About the new trains

Bigger, better trains have key benefits for passengers, including more reliable and more comfortable travel on Melbourne’s busiest rail corridor

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Melbourne’s 65 bigger, better trains will run on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines and eventually through the Metro Tunnel.

Passengers will notice the new trains are smoother and quieter than existing trains on Melbourne’s network.

Each new train features:

  • better seating and hand-holds than existing trains
  • priority seating throughout the train, close to doorways and windows
  • enhanced accessibility features, including 14 allocated spaces at accessible boarding doors in each direction of travel
  • seven-car open gangway configuration (clear walkway through the entire train end to end)
  • two mixed-use spaces in each of the middle three carriages for passengers travelling with bicycles, prams and other large items
  • improved real-time information through dynamic route maps and passenger information displays
  • improved passenger safety, with greater CCTV surveillance
  • cooling and heating appropriate for Melbourne conditions.

See inside Melbourne's bigger, better train:

Melbourne's bigger, better trainInside Melbourne's bigger, better trains

Inside Melbourne's bigger, better trainsInside Melbourne's bigger, better trains

Designing the new train

The project team and Evolution Rail worked extensively with accessibility groups, passenger groups, members of the public and technical stakeholders to design Melbourne’s bigger, better train during 2017.

These groups provided more than 2500 pieces of feedback that were considered for the final train design.

Key aspects of the 12-month train design engagement:

Watch highlights from the engagement program:

Read the video transcript

Assembling the new train

Melbourne’s bigger, better trains are being assembled in Newport, continuing a long tradition of rail manufacturing in Melbourne’s west.

The project has created 175 jobs at the Newport manufacturing facility, including opportunities for people re-skilling from the automotive industry.

Local jobs and business opportunities 

This project has created jobs and opportunities right across Victoria:

  • 1,100 jobs throughout the supply chain
  • 175 jobs at the Newport manufacturing facility
  • 100 ongoing maintenance jobs at the Pakenham East Depot
  • 450 jobs at the peak of Pakenham East Depot construction.

The project is being delivered in accordance with the Victorian Government's Major Projects Skills Guarantee.

The workforce includes 15 per cent of positions for apprentices, trainees or cadets and 7 per cent for workers that face barriers to employment.

See more:

Job and business opportunities

Interested suppliers should register their interest via the Industry Capability Network website at gateway.icn.org.au

Jobseekers interested in project opportunities should visit www.downergroup.com to register their details.

For further opportunities across major transport projects in Victoria, visit: bigbuild.vic.gov.au/jobs

Training and education opportunities

This project is providing a range of opportunities for Victorians to gain skills and experience in the rolling stock industry.
This includes opportunities for those re-skilling – including those transitioning from the automotive workforce - and also for younger Victorians looking for their first career break.

These include: 

Chisholm TAFE partnership: Rolling Stock Pre-Apprenticeship Program
  • 10-week program where unemployed, transitioning workers, automotive workers, youth, indigenous applicants and females are encouraged to apply
  • High performing graduates may be offered job interviews with Downer

Swinburne University of Technology: Rolling Stock Cadetship Program

  • 30 engineering students provided with industry experience as project cadets
  • Cadetships offered over five years, with the first cadets beginning in 2017

Find out more: Evolution Rail Career Pathways

About the Pakenham East Depot 

A new depot the size of 60 MCGs has been built in Pakenham East to provide maintenance facilities for Melbourne's bigger, better trains, a stabling yard for 30 trains and a high-tech driver-training simulator.

Construction created about 450 jobs during the peak of construction, providing work for local suppliers by using at least 87 per cent local content.

A light service facility is also being constructed in Calder Park in Melbourne’s west.

See the new depot come to life:

Read the video transcript

Driver training simulators

More than 1,000 drivers will take part in world-class training to learn how to drive Melbourne’s bigger, better trains.

Our training centre is home to a full cab simulator and other computer-based training tools to allow drivers to familiarise themselves with the cab, controls and driving techniques required before they progress to training on the network.

The simulator recreates real-life conditions on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines and can replicate scenarios drivers will face, such as trespassers, other trains, level crossings, vehicles, and even rogue cows and kangaroos.

The imagery in the simulator has been created by videoing the corridor using cameras mounted on existing trains travelling on these lines. This imagery can be updated for any corridor changes and enhanced to meet the training requirements.

HCMT driver training simulatorHCMT driver training simulator


Environmental approvals

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act approval for the Pakenham East train stabling and maintenance depot works was issued on 8 November 2016. This was based on studies of the environmental and cultural heritage values.

Early works commenced on this site in February 2017.

A key requirement of the EPBC Act approval is the publication of annual EPBC Act compliance reports. 

Annual EPBC Act Approval Compliance Report (February 2018 - February 2019) (PDF 1.7MB)
Annual EPBC Act Approval Compliance Report (February 2018 - February 2019) (Word 2.7MB)
Annual EPBC Act Approval Compliance Report (February 2017 - February 2018) (PDF 1.45MB)
Annual EPBC Act Approval Compliance Report (February 2019- February 2020) (PDF 1.6 MB)
Annual EPBC Act Approval Compliance Report (February 2019- February 2020) (Word 5.6 MB)