given that we're in an economic downturn, we just want to make sure we get through the next three or four years, and we believe that's a prudent approach," he said.

"And I agree with the Treasurer on that, and I've said that I'll go away and look at that and see whether or not we can stagger the purchase order and how we should do it.

"Obviously we need to bring in new cars for the Forrestfield Airport Link, so we need to actually commit for that immediately, or as soon as possible.

"But [we will look at] whether we need to commit now, or we can wait till we get through this economic downturn before we make that long-term commitment."
Commuters will suffer, McGowan says

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan urged the Government to come clean on whether it would keep its promise.

He said backing away from the commitment would put more pressure on a transport system that was already struggling to cope.

"It's absolutely incredible that six months ago in the budget they promised these railcars, and now we learn they look like they're going to cancel them," Mr McGowan said.

"[The Government] is completely dysfunctional when it comes to planning for public transport in Perth.

"Commuters are the ones that suffer."

Mr Nalder said the train network was already being fortified.

"We currently have new rail cars coming on through to the end of 2016, so we're just going through a 30 per cent increase in the number of rail cars we have on the public transport network, and we'll finish that towards the end of next year," he said.

"And we're looking at all the modelling and the updated modelling to ensure we can cope and cater for the expected public transport users."
'Several' railcar manufacturers interested: PTA

Earlier, a spokesman for Mr Nalder released a statement saying a final decision about the "C series" railcars would be made in due course.

"The procurement of the C series railcars is currently under consideration, taking account of latest patronage projections and various procurement options," the spokesman said.

"The Government's clear objective is to meet the State's future transport needs in the most efficient and effective manner, and ensure taxpayers are receiving value for money.

Meanwhile the Public Transport Authority (PTA) said it had already conducted market engagement with the railcar supplier industry to assess whether there were manufacturers interested in supplying a future order.

Several respondents expressed interest and the bids were currently being evaluated, the PTA said.

The final request for tenders was being prepared but a release date was yet to be confirmed, it added.

Mr Nalder dismissed calls last month for him to guarantee that the railcars for the network would be constructed in WA, saying the Government had a responsibility to get the best deal.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Re: New Perth railcars in doubt
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 02:54:16 AM »
Perth Now --> WA Government’s $1.2 billion Perth railcar pledge may be shunted
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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