AUSTRALIA: The Queensland government has called tenders for the supply of 65 electric multiple-units to expand Brisbane’s suburban fleet and operate the Cross River Rail link which is now under construction for opening in 2025.

Bids are due by early 2022, with the winning bidder expected to be announced in mid-year, state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk explained, adding that the order would form the major part of an A$7·1bn investment in the rail sector.

The modified NGR trains are expected to re-enter service from 2020 to 2024.

The government had previously committed to ordering 20 six-car EMUs to operate the new line, with an option for a further 45. However, Minister for Transport & Main Roads Mark Bailey explained on October 27 that the recent selection of Brisbane as host city for the 2032 Olympic & Paralympic Games meant that all 65 would be required to expand services across the entire southeast Queensland network.

‘We’re investing in manufacturing to create jobs for Queenslanders’, Bailey added. ‘This announcement bolsters our government’s commitment to the industry. I look forward to seeing Queensland trains on track, built by Queenslanders for Queenslanders.’


The EMUs are expected to be assembled in Maryborough, where the Walkers plant now owned by Downer EDI built earlier generations of suburban and regional EMUs for southeast Queensland. ‘I said that we would restore Maryborough to being able to be the manufacturing hub of train making in Queensland’, Palaszczuk told local media. ‘Not only will it be the hub, this is going to be the largest investment in train manufacturing that Queensland has ever seen.’ She suggested that the order could create up to 800 new jobs in the town.

On October 15 Palaszczuk revealed that the government was planning to reactivate the disused Queensland Rail workshops in Rockhampton, supporting jobs and economic growth in the Central Queensland region. Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke suggested that the revitalised workshop could play ‘pivotal role in the supply chain’, attracting other suppliers to set up in the area.


QR already has a small stabling facility at Kippa Ring, but a new maintenance depot is now planned for the Moreton Bay region.

Work has already started on a reconfiguration of QR’s Mayne yard at Bowen Hills to accommodate the Cross-River Rail EMUs. However, additional servicing facilities will be needed to support the larger fleet. The A$7·1bn package allocates funding for the construction of new maintenance depots in the Moreton Bay region to the north of the Brisbane region and Gold Coast to the south.