THE government of the state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has committed $A 447m ($US 296.7m) in its 2024-25 budget to upgrade the fleet of 55 Tangara EMUs operated by Sydney Trains.

By extending the life of the four-car, double-deck fleet by up to 12 years, the NSW government is buying time to proceed with its Future Fleet Programme to revive train manufacturing in the state and build the next generation of commuter trains locally.

The Tangara EMUs were introduced between 1988 and 1995, and make up 25% of the Sydney Trains fleet. As they age, major reliability issues are increasing and they are the highest contributor to maintenance faults on the NSW rail network - the government estimates that five Tangara EMUs a year are at risk of being taken out of service without the life-extension project.

Work will begin early next year and will include upgrading the train management system (TMS), improving safety and accessibility compliance, and modernising passenger information systems.

The 2024-25 NSW budget also sets aside a further $A 17.5m for the Future Fleet Programme, which will be used to develop a strategic business case for the new commuter fleet.

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