Regional NSW is set for a jobs boost with the planned NSW Government fast-track of the State’s regional rail fleet.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Small Business and Skills, John Barilaro, said the NSW Government would aim for up to 100 per cent local content in the assembly of the trains in NSW, and that maintenance of the fleet will be undertaken in regional NSW.
“This project presents a golden opportunity to stimulate local economies through the assembly and maintenance of these trains, creating sustainable employment opportunities including apprenticeships and traineeships,” Mr Barilaro said.
The NSW Government has met with regional businesses today to outline the plan to fast-track the upgrade.
“Today’s industry briefing means we are two years ahead of planning for a new rail fleet and are now looking at getting these new trains on track by the early 2020s,” he added.
“We’ll be consulting widely with industry to get their ideas and develop a plan to deliver the best possible solution for the people of NSW.”
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, said the NSW Government is spending $50 million over three years to fast-track the replacement of the ageing XPTs so that regional customers can enjoy more comfortable and reliable journeys.
He said the procurement of a new fleet would bring new opportunities for investment in Regional NSW.
“As part of our industry engagement, we’ll also be considering opportunities to replace the XPLORER and Endeavour trains which serve key regional destinations like Armidale, the Southern Highlands, Moree, Griffith, Broken Hill, the Hunter.”
The XPT carries passengers between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Dubbo, while travelling through a number of major regional centres including Bathurst, Orange, Taree, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Goulburn and Albury.
Market sounding will start immediately followed by Expressions of Interest and a tender process later this year, with the aim of awarding a contract in early 2019.