Queensland is one step closer to building its next passenger train fleet after shortlisting three leading train manufacturers to enter the next phase of the Rollingstock Expansion Program (REP).
Train manufacturers Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail have been shortlisted to manufacture the first 20 trains of the new fleet in a purpose-built Maryborough manufacturing facility following an extensive Expression of Interest (EOI) process run by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).
The EOI Evaluation Panel was chaired by TMR and included members from TMR, Queensland Rail, Queensland Treasury, the Department of Regional Development and Manufacturing and Water in addition to an independent panel member and a probity specialist.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it builds on the 283 jobs saved by the Palaszczuk Government in 2017, and all up delivers a $1 billion guaranteed pipeline of train building work in Maryborough. “This $1 billion pipeline is critical to Queensland’s economic recovery, and will ensure there are efficient and reliable services for our growing train network for Cross River Rail and beyond,” Mr Bailey said.
“We made a $600 million election commitment for 20 new six-car trains to be manufactured in Queensland, and we are now a step closer to delivering.
“Plus there is a further option for an additional 45 additional trains to be built down the track.
“We’ve also got a $1 million for a business case to build replacement carriages for the iconic Westlander, Inlander and Spirit of the Outback long-distance services right here in Queensland.”
Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing Bruce Saunders said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to a new era of rail manufacturing in Queensland.
“We’re ensuring the manufacturing and maintaining of trains is being done by Queenslanders to support jobs in Maryborough and other regional centres,” Mr Saunders said.
In recognition of the importance of accessibility for REP, the panel included Queensland’s former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Kevin Cocks who is now the Executive General Manager of the Accessibility Transport Network team for TMR.
“By building accessible trains, we are creating opportunities for people to contribute to society through social and economic participation,” Mr Cocks said.
Strict probity requirements were in place through the EOI process to ensure it was fair and competitive, and will remain in place until the contract is awarded in 2022.
The shortlisting marks an important milestone for the REP and ensures there is a competitive field of world class manufacturers as Queensland enters a new era of train manufacturing.
REP will provide considerable benefits, modernising and allowing the expansion of South East Queensland’s passenger train fleet to support the region’s booming population and economic growth.