The NSW Government signed a contract with Momentum Trains for the $2.8 billion project to design, build, finance and maintain the new regional rail fleet, along with a new purpose-built maintenance facility in Dubbo to help stimulate regional economies.
Deputy NSW Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, along with the NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance visited Dubbo to announce the project, which includes capital costs of $1.26 billion for the new fleet, the new maintenance facility in Dubbo, network enabling works and other project delivery costs. The contract also includes maintenance services for the first 15 years.
Mr Barilaro said the Government is delivering on its commitment to build a first-class rail fleet for passengers travelling in regional NSW.
“This is a new era for regional rail in NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This government is following through on its commitment to replace the old rail fleet with a new modern fleet that passengers can use to travel in comfort with all of the facilities expected of modern rail transport.
“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.
“This is one of the most exciting transformations of passenger rail in NSW for decades, improving how people travel in regional NSW and making sure that investment goes straight back into regional economies.
“If it were up to the Labor party, regional NSW would be stuck with 20th century trains that are housed and maintained in Sydney while regional passengers are left behind,” he said.
Some of the new features will include more comfortable, reversible seating, window blinds, charging points for electronic devices and overhead luggage storage similar to what is available on airlines.
They will replace the existing XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains, some of which are close to 36 years old and nearing the end of their lifespan.
Mr Constance said the new regional fleet will comprise 117 new carriages to form 10 regional intercity trains, 9 short regional trains and 10 long regional trains.
“For trips on the regional network, we’ll be introducing new economy and premium classes. Economy class will have a two by two seating layout while premium class will feature an increased number of seats, set in a two by one layout,” Mr Constance said.
“Trains for longer regional journeys will also feature buffet cars and will be more comfortable for those who require wheelchair access.
“The trains will be powered by engines which produce fewer emissions than the current fleet, reducing the impacts on air quality.”
Momentum Trains will also maintain the trains for 15 years and will be responsible for designing and building the new fleet maintenance facility in Dubbo, which will be where the final fit out and commissioning of the trains will take place.
“Building the new maintenance facility in Dubbo is a major boost for regional economies. Some 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase, around 60 jobs during train completion works, and around 50 permanent jobs during ongoing operations, including a number of apprenticeships and traineeships,” Mr Constance said.
NSW TrainLink will operate the new regional fleet with the first trains to be progressively introduced from 2023.
Source: NSW Government