Overview of the Queensland Rollingstock Expansion Program
- The Queensland government's Rollingstock Expansion Program (REP), an infrastructure initiative, is an AUD 1 billion (or USD 767 million) guaranteed pipeline of train building program.
- The Queensland government has already committed the sum of AUD 600 million (USD 450 million) for the first 20 6-car electric multiple units (EMUs) to be produced in Queensland by the shortlisted train makers. In addition, as per the contract, there is an option for 45 additional trains.
- The shortlisted train/EMU manufacturers are Alstom, CAF, and Downer Rail. They were shortlisted after an extensive expression of interest (EOI) evaluation process conducted by the Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).
We have provided an overview of the Queensland Rollingstock Expansion Program, including the information surrounding the program and the shortlisted train manufacturers, as well as insights into the available requirements of the program and available predictions. The overview has been provided below.
Queensland Rollingstock Expansion Program (REP): Overview
- The Queensland government's Rollingstock Expansion Program (REP), an infrastructure initiative, is a AUD 1 billion (or USD 767 million) guaranteed pipeline of train building program.
- It includes a "single design, build and maintain contract for a successful supplier to deliver the rollingstock (trains), maintenance (facility), and manufacturing (facility) package (RMM Package).
- The Paluszczuk-led government announced the REP plans in October 2020, leading to the Queensland election, and in December 2021, Queensland opened the expressions of interest (EOI) for the procurement of the EMU. The EOI closed on the 10th of February, 2021.
- The program focuses on the procurement of 6-car electric trains or electric multiple units (EMUs) that will provide multiple benefits for Queensland, including the support of the region's growing population and economic growth, as the electric trains will be made in Queensland by Queenslanders.
- The Program includes the development of a manufacturing facility - for this purpose - and an ongoing maintenance of this (new) rollingstock fleet. This manufacturing facility, where the EMUs will be manufactured, will be based in Maryborough.
- "There's also a AUD $1 million (USD 759,435) for a business case to build replacement carriages for the iconic Westlander, Inlander and Spirit of the Outback long-distance services in Queensland."
Procurement Documents: Program Requirements
While the Queensland government provides a central platform for all expressions of interest (EOI), where specific procurement documents can be accessed from, the program specification for the REP EOI is not accessible because the tender has closed, as per the guidelines (EOIs closed in February 2021). In addition, it's not publicly available. Hence, we've provided available information surrounding the requirements of the program.
- The suppliers registration of interest (ROI) allows local companies in the region to register their interest to supply materials or services to the successful tenderer of the RMM Package (Suppliers).
- This list of interested suppliers will then be submitted to the EMU manufacturers that expressed their interest (through the official EOI registration) to source potential suppliers for materials or services they may require. Although not compulsory, successful EMU companies will decide on how they'll run their procurement program.
- Companies registering as suppliers must ensure that their company profiles on the ICN Gateway are complete, up-to-date, accurate, and respond to all project and work package-specific questions.
Shortlisted Train Makers
- After an extensive expression of interest (EOI) process conducted by Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Alstom, CAF, and Downer Rail were shortlisted to make the first 20 trains in the Maryborough manufacturing facility.
- The evaluation panel, constituted by TMR, included TMR members, Queensland Rail, Queensland Treasury, the Department of Regional Development and Manufacturing and Water, as well as an independent panel member and a probity specialist.
- TMR applied strict probity requirements during the EOI process to ensure a free and fair evaluation process. These standards will remain in place leading into the award of contract in 2022.
Program Outlook and Projections
Note that there's limited information surrounding the predictions on how the program is likely to develop moving forward. More so, predictions for the year 2050 are publicly unavailable. Hence, we've provided available insights into the future of the program, including relevant projections that are a function of the program.
- The program is primarily motivated by increasing population and the subsequent creation of the need for public transport, as the population of South East Queensland is expected to hit around 5.3 million by 2041 - an additional 1.9 million people.
- To meet increased demand, Queensland's TMR projects that the region will need up to 65 additional EMUs over the next 10 years.
- In funding the program, the regional government builds on the 283 jobs it saved in 2017 to provide a AUD 1 billion (USD 750 million) guaranteed pipeline of train building work.
- The Queensland government has already committed the sum of AUD 600 million (USD 450 million) for EMUs to be produced in Queensland by the shortlisted train makers. In addition, as per the contract, there is an option for 45 additional trains.
- Furthermore, of the committed AUD 600 million, the 2021-22 Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program pointed out that AUD 357 million is allocated beyond FY2024-25.
For this research, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain, including the government website of Queensland, industry resources, and other third-party media resources, such as Railway Pro, Infrastructure Pipeline, among others. Note that there are parts of the project where it was found that the information was limited; we've provided a brief explanation for each instance in their respective subheading, accordingly.