Downer EDI’s rail manufacturing plant at Maryborough will receive $10 million from the Queensland Government to upgrade its infrastructure and to support continued work on contracts for Queensland Rail at the site.
The upgrade is to include improvements to existing facilities to better accommodate six-car trains as well as safeguarding the long-term continuation of manufacturing at the Downer plant.
Upgrades to the overhead power lines will support six-car static testing, while a new section of track will be installed to support weighing, levelling and water egress testing. A new run-around road and an additional spur will also be installed to ease shunting restrictions and improve stabling capacity
State transport minister Mark Bailey indicated that some of the infrastructure upgrades would support rectification work on New Generation Rollingstock trains to they comply with disability standards. The government is currently partnering with disability advocacy groups in developing the designs.
“It is important that we get this design work right, working alongside disability advocates,” Bailey said.
“This investment will mean the rail plant at Maryborough will be set up for the future, and ready to start work on accessibility upgrades for the six car NGR trains, reducing the need for unnecessary work on the rollingstock.”
A series of projects worth approximately $70 million have recently got underway at the site, including $23.5 million mechanical overhaul of its L-Series fleet which carry services to Mount Isa, Spirit of the Outback services that connect through to Longreach, and Westlander train services which travel to Charleville.
A $21 million project was also awarded to Downer in March to overhaul 15 diesel-electric locomotives, which carry Kuranda Scenic Railway, Inlander, Spirit of the Outback and Westlander services.
“Additionally, the awarding of a $14.6 million contract in March to overhaul 18 bogie sets on Queensland Rail’s IMU 160/260 Citytrain fleet will build upon $7.8 million in bogie overhaul works for the IMU 120/SMU200 series, which has been underway since this contract was awarded in 2017,” Bailey said.
“The trains undergoing the bogie overhauls were originally built here in Maryborough by Downer, so it’s exciting to see their servicing and maintenance work will be carried out by them too.”
Other works underway at Maryborough include an overhaul of 32 air conditioning units, the servicing of 33 transformers for train power supply on the South East Queensland network, and a upgrade to the converter cooling on IMU160/260 series.
Labor MP for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the contracts were ensuring rail manufacturing works remained in the state and continued to support local jobs.
“These projects are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Buy Queensland policy, which highlights the importance of government contracts going to local businesses and supporting local communities,” he said.
“Downer EDI is an outstanding example of the direct benefits – a steady stream of local work for regional Queenslanders, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to supporting key industries in regional economies.”