An NGR train has arrived in Maryborough to give Downer EDI staff a first look at the trains they will be working on as part of a $335 million rectification contract.
Staff will familiarise themselves with the layout and internal fittings on the six-car trains ahead of a modification project that will ensure 75 NGR trains are fitted with larger toilets and new accessibility features for people with disabilities.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Palaszczuk Government had delivered on its jobs commitment for Maryborough and the Wide Bay region’s economy would reap the benefits of that commitment over the next few years.
“We always said these works would be carried out locally and made no apologies for that,” Mr Saunders said.
“The rectification work will not only make our new trains accessible and better for everyone, particularly people with disabilities and mobility issues, but this contract will support regional manufacturing and an estimated 100 local jobs too.
“This $335.7 million program of works for the NGR trains has also been supported by an $80 million contract recently awarded to Downer to overhaul ten IMU100 three-carriage trains and 12 three-carries SMU200 series trains too.
“Those works will also be done 100 per cent locally and are further proof that the Palaszczuk Government recognises our region’s important contribution to Queensland’s economy and its role in the state’s rail history.”
Mr Saunders said all NGR rectification work would be done at Downer EDI Maryborough.
Work is due to start on the first NGR train modification later this year before all the trains are progressively upgraded by early 2024.
Visiting Maryborough today, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he was pleased the people of Maryborough had certainty around the government’s rail jobs commitment following the Forde Inquiry into how Queensland’s NGR trains were designed and ordered.
“This is not my first visit to Maryborough and each time I’ve been impressed with both the facilities here and the enthusiasm of the workers. I’ve seen that pride in their workmanship again today,” Mr Bailey said.
“Upon completion, the NGR trains will be the some of the most accessible in the country, and that will be thanks to the skill and craftsmanship of the crews here at Downer EDI.
“We expect the first NGR train to be upgraded to meet all operational and functional requirements to go back into customer service in 2020.”
Downer CEO Michael Miller said Dower was delighted to be working alongside the Queensland Government to improve disability access on the QNGR fleet.
“Maryborough has a long and proud tradition of building trains for Queensland and this experience will be critical in delivering these modification works for the Queensland Government,” he said.
“The program will also provide the opportunity for Downer to offer long-term sustainable employment opportunities for regional Queensland.”
Mr Miller said Downer’s Maryborough workshop will undergo a $10 million upgrade to enable multiple trains to be modified simultaneously.
“The initial planning and design works for this infrastructure upgrade are underway with construction works due to begin in April of this year.”
The NGR modifications will include:
- installing larger toilet modules (10 per cent larger than the previous design) in the middle carriages across the entire fleet to allow passengers who use mobility devices to access the toilet from both accessible carriages
- doubling the number of priority seating from 24 to 48 seats per six car train
- revised seating layouts that make access easier for passengers using a mobility device, and further functionality improvements to internal fittings and carriage features.
For more details on the NGR accessibility upgrades go to www.tmr.qld.gov.au/ngr.