In good news for commuters, the State Government is replacing the ageing fleet of trains that have been servicing Goulburn and surrounds for the last 40 years.
The government has begun a procurement process for a new type of train to replace the XPT, Xplorer and Endeavour-class sets. Expressions of Interest for the design, construction and maintenance of the new fleet will occur soon.
If it goes to plan, commuters could be travelling on the new trains in the early 2020’s.
Southern Tablelands Rail Users Group (STRUG) groups has welcomed the upgrade, but hoped Tilt-Trains could still be part of the equation and also that they dual-power carriages were being considered.
“I am pleased that Endeavour, XPT and Xplorers are all in included in the replacement,” Mr Price said.
“The Endeavours alone have done 4 million km and are worn out.”
Mr Price warned that track modifications as a result of acquiring new trains could be as costly as replacing the trains.
“With the Intercity trains, a shell carriage was built overseas and shipped over, but they needed to make expensive modifications to the track to extend station length and adjust the height of the overhead power supply,” he said.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said passenger trains have long provided links between regions and the cities.
“Whether it is to do business, get specialist medical treatment, or to visit far-away loved ones, train travel has always played a critical role in our country communities,” Ms Goward said.
“The older trains are nearing the end of their days, I am well aware of their unreliability.
“I am thrilled to be able to announce the start of the replacement process – it is something my electorate and I have been fighting for over the past few years.
“Those of us who are old enough remember the excitement that came with the introduction of the XPTs, which really transformed regional train travel. A decade later, we added Endeavours and EXPLORERs, giving us an unrivalled country train network.
“Now, 40 years later, we have the opportunity to deliver train sets that will surpass all of those. We are delivering the trains of the 21st Century that are more comfortable, more accessible and packed with more features.”
Under the Expression of Interest and subsequent tender process, the NSW Government will seek to deliver innovation, increased customer comfort, and greater energy efficiency for regional customers. A thorough tender evaluation process will be conducted next year, ahead of the contract being awarded in early 2019.
The new trains will be operated by NSW TrainLink, the NSW Government owned regional rail and coach service provider.