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LOCALS will likely have to wait until next year to enjoy the state's new multi-billion dollar intercity fleet after delays to the arrival of the trains from South Korea.
Transport for NSW has confirmed the trains, which were to begin carrying passengers on the Central Coast and Newcastle line later this year, have been delayed and a new "timeline for them to enter service" will be "confirmed once they arrive".
The trains were due to arrive by ship in March, but will likely not arrive until November or December. They will then have to undergo likely three to four months of testing before entering service.
The Central Coast and Newcastle line is set to receive the trains first, months ahead of the Blue Mountains line and more than a year ahead of the South Coast.
Significant track, signalling and station modifications have been made to cater for the trains, including platform extensions at Adamstown and upgrades at Hamilton.
The new trains will replace the ageing V-sets, which are due to be retired by 2022 after four decades of service.
UPGRADE: A v-set train at Newcastle Interchange. Picture: Marina Neil
The fleet consists of 554 double-deck carriages.
The government added 42 carriages to the order in February, taking its build and maintenance contract with RailConnect - a consortium of Korea's Hyundai Rotem, Japan's Mitsubishi and Australian engineering firm UGL - to $2.43 billion.
Transport for NSW secretary Rod Staples said the extra carriages had impacted the overall delivery schedule.
"There are a number of moving parts involved in any project of this scale and we will continue to work closely with RailConnect to get these trains on the tracks as soon as possible for our intercity customers," Mr Staples said.
"Testing [in Korea] started in March 2019 and has allowed us to run the trains all day rather than be limited by short shut-down periods on the busy Sydney Trains network.
This article first appeared on www.lakesmail.com.au
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