The government says that an expression of Interest will soon be issued for the design, construction and maintenance of the new trains and a maintenance facility, and has indicated for the first time that the project will include the use of private financing.

A tender evaluation process will be conducted next year with the aim of awarding a contract in early 2019.

In October 2016 the state government committed $A 50m to accelerate the renewal of the NSW TrainLink fleet of medium-and long-distance trains serving regional centres around the state.

The procurement program will now include the entire fleet of XPT trains (60 coaches and 19 power cars), along with the 28 Endeavour and 23 Xplorer DMUs.

Land has already been identified in Dubbo for the planned depot and work will the process of obtaining planning consent will begin soon. The facility will be completed in time for the delivery of the new trains, which is expected in the early 2020s.