Newcastle train builder wins Sydney contract

UGL Unipart Rail, a joint venture between Newcastle train builder UGL and British company Unipart Rail, has won a contract to upgrade Sydney’s Tangara passenger rail fleet.

The $131m contract will involve the upgrade of 446 rail cars, which were designed and built at UGL's Broadmeadow site and are currently maintained by UGL Unipart Rail.

The technology upgrade will extend the life of the existing Tangara fleet and align the railcars with the latest generation of trains on the Sydney network. The scope of works includes management, design, supply, integration, testing and commissioning of the upgrade to train operation systems, door systems and other customer experience enhancements.

UGL Unipart Rail will partner with Mitsubishi Electric who will be responsible for the train operation system and associated design and other technology or traction related systems.

UGL’s CEO Ross Taylor said in a statement UGL has worked with the NSW government for over 20 years to enhance Sydney’s passenger network.

“This contract further demonstrates the capability of UGL Unipart Rail to add value to the Sydney fleet and we look forward to working with our customer to achieve their goals in enhancing the transportation system for Sydney commuters,” he said.

Cory Wright from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union told the ABC the work, which will take around three years to complete, was great news for the Hunter manufacturing sector.

"The state has a high unemployment rate, particularly here in the Hunter," he said.

"We are at around 19.6, almost 20 per cent for youth unemployment and it is around 12.7 for general unemployment.

"So with those sort of figures workers are starving for these types of outcomes and we need as much work in the region as possible."

As a result of the news, UGL’s shares increased 6 per cent yesterday afternoon. They traded at $1.85 around 2.40pm yesterday.

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