THE Department of Transport for the Australian state of Victoria has awarded Alstom a framework agreement worth approximately $A 1.02bn ($US 763.7m) to provide 100 low-floor Flexity LRVs for operation in Melbourne.

The contract includes a 15-year maintenance contract, which Alstom claims makes it the largest LRV contract in the southern hemisphere.

Manufacturing will commence in 2023, and delivery of the first LRVs will begin in 2025. They will enable the replacement of the existing high-floor LRV fleet from the Melbourne network by 2032.

Alstom will manufacture the LRVs at its Dandenong facility in Victoria. The manufacturing aspect of the contract has 65% local content, while the maintenance element has 85%.

The LRVs will have capacity for up to 150 passengers, which is up to double the capacity of the existing fleet. They will feature onboard energy storage system (OESS) and the first ever street-boarding wheelchair lift. The vehicle design is adaptable from a three-bogie 25m-long vehicle to a four-bogie 35m-long vehicle depending on the capacity required.

Each LRV will have multi-purpose areas offering space for strollers, bicycles and wheelchairs. The LRVs will be air-conditioned and will feature a noise-optimised interior design. They will also be equipped with driver obstacle detection assistance system (ODAS) and a new design and ergonomically optimised driver’s seat.

As part of the $A 1.85bn Next Generation Tram project, a new LRV maintenance and stabling facility is being developed and is planned for part of the vacant former student accommodation site in Maidstone.

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