By Rowan Forster
Labor has touted the high-capacity train rollout at Pakenham East as the “largest train order in Victoria’s history”.
Premier Daniel Andrews, Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, newly elected Bass MP Jordan Crugnale and Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne travelled to Pakenham on Thursday 6 December to promote the $2.3 billion overhaul.
During the tour of the Pakenham East depot, the Premier inspected the first high-capacity train to arrive at the facility – transported from a manufacturing facility in Newport.
“This is a really significant day as we celebrate another big step towards brand new trains on our public transport network,” he said.
“More trains, more often, carrying more passengers – that’s the key to running a better public transport system.
“You can only do that, if you place the biggest train order the state has ever seen with the highest local content.”
As part of the major project, 1100 jobs have been created at the Pakenham yard and a further 100 ongoing positions will be provided.
Mr Andrews said that figure could increase.
“That may grow overtime too, as the work that is done at this depot increases,” he said.
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale, during her first official event as a parliamentarian, also referenced Labor’s commitment to removing Pakenham’s level crossings.
“These works will help improve our public transport system,” she said.
“We’re working towards reconnecting the community split by the train line, by removing all level crossings and building a new station.”
During the works, busses will replace trains along sections of the Pakenham line – up until 23 December.
Commuters are being offered free travel during these periods.