New trains for Sydney’s rail work will be built in China under a $1.7 billion contract.
Engineering group Downer EDI Ltd announced today that it had been awarded the Sydney Growth Trains contract by Transport for New South Wales.
Downer shares were up 2.2% to $5.79 in early trade.
The contract includes 24 double-deck trains of eight cars each, with options for another 45, and maintenance for 25 years.
Downer EDI was also responsible for the troubled $3.6 billion Waratah trains project, which arrived 18 months behind schedule in 2011, as well as over budget. It cost the company dearly, and the delays were partly blamed on the Chinese contractor.
The 626 Waratah carriages, which now make up about half of the Sydney’s rolling stock, were delivered by Downer and Hitachi for Reliance Rail. The 2006 deal was the largest single train procurement in Australian history. The last carriage was delivered in June 2014.
The new trains will be built by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles under a sub-contract arrangement with Downer.
The project is part of plans by the NSW government to spend $41.5 billion on transport capital works over the next four years.
Downer CEO Grant Fenn says this latest contract will build on the success of the Waratah trains.
“The Waratah trains have achieved exceptional availability and reliability — in fact they are the best performing train in the world,” he says.
“Importantly, they are also very popular with commuters and train drivers.”
The new trains will have 90% in common with the Waratah design. All major sub-systems are the same, including traction, brakes, doors, train information systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
The Sydney rail network carries more than 1 million passengers each business day.