Downer is preferred bidder for a contract to supply 65 six-car trains as part of the Queensland Train Manufacturing Programme.

AUSTRALIA: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the selection of Downer as preferred bidder for a contract to supply 65 six-car trains for use in the southeast of the state as part of the Queensland Train Manufacturing Programme.

The 1 067 mm gauge trains are to be delivered from 2026, supporting Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project and the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The other shortlisted bidders were CAF and Alstom.

‘The proposal put forward by Downer offered strong value for money, leading-edge accessibility and a modern design, whilst delivering maximum benefit to the region’, said Transport & Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey on February 6. ‘We’ve also listened to Queensland Rail customers, and the trains will have bike racks and USB mobile phone charging stations to make travelling a breeze for commuters.’

The contract is to be finalised in the coming months. It will include 15 years of maintenance, which could be extended to 35 years.

‘With the addition of the new Queensland fleet, Downer will manage the largest rolling stock fleets in each state on Australia’s eastern seaboard’, said the supplier’s CEO Grant Fenn.

Queensland-made trains


The A$7·1bn Queensland Train Manufacturing Programme includes construction of a state-owned factory at Torbanlea, 25 km north of Maryborough, where the trains will be produced, as well as a maintenance and stabling facility in Ormeau. It also covers ongoing operation and maintenance of the fleet.

The government said the programme would support 800 construction and manufacturing jobs over 10 years and provide young people with routes into skilled roles.

‘The pandemic reminded us just how important it is for our state to be able to stand on its own two feet when global supply chains are affected by external events’, said Minister for Trade & Investment Cameron Dick. ‘Building these trains here will utilise the existing skills base that was first established in Maryborough when Walkers opened in 1867. But it will also sustain a new generation of workers with the highly specialised skills needed for an operation like this.’

The national government’s Assistant Manufacturing Minister Tim Ayres said the ‘we want Australia to be a smart nation that makes high-value products for Australia, our region and the world. We want to see more trains and rolling stock manufactured right here, in our cities and outer suburbs.’