The Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, announced today that the next generation of regional trains will be coming to the Coffs Harbour electorate, replacing the ageing XPT’s.
The NSW Government has begun the procurement process for a new type of train to replace the decades-old XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour-class sets.
“Passenger trains have long provided links between regions and the cities,” Mr Fraser said.
“Whether it is to do business, get specialist medical treatment, or to visit far-away loved ones, train travel has always played a critical role in our country communities. The older trains have served us well, but they are nearing the end of their days.
“Those of us who are old enough remember the excitement that came with the introduction of the XPTs, which really transformed regional train travel. A decade later, we added Endeavors and Explorers, giving us an unrivaled country train network.
“Now, 40 years later, we have the opportunity to deliver train sets that will surpass all of those. We are delivering the trains of the 21st Century that are more comfortable, more accessible and packed with more features.”
The Government will soon issue an Expression of Interest for the design, construction and maintenance of the new fleet.
Under the Expression of Interest and subsequent tender process, the NSW Government will seek to deliver innovation, increased customer comfort, and greater energy efficiency for regional customers. A thorough tender evaluation process will be conducted next year, ahead of the contract being awarded in early 2019.
The new trains will be operated by NSW Train Link, the NSW Government owned regional rail and coach service provider.
In Dubbo, Deputy Premier John Barilaro also announced the construction of a brand new rail maintenance facility, with Dubbo identified as the preferred location.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce this entire new regional fleet will be serviced not in Sydney, but in regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Dubbo has been identified as our preferred location for a brand new maintenance facility to support the new fleet.
“This will be a game-changer for the people of regional NSW, delivering more convenient timetabling and reduced congestion for regional and rural passengers.
“Importantly, the new maintenance facility will also deliver long-term skilled jobs, including apprentices and traineeships for the Orana region.
“This announcement signals the depth of our commitment to rural and regional communities by ensuring that services that deliver for country areas are supported by long-term skilled jobs, including apprentices and traineeships, in country areas.”