NSW flags net-zero emissions rail plan

By Shannon Jenkins

Sunday June 13, 2021

Andrew Constance
Andrew Constance. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance has revealed plans for the state’s rail network to slash emissions to net-zero by 2025.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Constance said the state government was exploring its options to deliver a greener rail network.

While the plans have not yet been finalised, Constance said NSW was also looking to update some of its smaller ferries with electric engines over the coming years, as part of his vision for ‘the entire transport fleet to be electric’. However, the batteries needed to run larger ferries would cause the boats to sink, he said.

Under its net-zero plan, released last year, the state government has committed to roll out a fleet of hybrid diesel-electric passenger trains from 2023 for regional lines and replace Sydney’s bus fleet with electric buses.

Earlier this week Constance announced that the first 60 of the state’s locally manufactured electric buses would roll out in Sydney this year. 

“We are another step closer to creating a greener, cleaner and healthier future for the people of NSW, thanks to Custom Denning manufacturing electric buses at its factory in St Marys,” he said on Wednesday.

“Custom’s Element electric bus has undergone a thorough assessment and I am excited to see it now included on a list of electric buses available to Transport for NSW’s bus operators. Busways has already placed an order for six new electric buses from Custom, and I look forward to many more local bus companies taking up the opportunity to support local manufacturing and local jobs.”

Custom Bus group managing director Scott Dunn said that while 12 people were currently working on the electric bus project, the organisation had the capacity to build around 400 buses each year.

Electric buses are already operating in Sydney’s inner west and south west, and in the Hornsby and Sutherland regions. 

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