Australia’s Queensland Government has opened a A$190m ($136m) new-generation rolling stock (NGR) maintenance centre in Wulkuraka, Ipswich.
South East Queensland’s fleet of new generation trains will be serviced, repaired and maintained at the new rail maintenance centre.
The new facility is expected to support more than 150 full-time local jobs.
The A$4.4bn NGR project is being delivered under an public-private partnership (PPP) contract with the Qtectic consortium, comprised Bombardier, John Laing, Itochu and Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments.
The Bombardier-led consortium will be responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the 75 six-car, electric trains, procure and install training simulators for train crew.
Queensland minister for transport Stirling Hinchliffe said: "This state-of-the-art maintenance centre will support jobs into the future and is a critical facility to support the rollout of the 75 new six-car commuter trains for South East Queensland’s passenger rail network.
"The first train will arrive at Wulkuraka in the coming weeks and will undergo extensive testing to ensure it meets Queensland Rail’s operational and safety standards and is ready for passenger service."
It is reported that the new fleet of trains will be progressively rolled-out to replace the older trains.
Commuters will be able to board the first train when it begins services in the second half of this year on the South East Queensland passenger rail network.
The new maintenance centre consists of five buildings and ten stabling and maintenance tracks, including a dedicated wheel lathe, lifting jacks, cleaning and decanting facilities and an automated visual inspection system.
Hinchliffe further noted: "The automated visual inspection system was a first for Queensland and would automatically laser-scan the NGR trains as they returned to the maintenance centre from servicing.
"This system will provide preliminary data about the condition of the braking system, wheel profile, bearing temperature, the condition of roof-mounted pantographs and any exterior faults including graffiti.
During the construction phase, around 215 people have been employed and the new NGR maintenance centre is expected to create more than 150 full-time local jobs to service the trains over the next 30 years.