Passenger Rail, Rail Supply, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design

Bombardier’s Brown sees ‘huge opportunities’ in Australia

Bombardier Transportation Australia Managing Director Paul Brown says the company’s service, maintenance and refurbishment capabilities will pay dividends as governments take a longer-term view of rollingstock procurement.

As a key global focus Bombardier Transportation is shifting fleet owners’ perception away from a rollingstock investment beginning and ending at the acquisition stage.

Ahead of AusRAIL 2018, Brown spoke energetically with Rail Express about Bombardier’s recent success as a long-term services business in “more forward-looking markets,” like Australia and the UK.

“It’s not just about the capital cost of the train. We need to take a view of the whole lifecycle cost of the project,” Brown says.

“The capabilities we bring to operators helps solve their problems in that more modern thinking of improving reliability, improving lifecycle costs, and helping them be a lot more efficient and effective in the overall running of their fleet.

“If you think about the 30 or 40 years of the project, then you can get a much better return on your investment than a government paying huge amounts of capital upfront for a project. We compete strongly on overall ‘value for money’.”

Brown says this concept was a key part of many of his discussions during his first 30 days in charge in Australia, after he was made managing director in August.

Bombardier Transportation President Laurent Troger also spoke highly of the Australian market in an interview with Rail Express in Berlin in September.

“Australia has quite a fantastic momentum,” Troger said. “Urbanisation in Australia is growing very fast. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth; these are very big localisations. The demand is going to be important.

“Politicians have realised the mobility equation cannot be solved by cars, and by new roads. There is a need for an alternative solution, and they have realised that rail and trains are a very good alternative as a mobility solution.”

In his exclusive interview with Rail Express, Paul Brown also discusses Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) project.

Prior to being promoted to Managing Director, Brown was the Project Director for NGR. Brown says the NGR fleet is a fantastic set of trains, regardless of illinformed and often-cynical media coverage.

“Despite the noise, the NGRs are delivering – and will continue to deliver – excellent services around the South East Queensland rail network. They’ve been absolutely fantastic,” he asserts.

“Our customers are highly delighted with the trains. The feedback is incredibly positive, and we’re getting on with delivering new generation, highly reliable trains – more reliable than we expected it to be at this stage in fact – and so it’s been really positive.

“That’s what we’ve always said. If you strip away the noise, and the politics around NGR, you’ve actually got a very successful project.”

For our full interviews with Paul Brown and Laurent Troger look out for our Rail Express AusRAIL Edition, which will be available in print and digital format on Tuesday, November 27.

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