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There will be an emphasis on local businesses and suppliers to help establish the new purpose-built rail maintenance facility in Dubbo.
The $2.8 billion Regional Rail Fleet Project includes the construction of the new rail fleet, which is comprised of 10 regional intercity trains, nine short regional trains and 10 long regional trains, as well as the establishment of a rail maintenance facility.
The fleet will replace the current XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains.
Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders said on Monday there was an opportunity for businesses to have briefings with the regional fleet management team to discuss how they would be involved in the project. There were 120 registrations received.
"The opportunity is there for local providers and something I'm really encouraging is to use local people for these local jobs and keep jobs in the local area," Mr Saunders said.
There will be about 200 jobs available during the construction phase of the project, as well as another 50 ongoing positions when the facility is built.
Mr Saunders said they would cover a range of areas from engineering to the initial ground works.
The new fleet will provide more public transport options for the future.
"Part of the discussion into the future will be how we can best tailor timetables, whether it's trains only or whether it's the linkages between trains and coaches and local buses," the Dubbo MP said.
"I'll be encouraging people, as this program rolls out, to have a say and let us know what you need, what you want and how the train/bus interconnectivity can help change your life. Because this will be a lifechanger and it's all happening in regional NSW."
Planning and design activities for the Regional Rail Fleet are progressing and investigations at the site of the maintenance facility in Dubbo are set to start in the next few weeks.
Mr Saunders said groundwork for the trains would start in early 2020, with the trans expected to be here by 2023.
The new trains will travel at 160 kilometres per hour. They'll be diesel and electric to produce fewer emissions and have been designed with consultation from the public.
This article first appeared on www.dailyliberal.com.au
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