UGL wins $1.5b country rail contract with TfNSW

Engineering company UGL has scored a $1.5 billion contract with Transport NSW to operate and maintain the Country Regional Network for the next ten years.

Paul Toole

ULG, which won the contract via a competitive tender process, takes over from John Holland Rail which holds the current contract that expires at the end of the year.

The new contract takes effect from 2022 after a 12 month mobilisation period.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole says running the network is a “mammoth task” and the contract represents a major investment in crucial rail infrastructure.

The new partnership would see an increase in maintenance work, he said.

He said conditions for the contract include basing at least 80 per cent of the jobs in the bush and establishing a network control centre, slated for Orange.

“We went to the market asking for a strong focus on regional employment,” he said.

Mr Tool said UGL has also set a target of 12 per cent employment in Aboriginal communities by 2026.

The CRN consists of almost 2,400km of freight and passenger rail lines and more than 3,000km of non-operational lines, more than 1,300 level crossings, more than 900 bridges and 1,200 property assets including stations, of which 356 are heritage listed.

Almost 1,000 km of the network is dedicated to moving grain to local markets and ports.

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4 thoughts on “UGL wins $1.5b country rail contract with TfNSW

  1. This story makes me sad. More of the same for NSW Country Rail Network . Another missed opportunity!

    This political ploy of leasing out operation and maintenance of transport infrastructure. Effectively based on price*.
    just A cover for No Vision, just a maintenance plan. to achieve A mothballed railway!
    On the face of it , it looks like the CRN been put to sleep for another 10 years.

    Yes 1.5 Billion is a lot of money to revitalize CRN. But looking back in time there was more than 5,400 kilometres of operational rail and now there is 2,400 kilometres of operational track.
    That will still have in some cases the same third world axle weight and speed restrictions. But It does say there will be more Maintenance than when John Holland Rail managed the CRN.

    The total distance of track effectively abandoned 3000 kilometres called Non operational rail lines still non operational. But the CRN is managed by a third party so the Government lack of action is again hidden

    *O&M Fee of $62,000/ kilometre of operational track per year

  2. So sad, I joined the NSW Government Railways in 1964 at the age of 14 &1/2. at Goulburn Railway station. Some 42,000 odd employees were were employed where every town in NSW had a Railway station and every station was fully manned 24/7. Back in the day when we moved everything from station to station. Shunting Trip Trains criss/crossed all over the state.
    I retired some 4 years ago after 51 &1/2 years service with only about 8,000 employees and the railways being mainly Sydney Trains, not much left of Country Rail with Buses mainly taking up the slack and not even dropping passengers off under cover at the existing country train stations but in most cases on the main road, and this is all in the name of customer service. How embarrassing. ARTC and John Holland weren’t interested in maintaining track and infrastructure only doing the minimal amount and so will UGL.
    Unfortunately at my age I will never see a VFT operating in NSW or Australia because of the short sightedness of our governments. If you want some more please advise

  3. No doubt UGL was approved by TAHE of the NSW Government, an incompetent entity. No vision, no improved services, no customer service and little of anything else can come from this. The passenger trains in CRN aren’t 21st century when they should be and can be, tracks and bridges that can’t support any reasonable weight, unmanned stations and no advancement to improve country rail travel. The politicians talk about regionalisation and don’t enhance country rail travel, as I said earlier NO VISION.

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