Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has shortlisted four consortia to tender for the supply and maintenance of a 65 new eight-car intercity train fleet.
The bidders shortlisted to go through to the next stage of tendering are Alstom Transport Australia, Downer-CNRCRC Consortium, comprising Downer EDI and CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles, Stadler Bussnang, and a consortium of UGL Rail Services, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and CSR Corporation.
The NSW government is investing A$2.8bn ($2.1bn) for these next-generation intercity train fleet, which will be used for commuters travelling from the South Coast, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Newcastle.
NSW minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance said: "Last year, the NSW government called for expressions of interest to deliver and maintain the next generation intercity trains and we’ve been working with interested organisations over the last few months to better understand what they have to offer.
"We first met with prospective train manufacturers at an industry briefing in May last year, where we saw a lot of enthusiasm from experienced organisations, both from Australia and overseas, to be involved in this significant project."
Expected to be awarded in 2016, the contract includes the supply and maintenance of 520 new carriages configured specifically for the NSW rail network and offer longer-distance train customers improved comfort and reliability.
Scope of work under the contract also includes maintenance of the new fleet and fit-out and operation of a maintenance facility.
The new fleet will come into service progressively, with the first trains delivered by 2019 and the rest of the fleet being delivered through to 2024.
The next-generation intercity train fleet is expected to be progressively rolled out from 2019 to 2024.
Once the new fleet is introduced, the V-Set intercity trains will be retired while the Oscar trains will be redeployed onto Sydney Trains’ suburban network, which travel to the South Coast, Central Coast and Newcastle.
Constance further noted: "The new fleet will deliver unprecedented levels of comfort, convenience and reliability for our intercity customers, and consultation will be a key part of the design phase to make sure we understand what’s important to our customers.
"As part of their tender, we will ask the four consortia to consider different options for seating configurations, bike storage, luggage racks and the possibility of Wi-Fi and a premium carriage for customers."
Image: Following delivery in 2019, the new eight-car intercity trains will replace the V-Set intercity trains. Photo: courtesy of NSW government.