The Government of Victoria in Australia is investing $50m in revamping the VLocity regional train fleet to improve services and support jobs.
The upgrade is expected to provide a more comfortable and accessible journey to passengers in regional Victoria and Melbourne’s west.
Acting Premier Lisa Neville and Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne announced that the first three-carriage train has been refurbished at Bombardier’s Dandenong workshop and is now transporting passengers.
Under the VLocity Refresh programme, interiors of all 75 VLocity trains will be refurbished with new carpets and seats, priority seating areas, more handrails and minor repairs.
Automatic announcement technology will also be deployed to let passengers know when their train is approaching the next station.
The programme will provide accessibility improvements, such as hearing loop technology and wider toilet doors for wheelchair access, as well as improve safety handrails and door handles.
All 75 trains will be upgraded by late 2021, which will support 45 jobs in Dandenong.
In the latest budget, the Labor Government announced $340m for 18 new VLocity trains to increase capacity and comfort for passengers on the Geelong, Ballarat and North East lines.
Neville said: “With more V/Line passengers than ever before, there has never been a better time to upgrade our VLocity fleet to boost accessibility and comfort for passengers in regional Victoria and Melbourne’s west.
“These upgrades will not only improve the travel experience for regional Victorians, they’re supporting local jobs in Melbourne.”
Improvements to V/Line’s classic fleet, including a refurbishment of Sprinter carriages, are also expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Horne said: “We’re updating our existing regional train fleet and building more trains, trams and buses, getting more and more Victorians where they need to go and creating local jobs in the process.
“The millions of trips taken on V/Line every year will now be smoother and more comfortable than ever before.”