The new trains are part of a $A 2.3bn ($US 1.5bn) order for 512 EMUs placed in 2016 by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) with the RailConnect joint venture comprising Hyundai Rotem, Mitsubishi Electric Australia and UGL Rail. An additional 42 EMUs were ordered in March, when TfNSW exercised a $A 130m option.

Hyundai Rotem announced on December 2 that construction of the first 20 EMUs had been completed at the company’s factory in Changwon, Korea. The trains are capable of speeds of up to 160km/h and will be delivered in 10-car sets.

This is the first time that Hyundai Rotem has produced rolling stock for the Australian market.

In order to reduce testing time for the first units, the majority of critical tests have been carried out over the past few months at a new 13km test track which opened in March at the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) in Cheongju, Korea.

The EMUs will go through final trial runs in Korea before being delivered to Australia, where they will operate inter-city services from Sydney to Newcastle, the Central Coast, South Coast and the Blue Mountains.

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