In February 2019 the NSW government awarded a $A 2.8bn ($US 1.89bn) contract to the Momentum Rail consortium for a new fleet of diesel-electric trains, which also included a 15-year maintenance contract and a new train maintenance facility at Dubbo, in regional NSW.

The 29 new trains will now be delivered by Momentum rolling stock partner CAF with bi-modal capability, to operate as a diesel-electric multiple unit to operate over the bulk of the NSW Trains regional network and draw power from 1.5kV dc overhead lines where available.

The segments of the Sydney electrified interurban network over which the new regional trains will run extend 163km north from Sydney to Newcastle (Broadmeadow), 43km south to Macarthur, and 153km west to Lithgow.

Minister for regional transport and roads, Mr Paul Toole, says the trains will transform passenger rail travel in regional NSW.

“This means when our trains enter electrified parts of NSW’s rail network they can connect to overhead power, which will see around $A 2m in annual savings on the cost of diesel fuel,” Toole says. “We are leading the charge for more efficient and sustainable regional rail travel, with our new fleet being built with diesel-electric bi-mode technology, which is an Australian first.”

With transport accounting for almost 45% of the state’s energy consumption, Transport for NSW plays a key role in reducing emissions and contributing to the NSW Government’s long-term target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The government estimates a further $A 1m per annum in environmental impact cost savings.

The first deliveries of the new trains are expected in 2023.

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