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UGL Unipart wins Tangara upgrade deal

Sydney Train

The joint venture of engineer UGL and logistics consultant Unipart has announced a $131 million deal to upgrade Transport for NSW’s Tangara fleet, and will include Mitsubishi in the works.

Sydney’s Tangara electric multiple units (EMUs) were manufactured by UGL predecessor Goninan, under a 450 carriage contract awarded in 1986. Built at Goninan’s Broadmeadow site and delivered between 1988 and 1995, the Tangaras represent Sydney’s third generation of passenger rolling stock.

With the first generation (the ‘red rattlers’) long gone, and the majority of the second generation phased out, the Tangaras are now among the oldest EMUs on the Sydney Trains network.


Tangara details. Graphic: Sydney Trains
Tangara details. Graphic: Sydney Trains


UGL Unipart Rail Services is a 70/30 joint venture, which holds the Sydney Trains Level 3 maintenance contract, meaning it provides heavy maintenance and supply chain services to 1,050 passenger cars in the metropolitan fleet.

The new $131 million contract, awarded to the joint venture last week, means UGL Unipart Rail will carry out a technology upgrade of the 446 Tangara railcars still in service.

UGL said the technology upgrade “extends the life of the existing Tangara fleet and aligns the railcars with the latest generation of trains on the Sydney network”.

The scope of works includes management, design, supply, integration, testing and commissioning of the upgrade to train operation systems, door systems and other customer experience enhancements.

Mitsubishi Electric will be responsible for the train operation system upgrade, along with associated design and other technology or traction related systems, UGL explained.

UGL boss Ross Taylor said the contract was the result of a close, 20-year working relationship between UGL and the NSW government.

“We have undertaken strategic technology projects such as the Digital Train Radio Systems, completed a refurbishment of the Tangara fleet in 2014 under budget and ahead of schedule and have an ongoing role in the maintenance of rolling stock,” Taylor detailed.

“This contract further demonstrates the capability of UGL Unipart Rail to add value to the Sydney fleet and we look forward to working with our customer to achieve their goals in enhancing the transportation system for Sydney commuters.”


  1. Do you know whether the upgrade will make the Tangaras quieter (i.e. lower noise emissions externally)? They seem much much noisier than the newer trains.

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