Downer inks $4.6b contract for the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program

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Artist's impression of Downer's six-car passenger train. Image credit: Downer Group

Engineering firm Downer Group has signed a $4.6 billion contract to deliver Queensland’s landmark Queensland Train Manufacturing Program, which will deliver 65 passenger trains for use on the South East Queensland rail network.

The contract, which will support 800 jobs in construction and manufacturing, is Queensland’s largest-ever investment in railway vehicles amounting to $7.1 billion, the government revealed in a media statement. 

Both the manufacturing facility in Torbanlea and a new rail stabling and maintenance facility at Ormeau on the Gold Coast are anticipated to begin construction before the end of the year.

The new trains are said to be more accessible for people with a disability, with the addition of Train Boarding Bridges and Electronic Levelling Controls to address the gaps between platforms and trains, as well as phone charging capabilities.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk emphasised that the government promised to bring train manufacturing back to Maryborough, and that Queensland has done so.

She said, “I saw how much this contract means to the men and women of Maryborough when I visited Downer earlier this year – now we can get on with the job of building.”

The premier added that the $7.1 billion program not only secures generations of job security, skills, and training in Maryborough, but it also positions the state for a strong transportation future.

“Because Queensland trains should be made in Queensland,” she remarked. 

Meanwhile, Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey stated that the Palaszczuk government is bringing train manufacturing back to Queensland, creating excellent jobs and attracting billions of dollars in investment to the state.

“This isn’t just about delivering 65 new trains, this is creating opportunities for Torbanlea, Maryborough, and the wider region,” Bailey noted. 

He added, “With the contract signed and sealed, Downer Group will begin recruiting for the construction and manufacturing jobs that this project will bring.”

The government said the first train set will be delivered in 2026, with the remaining 65 on schedule for 2032.

It described train manufacturing as critical to Queensland’s Big Build, a record $89 billion infrastructure expenditure by the Palaszczuk government over the next four years.

Queensland Big Build will create 58,000 jobs over the next 24 months as part of the state’s largest infrastructure investment ever.