Australia’s Transport for New South Wales (NSW) has awarded a A$131m ($96m) contract to UGL Unipart Rail Services to provide technology upgrades for the Tangara passenger rail fleet.

UGL Unipart Rail was formed by UGL and Unipart Rail to deliver the Sydney Trains Level 3 maintenance contract, which includes providing heavy maintenance and supply chain services for Sydney’s metropolitan fleet of 1,050 vehicles.

UGL holds a 70% shareholding in the joint venture company.

As part of the deal, UGL Unipart Rail will modernise Sydney Trains’ fleet of 446 Tangara suburban electric multiple-unit cars by July 2018.

"This contract further demonstrates the capability of UGL Unipart Rail to add value to the Sydney fleet."

The Tangara passenger railcars were designed and built by UGL on the Broadmeadow site and are currently maintained by UGL Unipart Rail.

UGL CEO Ross Taylor said: "UGL has worked closely with the NSW government for over 20 years to enhance Sydney’s passenger network.

"We have undertaken strategic technology projects such the Digital Train Radio Systems, completed a refurbishment of the Tangara fleet in 2014 under budget and ahead of schedule and have an ongoing role in the maintenance of rolling stock.

"This contract further demonstrates the capability of UGL Unipart Rail to add value to the Sydney fleet and we look forward to working with our customer to achieve their goals in enhancing the transportation system for Sydney commuters."

The aim of the technology upgrade is to extend the life of the existing Tangara fleet and aligns them with the latest generation of trains on the Sydney network.

Scope of work under the contract will include management, design, supply, integration, testing and commissioning of the upgrade to train operation systems, door systems and other customer experience enhancements.

The joint venture will partner with Mitsubishi Electric, which will be responsible for the train operation system, associated design, and other technology or traction-related systems.