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FROM THE MINISTER FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT

DATE: Tuesday, October 4, 2005


NEW TRAIN HITS THE TRACKS

Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor, today announced the first of 10 new three-carriage Siemens trains would hit the tracks this week.

Mr Batchelor said the Siemens trains, along with the X’TRAPOLIS trains already running, would improve the safety, comfort and accessibility of Melbourne’s train system for all passengers.

“This means a better service for train passengers,” Mr Batchelor said.

“The Siemens trains have digital information displays and push-button operated doors. Priority seating is also available for mobility-impaired passengers, there is improved wheelchair access and, importantly, as we head into summer, the trains are air conditioned.”

Mr Batchelor said safety features on the trains included closed circuit television cameras, emergency intercom and interconnected carriages to ensure passengers could travel safety and securely.

“The trains will be a welcome addition to our existing fleet,” he said.

Mr Batchelor said Connex were contracted to deliver 10 new three-carriage Siemens trains, at a cost of $52.5 million, all of which will be operating on the network by the start of the Commonwealth Games next March.

“We are now in the closing stages of the biggest single rolling stock procurement program in Victoria's history with $1.1 billion worth of new trams, electric trains and diesel trains progressively delivered from 2001 to 2006,” Mr Batchelor said.

“The new trains will allow Connex to decommission its remaining 1970s Hitachi trains, which have been held as a reserve.

“The Hitachi trains will be phased out shortly after the Commonwealth Games are over. From this point on, Melbourne’s train travellers will only ever encounter a new or fully refurbished train.

“I congratulate Connex and Siemens on the new rolling stock, which clearly demonstrates a commitment to providing passengers with a safe, comfortable and modern public transport system.”


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