Accessibility key for $1 billion Queensland train building program

By Melissa Coade

Thursday June 17, 2021

The Rollingstock Expansion Program will deliver more accessible trains. (Adobe/David Bostock)

The Rollingstock Expansion Program (REP) will deliver more accessible trains to lift the social and economic participation of all.

Queensland’s $1 billion REP infrastructure program has recognised the importance of accessibility on public transport with Kevin Cocks, a former anti-discrimination commissioner, appointed to its EOI panel.

Cocks currently serves as the executive general manager at the Accessibility Transport Network for Queensland’s transport and main roads department. In a statement to provide updates on key developments for the REP pipeline, Cocks underscored the benefits of a train network which was committed to accessibility.

“By building accessible trains, we are creating opportunities for people to contribute to society through social and economic participation,” Cocks said.

The REP EOI evaluation panel has strict probity requirements that will remain in place until 2022, when a major contract for building 20 six-car trains has been awarded.

The panel was chaired by the department and included members from TMR, Queensland Rail, Queensland Treasury, the Department of Regional Development and Manufacturing and Water. An independent panel member and a probity specialist were also involved in the process.

The government announced on Wednesday that the panel had chosen a shortlist of three manufacturers to undertake the train-building work. Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail are in the running to locally build the first 20 trains.

Minister for transport and roads, Mark Bailey, also suggested the possibility of an additional 45 trains being built in future. 

“We made a $600 million election commitment for 20 new six-car trains to be manufactured in Queensland, and we are now a step closer to delivering,” Bailey said. 

“We’ve also got $1 million for a business case to build replacement carriages for the iconic Westlander, Inlander and Spirit of the Outback long-distance services right here in Queensland.”

Bruce Saunders, assistant minister for train manufacturing, said this was a ‘new era of rail manufacturing in Queensland’.

“We’re ensuring the manufacturing and maintenance of trains is being done by Queenslanders to support jobs in Maryborough and other regional centres,” Saunders said.


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