These 40-year-old Sydney trains are getting major refurbs to extend their life

The decades-old Tangaras are getting a makeover to keep them on track

Caitlyn Todoroski
Inner City Sydney Train
Photograph: Creative Commons

It’s been four long decades that the Tangara trains have been transporting Sydneysiders around and, well, it kind of shows. They don’t even have the flippy seats that NSW is known for, and it’s way too easy to miss a stop when there’s no screen showing where you are. Statistically, they’re also the biggest contributor to the types of maintenance faults that delay your ride home. But instead of being pulled from the rails, the NSW Government has announced they're pumping $447 million into fixing up all 55 of these old-school trains, which form a whole quarter of Sydney's train fleet. 

Some of the repairs will include updates to the doors, adding info screens and improved announcement systems, and converting seats near doors to flip up so there’s more room for commuters. The repairs are anticipated to keep the old trains on railway lines until 2036. 

This funding is part of the government's longer term plan to manufacture a whole new fleet of trains right here in NSW. After the NSW Government imported trains from overseas with a whole heap of problems (so much so that they’re still sitting in storage), Premier Chris Minns has intentions to create thousands of jobs by making the trains on home turf. 

“This is a modest investment now that will eventually unlock a huge boost to NSW jobs and industry well into the future,” he says. 

Repairs to the Tangaras are set to begin early in 2025, and overall they'll take about three years. The new locally built Tangara trains are set to be on tracks around 2030. New trains and less delays? We’re on board with that.

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