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10 July 2023
Downer Group has inked a $4.6 billion contract with the State Government for designing and producing 65 passenger trains as part of the $7.1 billion Queensland Train Manufacturing Program. This project is expected to generate 800 construction and manufacturing jobs.
The manufacturing will occur at a dedicated state-owned facility in Torbanlea, with the first train set to roll out in 2026, and the full fleet planned to be operational by 2032. These new trains will come equipped with features enhancing accessibility for disabled individuals, including Train Boarding Bridges, Electronic Levelling Controls, and phone charging stations.
The contract is the outcome of negotiations that started when Downer was chosen as the favoured supplier in early 2023. The construction of the manufacturing site in Torbanlea and a new rail maintenance facility in Ormeau is slated to commence by the end of the year.
The Train Manufacturing initiative is a pivotal component of Queensland’s Big Build, an unprecedented $89 billion investment by the State Government in infrastructure over the next four years. This project is projected to support 58,000 jobs in the following two years, marking the state’s largest-ever infrastructure expenditure.
The Premier, Ms Palaszczuk, underscored the importance of this investment in fulfilling the government’s pledge of bringing train building back to Maryborough. She emphasised that this substantial program not only ensures long-term job security, skill development, and training in Maryborough, but also lays the foundation for a robust transportation future for the state.
Mark Bailey, the Queensland Minister for Transport & Main Roads, stressed that this project is about more than just new trains. It’s about creating opportunities for Torbanlea, Maryborough, and the surrounding areas. Downer Group is prioritising job creation and training for locals with this project.
Bruce Saunders, the Assistant Minister for Regional Roads and Train Manufacturing and Member for Maryborough, viewed this project as an investment in the rich skillset of Maryborough and the future generations of train builders. He affirmed that early works are in progress, and major construction is set to begin later this year. The new trains will support the anticipated population increase in South East Queensland, the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Cross River Rail.
State Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), Rohan Webb, also lauded the State Government’s investment in bringing rail manufacturing back to Queensland and ensuring job security for hundreds of workers.