The government of New South Wales, a state in the south-east of Australia, has signed a contract with Momentum Trains for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of a new regional rail fleet, along with a new purpose-built maintenance facility in Dubbo.
Momentum Trains is a consortium comprised of CIMIC Group companies Pacific Partnerships, UGL and CPB Contractors, as well as Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and independent fund manager DIF.
Pacific Partnerships, DIF and CAF's Investment Projects subsidiary will provide equity for the AUD1.26 billion (US$892.8 million) project.
The fleet of 117 rail cars will be manufactured by CAF and maintained by UGL. They will form 10 regional intercity trains, 9 short regional trains and 10 long regional trains, and replace the existing XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains, some of which are close to 36 years old and nearing the end of their lifespan.
Some of the new features will include more comfortable, reversible seating, window blinds, charging points for electronic devices and overhead luggage storage similar to what is available on airlines.
CPB Contractors will design, construct and commission the maintenance facility at Dubbo, which will be where the final fit out and commissioning of the trains will take place. UGL will maintain the facility.
CIMIC Group has projected that the project will generate revenue of approximately AUD725 million (US$513.7 million) to the group over the construction and initial 15-year maintenance term.
The project is expected to commence in early 2019, with the first trains to enter service progressively from 2023.