INTERCITY and suburban rail networks, including the Sydney to Newcastle line, will be upgraded by Downer EDI in preparation for the arrival of the new train fleet in 2019.
Transport for NSW handed the company, which has a presence in Newcastle at its Cardiff workshops, the contract to complete station and signal modifications across the rail network.
The long distance, intercity trains have been labelled as “state-of-the-art” and will require work to be carried out on platform extensions, overhead wiring adjustments and train location technology.
“Work will get underway early next year and where possible it will be completed as part of the existing rail maintenance schedule and track work weekends so we can minimise the impact on our customers,” said a Transport for NSW spokesperson.
The new trains will be on the rails from 2019 and feature a raft of new features for customers travelling between Sydney and the Central Coast, Newcastle, South Coast and Blue Mountains.
Safety and security will be significantly improved through better on-board services including the implementation of CCTV cameras, customer help point alarms and fire detection technology.
Some of the most anticipated additions will be the two-by-two style seating layout, instillation of tray tables and cup holders, and the ability for travellers to charge mobile devices.
Those travelling with more than just a handbag will benefit, as dedicated luggage and bicycle racks, extra space for wheelchairs and prams, and baby changing facilities have also been improved.
All 512 carriages on order will progressively come into service from the anticipated delivery date of 2019.