Regional Rail

Reviewed

Project overview

The NSW Government’s Regional Rail project is replacing the current regional fleet with 29 safer, comfortable and more accessible trains.

Project overview

The NSW Government is replacing the ageing NSW regional rail fleet of XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains with 29 safer, comfortable and more accessible trains for customers travelling across NSW and between, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

As part of the Regional Rail project, we are also constructing a newpurpose-built maintenance facility in Dubbo.

For more details, see the Regional Rail project brochure. (PDF, 2.51 MB)

New Regional Rail fleet features

The new Regional Rail fleet consists of 29 new trains, including 117 new carriages forming:

  • 10 regional intercity trains will replace the current Endeavour fleet
  • 9 short regional trains will replace the current XPLORER services
  • 10 long regional trains will replace the current XPT services.
The 29 new trains will have:
  • Comfortable directional seating with aeroplane-style overhead luggage storage and seat pockets
  • Charging ports for mobile devices and tray tables suitable for laptops
  • Improved accessibility including accessible toilets on every train, wider doors, single-deck carriages, priority seating and accessible help points
  • Improved customer information through digital information screens and announcements, and CCTV throughout the train
  • Modern buffet car in the long and short regional trains
  • Automatic selective door operation for stations with short platforms

Artist’s impressions of the new trains

Please note the following images are representative of the preliminary design and may change during detailed design activities.

A greener Regional Rail fleet with Bi-Mode technology

The new Regional Rail fleet will operate with an Australian first - bi-mode technology - providing a more environmentally-friendly rail service.

Bi-mode is a diesel-electric hybrid which will allow the fleet to run on overhead power when operating on electrified sections of the train network.

Bi-mode technology will significantly reduce carbon emissions and diesel particulates, compared to the current regional fleet.

For more information, please see Bi-mode technology on the new Regional Rail fleet. (PDF, 313.1 KB)

Mindyarra Maintenance Centre in Dubbo

As part of the Regional Rail project, we are also constructing a new purpose-built maintenance facility named Mindyarra in Dubbo to support the new fleet.

The Mindyarra Maintenance Centre stimulates the regional economy and helps create sustainable job opportunities and skills. 

Jobs, Skills and Industry Participation

A key objective of the Regional Rail Project is to provide employment opportunities for people and businesses in regional NSW.

The Jobs, Skills and Industry Participation (JSIP) team, focuses on three key priority areas.

  • Regional jobs – valuing diversity
  • Developing regional skills
  • Opportunities for regional NSW businesses

Artist’s impressions of the new trains

Please note the following images are representative of the preliminary design and may change during detailed design activities.

Project status

In February 2019, NSW Government awarded a contract to Momentum Trains, an international consortium to deliver the Regional Rail Project.

The Regional Rail Project contract includes the design, build, and maintenance of the new Regional Rail fleet and also the design, build, maintenance and operation of the new purpose-built Mindyarra Maintenance Centre in Dubbo.

Design of the 29-train fleet and construction of the maintenance centre is underway.

NSW TrainLink will operate the new Regional Rail fleet.

Updating rail infrastructure for the new fleet

To accommodate the new Regional Rail fleet, some existing rail infrastructure will need to be modified at various locations across the rail network. 

Work may include:

  • modifications to infrastructure within the rail corridor, including platform access, car stopping markers and lighting

  • modifications to stabling yards, including provisions for power, water, decanting, cleaning and refuelling.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Regional Rail project budget

What is the Regional Rail project?

We are replacing the ageing regional rail fleet of XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains. A purpose-built maintenance centre, named Mindyarra, is being constructed in Dubbo to support the new fleet.

How much will the project cost?

The total budget for the project is $2.8 billion. This includes a capital cost of $1.26 billion for the new fleet, the Mindyarra Maintenance Centre, some minor network enabling works and project costs, as well as costs associated with maintenance services for 15 years.

Regional Rail project tender process

How was the successful applicant selected?

An Expression of Interest process was held in 2017 to shortlist tenderers,. Momentum Trains, Regional Futures and the Bombardier Consortium were then invited to participate in a Request for Proposal.
 

Bombardier Consortium withdrew from the process in 2018. Proposals were assessed against the following criteria: 

  • customer-focused outcomes
  • train solution
  • maintenance centre and asset management solution
  • jobs, skills and industry participation
  • commercial solution; financial structure and capacity and
  • price.

The NSW Government signed a contract with Momentum Trains in 2019.

Why is the fleet being manufactured overseas?

Transport for NSW undertook industry engagement and market sounding to look for suitable applicants from Australia and overseas to participate in an Expression of Interest, seeking applicants who could deliver the best possible customer experience as well as value for money.
 

Both shortlisted applicants proposed overseas fleet manufacture, which ensured the best combination of value for money, proven contemporary train design and faster delivery of new trains into service.
 

Based on industry benchmarking, supplier experience and previous train order costs, manufacturing the Regional Rail fleet overseas saves around 25 percent, which will be invested in other infrastructure and services.
 

Train completion work, including some of the interior fit-out, train testing and commissioning, will take place at the new Mindyarra Maintenance Centre in Dubbo and on the regional rail network.

What companies are involved in Momentum Trains?

  • Construcciones y Auxillar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) – based in Spain and Australia
  • UGL Rail Services – based in Australia
  • Pacific Partnerships – based in Sydney
  • CAF Investment Projects – based in Spain
  • DIF Infrastructure V Coöperatief – based in The Netherlands.

What does the contract cover?

Momentum Trains will:

  • finance the project
  • design build and maintain the new fleet
  • design, build, maintain and operate the Mindyarra Maintenance Centre in Dubbo.

The contract also covers upgrading, operating and maintaining the Sydenham Maintenance Centre to use as a metropolitan base for refuelling, provisioning, and corrective maintenance.

A copy of the contract can be found at:  
www.transport.nsw.gov.au/industry/contractsawarded.

 Regional Rail fleet features

How many trains will be delivered?

The new Regional Rail fleet consists of 117 new carriages forming 29 trains:  

  • 10 regional intercity trains of 3 carriages each will replace the current Endeavour fleet
  • 9 short regional trains of 3 carriages each will replace the current XPLORER services 
  • 10 long regional trains of 6 carriages each will replace the current XPT fleet.

What features will the new Regional Rail fleet have?

Some features of the new Regional Rail fleet include:

  • directional seating with seat pockets and tray tables
  • charging points for mobile devices at each seat
     
  • enclosed overhead luggage storage
  • digital screens and announcements.

The new long and short regional trains will have two travel classes:

  • economy-class with two-by-two reclinable seating
  • premium-class with two-by-one reclinable seating
     

The new long and short regional trains will have an open-style buffet car, bay seating areas, and toilets with baby changing facilities in every carriage.
 

Design of features such as door buttons, help points, light switches and overhead luggage storage is still in progress. Functionality, reliability, accessibility, and hygiene factors are all taken into consideration during the design process.

 

How will the new Regional Rail fleet be powered?

The new Regional Rail fleet will use bi-mode diesel-electric hybrid technology, a first in Australia. Bi-mode will allow the fleet to run on overhead power when operating on the electrified train network to reduce carbon emissions. 

For more information on Bi-mode technology on the new fleet please visit Bi-mode fact sheet (PDF, 313.1 KB).

How are we making the new fleet more accessible?

The new Regional Rail fleet is being designed and built to comply with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT) legislation.
 

All trains in the new fleet will have:

  • single deck carriages
  • wider doors than the current fleet
  • accessible help points
  • accessible toilets with raised tactile and braille signs
  • accessible spaces with foldable tray tables and handrail.  

Real-time, internal and external visual displays and audible announcements will help customers to keep track of their journey. Hearing augmentation in all passenger areas of the train will assist customers with hearing impairment. 
 

There is a gap between the train and the platform at some stations on the regional rail network, making it difficult for customers to board and alight the train. The new fleet will feature a retractable external step to bridge this gap  and improve access. A manual boarding ramp will also be deployed by staff to enable access for customers who can’t use the steps.
 

The colour schemes in the train are being designed to help those with vision impairment move around with ease.

What lighting improvements will be made to the new trains?

The new trains will have improved internal and external lighting, including dimmable corridor lighting for a more comfortable journey. 
 

Light switches on the new fleet are located on the ceiling above the seats. An accessible location for light switches in accessible spaces is still being finalised.

 

Will regional rail customers be consulted about the on-board features?

The process for designing the new Regional Rail fleet includes engagement activities with customers, NSW TrainLink staff, human factors specialists, people with disabilities or specific needs, and Transport for NSW’s Accessible Transport Advisory Committee.

The program of engagement around train design was carried out by Momentum Trains. Feedback from these engagements is being taken into consideration to refine the fleet design and make sure we deliver the best possible train fleet for our customers.

Will the new Regional Rail fleet have Wi-Fi?

The new Regional Rail fleet will be fully Wi-Fi-enabled. Wi-Fi service options for customers are currently in development.

Will the new Regional Rail fleet have luggage storage?

The new fleet will have overhead luggage storage and storage space at the end of each carriage for larger bags, as well as a checked luggage system for long and short regional train trips.
 

Overhead enclosed storage is being designed to safely carry small luggage and provide extra security for customers’ personal belongings. We are finalising the design of the overhead luggage storage to fit a standard sized carry-on bag.
 

The luggage racks of the new trains are being designed to prevent items falling when the train is in service and maximise storage.

Will the new Regional Rail fleet have bike racks?

The new regional intercity trains will have dedicated bike spaces.

The new long and short regional trains have been designed for bicycles to be stored in line with current NSW TrainLink procedures, but these methods will be reviewed before the new regional fleet is introduced. As part of this review process, concept testing is being carried out regarding the feasibility and viability of taking and storing bikes on-board without boxing.

How are we ensuring that the fleet meets Australian standards?

Transport for NSW is committed to the safety of our customers and staff. We will undertake vigorous testing and commissioning of the new fleet before it enters customer service. 
 

Analysis and testing is being carried out according to Australian and international standards, with the consideration of local track conditions, and is subject to an independent review process. 
 

Transport for NSW has a set of rolling stock reference standards, including Australian and International Standards, which Momentum Trains must comply with for the design, testing and delivery of the new Regional Rail fleet.

There are a set of TfNSW reference standards for rolling stock design, including Australian and International Standards, which Momentum Trains must comply with for design, testing and delivery of the new Regional Rail fleet.

How are we monitoring the fleet production?

The Regional Rail Project team is working closely with Momentum Trains, to monitor train production in Spain. We are reviewing and assessing all aspects of the fleet design, which is supported by an independent third-party review, and will carry out additional reviews at key stages of production.
 

Independent physical inspections are being carried out simultaneously with fleet manufacturing in Spain. These will continue during the production of all Regional Rail trains.
 

Testing of the new fleet will be carried out in Spain and in NSW. 

 Regional Rail fleet operation

Who will operate the new Regional Rail fleet?

Government-owned operator NSW TrainLink will continue to operate the Regional Rail fleet.

Will the new Regional Rail fleet be faster than the current fleet?

The new fleet will be capable of speeds of up to 160km/h. Actual speeds depend on other factors, including infrastructure, network speeds and other services using the rail corridor.
 

While some time savings may be possible through timetable changes, increasing train speed would require significant upgrades to train tracks, stations, and platforms. These upgrades are not part of the Regional Rail Project.

Regional development – Jobs, skills and industry participation

The Regional Rail Project is committed to delivering sustainable regional jobs, with a diverse workforce. This includes Aboriginal participation, women in non-traditional trades and people under 25 years old.

The project will provide opportunities for long term employment and skills development within the Central West. The development of transferable skills from one project phase to another, and onto other projects in the region, will support long term prospects for people living in regional NSW.

For more information about Jobs, Skills and Industry Participation, visit https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/jobs-skills-and-industry-participation

More information

For more information, please call 1800 684 490, or email projects@transport.nsw.gov.au.

For urgent enquires or complaints regarding construction activities, please call our 24-hour line on 1800 775 465

Businesses and suppliers interested in procurement opportunities available on the Regional Rail Project, please visit ICN to view project-related work packages or to submit an expression of interest.