AUSTRALIA: On July 9 New South Wales Minister for Transport & Infrastructure Andrew Constance announced the shortlist for a contract to supply and maintain a fleet of around 65 electric multiple-units totalling 520 cars for used on NSW TrainLink Intercity services:
- Alstom Transport Australia;
- Downer-CNRCRC Consortium (Downer EDI Rail and CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles);
- Stadler Bussnang;
- UGL/MEA/CSR Consortium (UGL Rail Services, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and CSR Corp).
In October 2014 the government had announced that there had been seven expressions of interest in the contract, which has an estimated value of A$2·8bn. Since then it has ‘been working with interested organisations over the last few months to better understand what they have to offer’, said Constance, who was ‘confident the scale of this project combined with the level of participation in market sounding, industry briefings and the expression of interest process will translate into strong tender responses from these high quality firms.’
The new fleet would ‘deliver unprecedented levels of comfort, convenience and reliability’, and consultation ‘will be a key part of the design phase to make sure we understand what’s important to our customers.’ Bidders will be asked to consider options for seating configurations, bicycle storage, luggage racks, wi-fi and a ‘Premium’ coach.
The government expects to award the contract in 2016, with deliveries running from 2019 to 2024. The EMUs would be used on services between Sydney and the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra, with the existing V-Set fleet to be withdrawn and the Oscar units to be redeployed on Sydney suburban services.