The Queensland government has announced it will invest $7.1 billion to boost the state’s train manufacturing industry and build and operate 65 six-car passenger trains in Maryborough.
The trains will be built in a $239 million purpose-built manufacturing facility to constructed at Torbanlea, north of Maryborough.
Delivering the Queensland government’s Rail Expansion Program will create up to 3,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing across Queensland in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics.
“We’re investing in manufacturing to create long-term, secure jobs in regional Queensland,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“At the election, we committed $600 million to build 20 new trains in Maryborough. It’s now clear we’ll need a full complement of trains to cater for growth in years to come.
“That’s why we’re committing to build all 65 trains, right here in Maryborough. I want Queensland to benefit from this $7.1 billion investment. That means jobs for workers throughout our state.”
As the Cross River Rail project progresses, which will be Brisbane’s first underground rail system, the next step is manufacturing the trains.
Under the Rail Expansion Program, three train manufacturers – Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail – are competing for the existing contract to build 20 trains in Maryborough. They will have the opportunity to bid for the increased order for 65 trains.
A preferred supplier to build the 65 trains is expected to be named in the second half of 2022, with construction of the Torbanlea train building facility to follow.
“This investment in publicly-owned manufacturing facilities will support thousands of jobs well into the future,” Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick said.
“Importantly, this commitment will include minimum local content requirements along with the best industry standards, meaning we’re supporting Queenslander workers.”
The rail investment will lock in secure jobs and training opportunities for a generation of Queensland workers, according to Transport and Main Roads minister Mark Bailey.
“We are delivering a pipeline of work over the next decade that will support up to 800 construction and manufacturing jobs here in Maryborough,” he said.
“First, we will construct a purpose-built, publicly-owned train manufacturing facility at Torbanlea, north of Maryborough. Not only are we delivering trains, this $7.1 billion investment includes new rail infrastructure in the Southeast and ongoing maintenance of Queensland’s newest fleet.”
Land at Torbanlea has already been selected for the new train building facility.
“The process to secure a property at Torbanlea, which is within 25km of the Maryborough CBD, is well underway,” Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said.
“The Palaszczuk government’s commitment to build 65 trains in Maryborough will lock in jobs and economic growth for our region.
“Maryborough will soon be delivering the best new trains in Australia – they’ll be modern and accessible – and the Heritage City should be proud of that.”
The historic train building commitment will benefit the whole Wide Bay region, member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said.
“Building this new, publicly-owned factory in Torbanlea will not only help Maryborough, it will also support jobs and businesses in Hervey Bay,” Tantari said.
“This investment, on the doorstep of Hervey Bay, will have a massive flow-on effect for years to come.”
The investment will also mean more jobs in Rockhampton, which will be part of the supply chain to build trains in Maryborough.
Cross River Rail is on track for the first services to begin operating in 2025.