EDi Rail wins $189m contract
Premier Anna Bligh has announced the State Government will invest $189 million to buy another Tilt Train and upgrade the existing two tilt trains.
Ms Bligh said the work will be carried out at Maryborough's Downer EDI facility providing support for 800 direct and indirect jobs in the Wide Bay region.
The existing Sunlander Train, which has been in service for 45 years, will be replaced by the new Tilt Train, slashing at least five hours from travel times.
"Travelling the Brisbane to Cairns rail route is one of the world's top train journeys," said Ms Bligh.
"It takes you past the magnificent Glasshouse Mountains, the cane country of North Queensland and the majestic tropics beyond Townsville.
"This $189 million investment means passengers on this world class route will be able to travel in world class luxury."
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the new trains will feature:
* Deluxe sleeper cars with personal ensuites;
* First class cars with lay flat seats, similar to airline sky beds;
* A restaurant car with a la carte dining;
* Smart, flatscreen TVs in all seats featuring in-seat entertainment with movies, news, sport, weather and music on demand;
* First class café-style lounge;
* Premium economy sitting cars and club lounges.
"Awarding the $189 million contract to Maryborough's Downer EDI facility meant 500 direct jobs at the workshops plus an additional 300 jobs in the region," said the Minister.
"This new contract will sustain those jobs right through to 2014," she said.
Premier Bligh said the $189 million investment would contribute to improved services for the next half a century.
"The Tilt trains are the fastest trains in Australia," she said.
"They travel at speeds of up to 160 km an hour and this new train will cut at least five hours off the travel time on the entire route when travelling on the old Sunlander.
"It is because this Government has embarked on our program of assets sales that we can make this promise to Queenslanders," she said.
"It is because we have created a rail company that is completely dedicated to its passengers that we can deliver these focused improvements.
"This investment in the future of regional rail travel will allow us to continue to provide six return services between Brisbane and Cairns a week.
"It allows us to provide faster and more comfortable options for tourists and regional Queenslanders, for whom inter-city train travel is essential."