Vehicle contract signed as Canberra light rail Stage 2A gets rolling

The Australian and Australian Capital Territory governments have today announced awarding of a major light rail contract with Canberra Metro to provide five new light rail vehicles (LRVs), make modifications to Canberra’s existing light rail fleet and build an expanded depot.

Five new LRVs from manufacturer CAF will be progressively delivered from 2024, and the existing light rail fleet of 14 vehicles will be retrofitted with onboard batteries, so all vehicles can operate on the wire-free extension to Commonwealth Park and on the future Stage 2B extension to Woden.

The five new LRVs will allow existing vehicles to be temporarily moved out of service, to retrofit them with batteries, without impacting current light rail services. 

The light rail depot at Mitchell will also be expanded for the ongoing maintenance of the larger fleet of LRVs.

The depot work is expected to be completed in early 2024 – ahead of the new vehicles progressively arriving soon after.

The next steps in the light rail Stage 2A project are the commencement of main construction works to raise London Circuit, which will commence soon.

This will be followed by the submission of an environmental assessment and works approval application for the Stage 2A project, so construction of the light rail line can commence soon after raising London Circuit is complete.

Canberrans will be able to have their say on the final light rail design early next year, when it goes on public display as part of the works approval application.

Stage 2A is jointly funded by the Australian and ACT Governments.

Building Light Rail Stage 2 to Woden is an item of the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement of the 10th Assembly.

Quotes attributable to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

“The Australian Government understands the importance of investing in reliable and efficient transport to help commuters and travellers navigate their home.

“This is another significant step in a project that will reduce congestion and improve travel times.”

Quotes attributable to ACT Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel:

“This contract is a critical milestone for the delivery of the Stage 2A extension of light rail to Commonwealth Park and supports future services to Woden.

“We need to order new LRVs now, and upgrade our existing fleet and depot, to ensure we have enough vehicles manufactured, delivered, tested and ready to start services to Commonwealth Park when construction of the track is completed.

“Moving to retrofit all existing LRVs with onboard energy systems for wire-free running shows our commitment to delivering light rail, not only to Commonwealth Park, but right through the Parliamentary Triangle to Woden.

“The five new vehicles will be built for Canberra’s future light rail system will support the same high frequency services on the next stage that have been embraced by Canberrans on the first stage.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Canberra Alicia Payne:

“The LRV modifications and depot expansion will increase the network’s capability to improve connectivity for people needing to travel for work or to access services and events in the southern part of the city.

“This project and associated works are expected to support up to 1,000 jobs over its life, which is a significant amount of local employment.”