EXCLUSIVE: Minister tours M'boro ahead of NGR train fix
FINAL touches to one of the New Generation Rollingstock trains will be made at Maryborough's Downer EDI factory today, ahead of major repairs to the troubled fleet this year.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey will be heading talks with workers and executives in Maryborough today as staff get a first look at one of the trains they will be working on.
The first of the trains arrived in Maryborough earlier this week for early repair works as part of the $335.7 million contract.
Downer workers will familiarise themselves with the layout and internal fittings on the six-car train as the other 74 are prepared for transport to the Heritage City's factory.
As part of the contract, the trains will be fitted with larger toilets and new accessibility features for people with disabilities.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the State Government made "no apologies" for saying the works would be carried out locally.
"The rectification work will not only make our new trains accessible and better for everyone, particularly people with disabilities and mobility issues, but this contract will support regional manufacturing and an estimated 100 local jobs too," Mr Saunders said.
"This $335.7 million program of works for the NGR trains has also been supported by an $80 million contract recently awarded to Downer to overhaul ten IMU100 three-carriage trains and 12 three-carries SMU200 series trains."
Work is due to start on the first NGR train modification later this year before all the trains are progressively upgraded by early 2024.
Mr Bailey said the first train would be ready for service in 2020.
"Upon completion, the NGR trains will be the some of the most accessible in the country, and that will be thanks to the skill and craftsmanship of the crews here at Downer EDI," Mr Bailey said.
As part of the works, toilet modules that are 10 per cent larger than the previous design will be installed in the middle carriages across the fleet.
The priority seating will also be doubled from 24 to 48 seats per six car train.