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A “rare” contract for the design and supply of an entire regional train fleet for NSW is expected to attract strong interest from the market.
The NSW government was tipping on Monday both domestic and international companies would take a look at what’s up for grabs.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro came to Dubbo on Monday to announce the replacement of the state’s XPTs, Xplorers and Endeavours.
He also announced the construction of a brand new rail maintenance facility in regional NSW, with Dubbo identified as the preferred location.
The government flagged the two aspects of the project as it foreshadowed an expression of interest would soon be issued.
Mr Barilaro anticipated strong interest from the market.
He said they were talking 60 XPT cars, another “50-odd” Xplorer and Endeavour cars, as well as locomotives.
“This is probably going to be one of the largest procurements of trains in Australia,” he said.
“I expect a lot of international and domestic interest.
“Possibly a number of joint ventures coming together because this is a significant investment worth a lot of money and rare when it comes to governments investing in rail and today we’re doing that.
“Regional NSW is going to lead the way.”
The project will include the use of private financing to facilitate the delivery of the new trains and maintenance facility.
Dubbo MP Troy Grant, who was with Mr Barilaro at the announcement, sought to leave no one unsure about why the project would attract investment.
“Because it’s a bloody good investment, is the simple answer,” he said.
“And the NSW government now has the capability and a track record of being good to do business with.”
The Dubbo MP said with the Coalition in power the state had the best economy in Australia and was one of the top 20 in the world.
“We’re a good place to do business with, and the most proud thing I am is people want to do business in country and regional NSW now,” Mr Grant said.
He said they were leading the way in jobs creation.
“That’s why those private investors will back us, invest with us and partner with us and that’s very exciting for every one of your futures,” he said.
Under the expression of interest and subsequent tender process, the government will seek to deliver innovation, increased customer comfort, and greater energy efficiency for regional customers.
A thorough tender evaluation process will be conducted next year, ahead of the contract being awarded in early 2019.