First NGR train rolls into Maryborough for upgrade
THE first of 75 New Generation Rollingstock trains has arrived in Maryborough.
The Chronicle can exclusively reveal the train rolled into the Heritage City about 9.30am yesterday, briefly stopping on Kent St before being taken into the Downer factory where upgrades be completed.
It’s a sight that will be a regular occurrence over the coming months and years as more trains arrive.
The $335 million rectification project was awarded to the Maryborough factory after the trains were found to be non-compliant with disability access laws.
The $4.4 billion project was manufactured in India by a consortium led by Bombardier with a designed approved by the LNP Government in 2013.
But the NGR trains failed disability access tests, including having space for wheelchairs to move into the aisle.
It will now be the task of the Downer factory to rectify those issues, including installing a second toilet on all of the trains and increasing the size of the toilets by 10 per cent.
It will take until 2024 for all the trains to be disability compliant.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, who fought to bring the contract to the region, said it was a red-letter day for the city.
“This is a really big day,” he said.
Mr Saunders said the project would mean knew jobs, with Downer looking for additional staff to complete the project.
“It will keep them working well into the future,” he said.
“The future of Maryborough is very bright, we are heading back to the days of industrial strength.”
With the Rheinmetall munitions factory on the horizon for the city, Mr Saunders said other manufacturing plants were also in discussions to set up in the region.
Mr Saunders said he was pleased to be working alongside Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour, who was also on hand to see the first train arrive yesterday.