The Queensland government has named Scania Australia and Volvo Group Australia as the preferred builders for 200 new rail replacement buses.
In a statement on Thursday morning, the government said an initial $133.8 million would be invested to make these buses locally, with Volgren to build 165 Euro 6 diesel buses on Volvo chassis and BusTech to build 35 Euro 6 diesel buses on Scania chassis.
“This project is a game-changer for Volgren’s Eagle Farm production facility. It will support hundreds of current and new jobs in Brisbane and create and retain essential skills for the upcoming Zero Emission Bus transition from 2025. Volgren is pleased to have been trusted with such an amazing project,” said Volgren CEO, Thiago Deiro.
“Besides being locally manufactured in Brisbane, Volgren buses are predominantly made using locally supplied parts and components, creating a circular economy, benefiting the local supply chain, and creating amazing job opportunities for the communities where we are involved.”
The vehicles will be used to replace trains in the South East Queensland (SEQ) rail network, during times of trackwork or other disruptions.
Delivery of the first bus is expected in March 2024 and the entire 200 buses by the end of next year. The department of transport will own the buses and can deploy them more flexibly across SEQ, rather than use contracted operators.
“We know that when we build here in Queensland, we are supporting local workers, local suppliers and the next generation of skilled bus builders,” said premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Whether it’s trains, or buses, Queensland is the place to build and invest. I look forward to seeing these new vehicles out on the road.”
According to the statement, the department of transport “is currently prioritising the delivery of infrastructure to support charging capabilities for zero-emission buses at depots across SEQ” and is committed to all new Translink-contracted buses in SEQ being zero-emission vehicles, starting in 2025.
“Once the supporting infrastructure is completed at depots within SEQ the contract allows flexibility to turn to procuring electric buses under this contract.”
Picture: Volgren’s Eagle Farm site (credit Volgren)