Another train building contract goes largely overseas

Spanish train manufacturer CAF is the big winner in a $2.8 billion project to design, build, finance and maintain New South Wales’ next regional rail fleet.

In a depressingly familiar pattern for NSW, the trains will be built by CAF and ‘fitted out in Dubbo in NSW’s central west.

A new maintenance centre will be built in the regional city and operated by UGL for a period of 15 years.

The contract for Momentum Trains, a consortium of CAF, UGL, CPB Contractors will deliver 117 railcars to form 29 regional trains, and a maintenance facility at a capital cost $1.26 billion.

Deputy premier and minister for regional NSW John Barilaro said “This is a new era for regional rail in NSW.”

However the imported train/local maintenance split is the norm in recent years in NSW and a disappointment for rail manufacturing.

The new trains will replace the state’s XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains which are up to 36 years old.

“This investment will inject billions of new dollars into regional NSW, creating local jobs during the fit out and commissioning of the new fleet and building a new industry in Dubbo to service and maintain that fleet,” Barilaro continued.

The regional trains will feature economy and premium classes, charging points for laptops and phones and, on some services, buffet cars.

The first trains will be introduced from 2023.

Picture: CAF/regional train

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