AUSTRALIA: The government of Queensland has awarded Bombardier Transportation a A$361m contract to undertake modifications to improve the accessibility of the 75 electric multiple-units which are being introduced to the southeast Queensland rail network under the New Generation Rollingstock programme. The modified trains are expected to re-enter service from 2020 to 2024.

Bombardier Transportation is the leader of the Qtectic consortium with John Laing, Itochu and Aberdeen Standard Investments which was awarded the A$4·4bn PPP contract for the supply and maintenance of the NGR fleet in January 2014. The EMUs are being assembled at Bombardier’s Savli plant in India, and the first entered service in December 2017.

Disability groups had raised concerns about the design of the new trains, and a review found they did not fully meet legal or functional requirements; a subsequent inquiry found that the prolonged procurement process with uncertain or contradictory specifications had led to non-compliant trains being ordered.

The contract signed on March 29 covers changes needed to bring the fleet into line with the revised design guidelines. This includes upgrading the toilet module to increase the size by 10% and adding a second toilet module per train.

Bombardier will undertake the work n conjunction with Downer EDI, which has been allocated A$10m of state government funding for infrastructure improvements at its Maryborough facility· This will enable multiple NGR trains to be worked on simultaneously.

‘This order is an important request from our customer, and we will continue to work closely with them to deliver the NGR project in line with the enhanced specifications set out by the Queensland government’, said Paul Brown, Bombardier Transportation’s Project Director for the NGR project.