Works start on new rail maintenance centre

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Scott Emerson

Hundreds of jobs will be created as construction commences on the new maintenance centre at Wulkuraka, near Ipswich, in preparation for state-of-the art new passenger trains.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the centre would also deliver on the Government’s election promise to revitalise frontline services.

“This facility will service, maintain and repair the 75 new six-car trains as part of our on-going efforts to improve the public transport system left in disarray by Labor,” Mr Emerson said.

“Trains will start arriving at the new centre next year for a testing period before the remaining trains are progressively delivered.

“This facility will put Ipswich back on track as the hub of rail and deliver hundreds of job opportunities for the region.

“The rollingstock will begin operating in 2016 and offers passengers a more comfortable ride in safer, more modern and efficient trains.

“The maintenance building will be about 170m in length and will hold six-car trains for maintenance and testing with additional room for staff to access the train at either end.

Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat said the centre was going to be a critical hub for job creation in the Ipswich region during construction and through the 30 years of operation.

“At its peak, the entire project is expected to create or maintain 514 full-time local jobs, through full system engineering, design, commissioning and maintenance,” Mr Choat said.

“Once complete, around 150 full-time ongoing new maintenance positions will be created at the modern, purpose-built maintenance centre to service the new trains.

“For many decades, Ipswich was the centre of rail construction, maintenance and technology in Queensland and it is great to have this facility being built here.

“Almost 150 years ago, the very first train to run in Queensland steamed through Wulkuraka on its way from North Ipswich to Grandchester, just west of Ipswich.”

In January, the government announced a consortium comprising Bombardier Transportation, John Laing, ITOCHU Corporation and Uberior had been contracted to design, build, finance and maintain the new trains under a 32-year contract. The Public Private Partnership secured Queensland the best deal saving taxpayers more than $11 million per train, compared to the previous deal done by Labor.

Media contact: Andrew Berkman 0429 128 637

*A video of todays event can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-i8oP5yRLc&feature=youtu.be