Forty extra carriages will be added to Victoria’s regional passenger train network by 2016, the state government says.
The government has signed a $207 million deal with Bombardier, based in Melbourne’s outer southeast, to deliver the carriages for the V/Line network.
Premier Ted Baillieu said the carriages were needed to cope with growing patronage and increased services when the Regional Rail Link comes on line.
“The previous government in committing to the regional rail project declined to commit to additional carriages,” he said.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the first carriages would be delivered in 2014, with the last expected to arrive in 2016.
He said the extra carriages would benefit residents in growth areas such as Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat.
There will be seven three-carriage sets plus 19 carriages that will be added to existing two-carriage services.
Bombardier managing director Dan Osborne said the company had been trialling the use of internet wifi service on the trains and it may be available by 2016 if V/Line wanted it.
The Regional Rail Link will provide up to 50km of dual-track rail links from West Werribee to Southern Cross Station in central Melbourne via Sunshine.