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29 November 2011

The largest rolling stock acquisition in Australian history. Fact. The supply of 626 carriages (78 trains + two spare carriages) complete with a dedicated maintenance facility. Fact. Welcome to the NSW Government’s $3.6 billion Public-Private partnership (PPP) to provide Sydney’s next generation of suburban passenger trains.

The elaborate scope of this major project not only specified the delivery of 626 carriages from the CRC Changchun in China – which alone formed the largest ever order by an Australasian rail operator, but also included a minimum 30-year contract to maintain the fleet. To ensure this maintenance was of the highest order, a purpose-built facility in the town of Auburn in Sydney’s west was designed and constructed– further incorporating the world’s best practice in each of these elements.

Located on RailCorp land adjacent to the existing Main Train Facility between Auburn and Clyde Railway Stations, this state-of-the-art centre consists of seven maintenance roads (with a total maintenance capacity for 1,000 cars) an automatic train wash plant, and an underfloor wheel profiling lathe.

Downer EDI Rail, who were contracted by Reliance Rail under the PPP to design, construct and operate this facility, in turn called upon the expertise of NHP and their market leading catalogue of products and service to fit this centre and provide the supporting documentation to RailCorp and CRC (China) as to prove fit for purpose, quality and compliance documentation.

NHP’s NSW Business Development Team presented a number of systems and products solutions for the many applications required to build the Main Train Facility and these included the energy management systems, power distribution system, power factor, wiring loom terminal connectors and inter carriage, and facility to carriage power connections.

Downer EDI’s Project Manager, Ray Crisp, awarded the supply of Main Switchboards, Distribution Boards and Metering systems to the NSW based switchboard manufacture KE Brown. Terasaki TemPower 2 ACBs, transfer switches, TemBreak 2 MCCBs and DIN-T breakers where utilised in the Electrical Services package, along with IME 96HD Power Quality Analysers.

The construction of the facility was the easy part of part of the project according to Andrew Bau, NHP’s General Manager - Projects, when recalling the construction process of the project – citing the construction of the train carriages one of the more difficult elements.

“With the construction of train carriages in China and having products that needed to interlink together, this element of the project posed a geographical challenge of getting a supply chain into China and standardising the products to match”, he said.

The Proconect 3PS200 sockets were specified by Downer EDI for use as an under carriage connection, to power the train cars during testing and maintenance at the Auburn facility, and NHP’s Product Manager - Enclosures & Plug/Socket Systems, Christian James was pleased with the application of this product.

Reliance Rail has progressively begun to provide the 78 trains and will have all train-cars in service in 2013 – servicing commuters until 2040 and beyond, further improving reliability, safety and most of all the overall travel experience of Sydney’s travelling public.


  • Sarah, 28 February 2012

    I agree, it suhlod be built with either future expansion in mind, or in an area with other venues. (ie Seattle Center or PNE grounds).I think a great place to put it would be down along Scott Rd where all the Auto Wreckers used to be. At one point there was talks of the PNE moving there and it was a shame it never happened, putting a stadium down there may help clean up the area. Especially all the truck parking that has popped up down there in the past year! It will be close to the new South Perimeter Road, Scott Road Skytrain and the new bridge that will hopefully be coming one day soon.

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