The list of potential builders for 25 new trains for Melbourne has been narrowed to two, and neither of the two local train factories are reported to still be in the bidding.
Chinese state-owned China North Rail and Korea’s Rotem are the two remaining bidders for the Victorian state government’s contract to build 25 new trains, as part of the upgrade of the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail lines, according to local paper The Age.
Hong Kong-owned MTR is the lead partner in the consortium charged with upgrading the Dandenong rail corridor. Both China North Rail and Rotem have worked with MTR in the past.
The contract to build the 25 new trains, which are set to have capacity for 1100 passengers apiece, is worth around $380m.
Out of the bidding are French company Alstom and Canadian business Bombardier.
Alstom, which runs a factory in Ballarat, reportedly offered “a competitive bid,” but was culled from the tender process last month, according to The Age. Bombardier, with a factory in Dandenong, opted not to bid, and instead will subcontract to help partially build the trains should China North Rail win the bidding.
The tender process for the trains is not a public one; MTR simply invited six companies to bid on the contract.
Opposition spokesperson Jill Hennessy said the level of secrecy surrounding the process is unwarranted, and had put local jobs in harm’s way.
“The Napthine government has ditched proper planning process in a desperate bid for votes and there are clear probity issues involving a project that will cost Victorian taxpayers billions,” she was quoted as saying.
University of Melbourne transport planning lecturer John Stone also spoke with the Melbourne paper, saying: “The tender process should be in the public realm and we should be looking at the implications for Australian jobs, particularly when manufacturing is really under the hammer.”
This article was originally published on www.railexpress.com.au