The Victorian Government ordered 65 High Capacity Metro Trains as part of a $2.3 billion investment, which also includes a new train maintenance facility in Pakenham East and a light service facility in Calder Park.
An additional $123 million will deliver five new trains to service the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, bringing the total High Capacity Metro Train fleet to 70.
The project is a public-private partnership between the Victorian Government and Evolution Rail.
The first HCMT began operating on the Pakenham line in December 2020 following a comprehensive testing process to ensure the trains were safe and reliable.
The new trains are now operating all services on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.
In October 2023, we introduced HCMTs on the Sunbury Line to ensure Metro Tunnel operations run smoothly and the new trains can operate seamlessly on the corridor from day one. A further 34 HCMTs will complete the HCMT fleet on the Sunbury Line when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025.
The trains will eventually run through the Metro Tunnel to Sunbury. New High Capacity Signalling will be switched on with the Metro Tunnel, enabling more trains, more often.
Passengers will benefit from a range of exciting new features, including:
- an extra carriage allowing more space for 20 per cent more passengers
- clear walkway through the entire train end to end
- improved seats and more handholds than the current metropolitan fleet
- priority seating throughout the train, located close to doorways and windows
- enhanced accessibility features including 14 allocated spaces at accessible boarding doors
- more space for bikes and prams
- real-time information through dynamic route maps and passenger information displays
- improved passenger safety including greater CCTV surveillance
- cooling and heating appropriate for Melbourne conditions.
Passengers will notice some new features to make travelling more comfortable, including more spaces reserved for people who use wheelchairs, mobility aids, prams and bikes.
There are also new on-board audio announcements and screens that provide more information about your journey in real-time. Other passenger features include:
- The door buttons are different to other trains on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines and are designed to international standards. Wait until the button turns green, then press it once to open the doors.
- Passenger information display screens in the centre of the train provide passengers with information about the next station and show which side of the train the doors will open.
- Priority seats are coloured orange. These seats should be offered to passengers with special needs, including the elderly, people with a disability, or a person who is pregnant.
- Multi-use spaces are located in the middle three carriages. These areas are fitted with Velcro straps under the seats to secure wheeled items (such as prams or bicycles). These areas provide space for passengers travelling with large or bulky items like prams or suitcases.
- A hearing aid loop is fitted throughout the train to assist passengers who wear hearing devices.
- New blue assistance buttons are located next to dedicated wheelchair spaces and accessible seats. This connects you to the driver and can be used if you need help when it is not an emergency. In an emergency use the red button.
- In an emergency, passengers can communicate with the driver via the red emergency button located in every doorway.
Using the trains with a wheelchair or mobility aid
Passengers who need the driver’s help to board should use the first door of the first carriage, where the main boarding ramp is.
There are 14 allocated wheelchair spaces at each end of the train, in the first two carriages.
High Capacity Metro Trains have external cameras so drivers can see passengers on platforms who need help to board.
Find out more about how public transport in Victoria is being made more accessible.
Testing to ensure safety
Every High Capacity Metro Train must travel thousands of kilometres and pass hundreds of tests to ensure it is safe and reliable for passengers.
To reduce disruption to passengers, most of these tests will occur on the metropolitan network between regular train services.
This important testing program will continue until all 70 trains are delivered.
Local jobs and training
The High Capacity Metro Train project has created jobs for more than 1,100 Victorians throughout the supply chain, thanks to its 60 per cent local content target.
The trains are assembled in Newport using train parts made in Morwell, Bendigo, Hallam and other parts of Victoria. They are maintained at a state-of-the-art depot in Pakenham East.
The project is delivered in line with the Victorian Government's Major Projects Skills Guarantee. The workforce includes 15 per cent of positions for apprentices, trainees or cadets and 7 per cent for workers that face barriers to employment.
Designing the new train
The project team worked extensively with accessibility groups, passenger groups, members of the public and technical stakeholders to design Melbourne’s bigger, better train during 2017.
These groups provided more than 2,500 pieces of feedback that were considered for the final train design.
Key aspects of the 12-month train design engagement:
First Peoples' artwork
Victoria is proud to be the creative state and home to world-leading First Peoples artists.
To celebrate this, we invited Victorian First Peoples artists and collectives to design an artwork for the outside of one of our big, new metro trains.
Watch an interview with selected artist, Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson talking about her design.
Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson was awarded an $18,000 Victorian Government creative commission to produce a special livery for one of our High Capacity Metro Trains.
Ms Nicholson is a Traditional Custodian of Narrm (Melbourne). She also has Dja Dja Wurrung and Ngurai Illum Wurrung heritage, all forming part of the Eastern/Central Kulin Nation of Victoria.
The winning design, ‘Wurundjeri Biik (Wurundjeri Country), explores the Wurundjeri culture’s connection to Country and our shared journey.
The work will help passengers better understand and appreciate the first culture of Melbourne (Narrm) as they go about their commute.
The winning artwork was selected from a pool of four shortlisted artists and collectives, including:
- Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson (Hampton Park)
- Kirrae Whurrong woman Fiona Clarke (Warrnambool)
- Boon Wurrung man Adam Magennis (Mornington)
- Ballarat-based mob of three Koori men, Pitcha Makin Fellas, who belong to different language groups.
Their work is generous. It shares and celebrates Indigenous perspectives on the shared journeys we make through our city and reminds us just how long people have been travelling across this land.
A panel of judges, including two Traditional Owner representatives, selected the successful applicant.
Learn more about the shortlisted designs.
Power upgrades and platform extensions were delivered on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, to prepare Melbourne's busiest rail corridor for the new trains.
In addition, the Sunbury Line Upgrade, completed in mid-2023, prepared the line for the new trains to run in a major step towards opening the Metro Tunnel in 2025.
It included power and signalling upgrades and new substations along the line, extended platforms at 8 stations (Sunbury, Diggers Rest, Watergardens, Keilor Plains, Albion, Sunshine, Tottenham, West Footscray, Middle Footscray, Footscray) and raised platform boarding pads (Sunbury, Diggers Rest, Watergardens, Keilor Plains, Albion, Sunshine, Tottenham, Footscray) expanded train stabling facilities at Sunbury, Calder Park and Watergardens and upgrades to train stabling at Sunbury, Calder Park and Watergardens.
- Evolution Rail(opens in a new window)
- Victoria’s Big Build(opens in a new window) – road and transport projects now under construction
- The Metro Tunnel(opens in a new window)
For more information, email: HCMTProject@transport.vic.gov.au(opens in a new window)