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Australia could cut the cost of new trains by $6bn

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Reforming Australia’s rolling stock procurement process could save the government $6 billion over the next 30 years, according to a report by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

The ‘Opportunities for Greater Passenger Rolling Stock Procurement Efficiency’ report, which has been commissioned by the ARA, will be launched by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss at AusRAIL tomorrow (November 28).

Earlier this month, the Queensland Government announced the preferred bidders for its ‘New Generation Rolling Stock’ programme, naming a Bombardier-led consortium as the frontrunners for a 75-train order for south-east Queensland.

The order, which has previously been described as ‘the largest ever single investment by Queensland in trains’, is just one of the major rolling stock programmes being developed across the country.

At the opening of AusRAIL 2013, Bryan Nye, chief executive of ARA, said: “Australia has the sixth largest rail network in the world – moving one billion tonnes of freight and undertaking 780 million customer journeys every year.  The full potential of our railway network can only be realised when we tackle the challenge of driving the costs out of rail.”

Featuring more than 300 industry speakers, this year’s AusRAIL event is being hosted alongside the 10th World Congress on Railway Research at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Network Rail chief executive David Higgins is due to speak on the final day of the exhibition about the UK’s experience of driving down the costs of running an efficient railway network.

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