The three consortia selected for the next phase of the tender process are:

• Bombardier – comprising Bombardier Transportation Australia, Macquarie Bank, Itochu and Infrared Capital Partners
• Eureka Rail – comprising Alstom, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and John Laing, and
• Evolution Rail – comprising Downer EDI, Changchun Railway Vehicles, and Plenary.

Under the state government's local content requirements, 50% of rolling stock manufacturing must take place in Victoria and each of the three shortlisted bidders includes a manufacturer with Victorian-based facilities.

The government says the High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) Project, estimated at around $A 1.3bn ($US bn) is the largest investment in new rolling stock in Victorian history.

It forms part of its previously announced rolling stock strategy Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025, a 10-year plan for 100 new metropolitan trains, 100 new trams, and an expansion of the regional train fleet.

The HCMT Project is a public-private partnership (PPP) and will also include a new maintenance depot in Pakenham.

The shortlisted parties are requested to submit a formal proposal in the second quarter of 2016. The tender process is expected to be completed before the end of 2016, with the first train delivered for testing in late 2018.