Australia’s Victoria Government has asked manufacturers to share ideas for its next-generation trams and trains.

With a policy of at least 50% local content in its public transport rolling stock, the government is planning to conduct design and engineering workshops in the next few months.

These trains and trams will be completely accessible and feature onboard energy storage, which will reduce the necessity for power upgrades. They will also be energy efficient and have a higher passenger capacity.

Together with the 50 new E-Class trams ordered by the government since 2015, the new trams will replace older high-floor trams.

The government said that the proposals will have to increase local content and jobs, reduce the need for expensive infrastructure, and integrate with the existing transport network.

Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said: “We’re doing the vital design work needed to deliver new trains and trams that are reliable, accessible and meet the changing needs of Victorian passengers.

“Whether it’s building more trains and trams, upgrading tracks and signals, or planning for the future – we’re getting people where they want to go sooner and safer.

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“It doesn’t matter what mode of transport you use – trains, trams or buses – because we’re investing across the entire network to provide safe and reliable trips for Victorians.”

Since 2015, the Victorian Government has spent A$4.5bn to procure upgraded and new rolling stock to help passengers reach their destination faster and safer.

Earlier this month, the government placed an order for a new batch of VLocity trains with Bombardier to meet the demand of the regional rail services.

In July, the government invested A$50m to enhance the VLocity regional train fleet to improve services and support jobs.