REVEALED: $330M M’boro train contract ahead of schedule
AS THE last B-series train built in Maryborough rolls into Perth, the city's next big rail contract is set to arrive ahead of schedule.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders says Maryborough's Downer factory's next major project, a $330 million contract to modify 75 New Generation Rollingstock trains, will start earlier than planned, with work to get going in October.
The 15-year journey that saw trains manufactured at Maryborough's Downer factory came to an end on Monday as the last B-series train built as part of a joint venture with Bombadier arrived in Perth.
Looking forward, Mr Saunders said the $330 million State Government contract to modify NGR trains would be just the start for one of Maryborough's biggest employers.
"We've got a lot of things happening for Downer," he said.
"The NGR trains are coming ahead of time, actually starting earlier, and there are other contracts on the horizon."
In January an NGR train arrived in Maryborough to give staff a first look at the trains they would be working on.
The six-car trains will be fitted with larger toilets and new accessibility features for people with disabilities.
The contract will mean work for Maryborough, with Mr Saunders saying it would support regional manufacturing and an estimated 100 local jobs.
"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 10 IMU100 three-carriage trains and 12 three-carries SMU200 series trains too," he said.
Work is due to start on the first NGR train modification later this year before all the trains are progressively upgraded by early 2024.
To mark the occasion of the final B-series train arriving in Perth, Bombardier staff and Western Australian government representatives held an acceptance ceremony.
Mr Saunders said it was a reminder that the nation's finest trains were built in Maryborough.
"I've always said they are the best trains in Australia, if not the world," he said.
The final train arrived at the Nowergup Rail Depot this week, with the acceptance ceremony attended by West Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Elwyn Gearon, the general manager of Transperth Train Operations.
Bombardier's president of the South East Asia and Australia region Wendy McMillan said completing the delivery of the trains was a great achievement.
"We are very proud to complete the delivery of the B-Series EMU train fleet to the full satisfaction of the Public Transport Authority and providing a comfortable and reliable transport solution for over 60 million commuters every year," Ms McMillan said.