Member for Heathcote Lee Evans today welcomed news the NSW Government will order a $2.8 billion next-generation intercity train fleet, with customers in the region to benefit from a more comfortable ride on around 520 brand new modern carriages.

Around 65 new state-of-the-art intercity trains will carry passengers to the Illawarra, as well as the Central Coast, Newcastle, and the Blue Mountains

Mr Evans said the NSW Government will work with train manufacturers from Australia and overseas to identify the best train for the long journeys often taken by train customers in the Northern Illawarra, selecting a train already available to the market rather than having a new train designed from scratch.

That means that instead of the process taking seven years, these new trains will be entering service within four to five years, Mr Evans said.

“The South Coast Line is an important link for locals heading to the Sydney CBD and within the region,” Mr Evans said.

“These new trains will provide new levels of comfort and convenience for customers.
“While a safe, reliable service with available seats is understandably the major concern of most customers, we want to go beyond that to ensure our new trains also provide the little things that will make a customer’s experience more enjoyable.”

The NSW Government will begin the process of delivering the new trains by meeting with industry later this month. Mr Evans said the Northern Illawarra community will be consulted as part of the project, to ensure the trains are equipped with all the modern comforts that customers want when they travel long distances.

“Features such as the kind of seating configuration customers want, extra luggage storage, power points to charge mobile devices and premium carriages will also be considered as features of the new trains,” Mr Evans said.

“These trains will also include extensive state-of-the-art CCTV camera networks.
“We hope that a continually improving service will encourage others out of their cars, off the Princes Highway and onto our trains.”

Mr Evans said NSW TrainLink was formed last July to provide a tailored service to regional and intercity train customers, and these new trains are an example of this new focus.

“We’ve recently completed the rollout of the new Opal electronic ticket throughout the Sydney Trains and NSW Trains Intercity networks, released an Opal card for children and will deliver a seniors’ Opal card by the end of the year,” Mr Evans said.

“Last year NSW TrainLink also implemented a new timetable which added 125 new weekly express services to the South Coast Line and reduced journey times for many services.”

Sydney customers will also benefit from this significant investment because the new trains will stop at many busy Sydney interchanges including Central and Strathfield.
The Oscar intercity fleet – currently operating to outer metropolitan areas – will be reallocated to shorter Sydney suburban services, meaning all trains will be air-conditioned.