A new rail manufacturing cooperative research centre (CRC) has been launched to help Australia’s rail manufacturers expand into overseas markets and global supply chains.

The Federal Government has kick-started the CRC with a $31 million funding injection, while other participants are expected to contribute around $53 million in cash and in-kind contributions.

“The launch of this CRC comes at an important time in Australia’s rail history as the prospects for rail and competitive rail manufacturing in this country are enormous,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews, at the launch of the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Dandenong, Victoria.

“Domestic freight rail has doubled over the past 20 years and is expected to grow by three per cent each year until 2030. Likewise, passenger rail is starting to return as a favoured mode of transport and cities like Canberra, Gold Coast and Sydney are all investing money in new light rail systems.

“The new CRC will create stability within the sector while also enabling Australia’s rail manufacturing firms to expand into overseas markets and global supply chains.”

The Rail Manufacturing CRC is expected to work closely with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, and to boost Australia’s highly skilled workforce by turning out at least eight PhD students.

“The new CRC will help to create jobs, reduce supply chain costs and will also play an important part in making Australian exports more competitive,” Ms Andrews said.

“The future for rail and rail manufacturing in Australia is exceptional and I look forward to seeing the great work this new CRC will produce.”