In the wake of the massive cost blow-outs and delays hitting both the Parramatta Light Rail Project and the Eastern Suburbs Light Rail Project, the NSW Government has another rail debacle on its hands with the inter-city train network facing a huge cost blowout because the Government imported new trains from Korea that are too big to fit on the tracks. From The ABC:
[The NSW Government] has discovered the fleet of inter-city trains it has ordered from South Korea — at the bargain price $2.3 billion — will not fit the tracks in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.
The Government had hoped the trains would prove 25 per cent cheaper than locally made trains.
But it is going to have to spend a small fortune fixing the problem on the line from Springwood to Lithgow.
The first bill from contractor Downer EDI came in at $43 million — that is just for the construction of signalling works and modifications across the rail network.
The Government still has to change 20 stations to accommodate the new inter-city fleet, which means cutting away at the platforms and tunnels that are too narrow and too low.
…the NSW Auditor-General warned that the total cost of the project would rise to as much as $3.9 billion.
This would take it well above the Government’s projected saving of 25 per cent.
“They have made a right mess of this,” Ms McKay said.
“We said from the beginning these trains should have been manufactured in NSW, so they fit the tracks and tunnels and we don’t have this excess cost.”
The incompetence of this Government is staggering. It has messed up nearly every major infrastructure project that it has embarked upon in a futile attempt to keep pace with Sydney’s break-neck population growth.
From the above rail projects to road projects like WestConnex, to schools and hospitals, the incompetence is manifest in tumbling living standards with much worse to come: