| 25.01,12. 02:19 AM |
Costlier ride to get trains on track
January 25, 2012
THE troubled new Waratah trains will not undergo certain safety tests as part of a deal to bail out the struggling company which built them.
State taxpayers will also have to pay $40 million upfront payment and the government will be a guarantor for the company to finally get the Waratahs into service.
Under the deal to be announced this week, a requirement to run the $3.6 billion trains for 50,000km before carrying passengers will be cut.
The government will also help bail out the debt-ridden Reliance Rail, which is 18 months behind schedule in delivering the trains.
A spokeswoman for Treasurer Mike Baird said: "The issues surrounding the Rel- iance Rail project are the result of yet another mess left behind by state Labor.
"While the NSW Government continues to work closely with Reliance Rail and all parties involved on a potential financial restructuring option, we are unable to comment any further at this stage due to the commercially sensitive nature of these discussions.
"However, our objectives remain unchanged - we want to ensure that the people of NSW get the trains without more delay, while minimising the cost and risk to the state."
Opposition Leader John Robertson said: "The government has put the lives of commuters at risk.
"I was asked repeatedly to sign off on lower safety standards as minister for transport but refused to do so because I knew how terrible the consequences could be."