Melbourne’s High Capacity Metro Trains project is not only the largest single order of new trains in Victoria’s history, but also the first new train design in nearly 20 years.

The Victorian Government ordered 65 High Capacity Metro Trains as part of a $2.3 billion investment, which also includes a new train maintenance facility in Pakenham East and a light service facility in Calder Park.

An additional $123 million will deliver five new trains to service the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, bringing the total High Capacity Metro Train fleet to 70.

The trains are being delivered with over 60 percent local content and the project has created over 1,100 new jobs including over 100 long-term maintenance jobs. It is being delivered by the Evolution Rail consortium comprising Downer, CRRC Changchun and Plenary.

 Watch our video here on the HCMT project. 

The Waratah fleet is the pride of Sydney’s network, delivering unprecedented reliability, availability, safety and comfort. Downer has delivered a total of 119 Waratah trains for the New South Wales Government, across Series 1 and Series 2 trains, making it the largest fleet of passenger trains in Australia, serving the largest suburban network.

In 2019, Downer achieved the fastest roll out of a passenger train fleet in Australia’s history, delivering 24 world class Waratah Series 2 trains in 31 months. In July 2021, on the 10th anniversary of the first Waratah Series 1 train entering passenger service, the final Series 2 entered passenger service.

Downer is also responsible for the through-life-support of the Waratah trains at the purpose-built Auburn Maintenance Centre.


Downer is delivering accessibility upgrades to Queensland’s fleet of New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains, with work taking place from our historic Maryborough Service Delivery Centre. All 75 trains, manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, are being upgraded in Maryborough, with works including larger toilet modules and improved accessibility features for people with a disability. 

The upgrade of the fleet commenced in 2019, with all trains scheduled to be upgraded and returned to service by 2024. 

A Downer employee working on bogies at the Maryborough rail factory

Spanning more than 250 km of double track, and employing more than 2,200 people including 1,200 tram drivers and 200 authorised officers and customer service employees, Melbourne's tram network is the largest in the world.

Operated by Keolis Downer, their mantra of 'think like a passenger' guides the team to create the best possible travelling experience for the 3.5 million passengers who use the network every week.

To ensure a reliable and comfortable journey for the 200 million passengers who travel by tram every year, Downer’s East Preston site is refurbishing approximately 85 per cent of Melbourne’s iconic tram fleet. With 450 trams being refurbished, it is the largest tram overhaul project in the world. 

The project delivers life extensions, refurbishments, deep cleans and overhauls of six different classes of trams, some of which are 50 years old.

Downer employees pose with a refurbished tram

The Gold Coast's magnificent beach-front light rail service is driving prosperity and growth to one of Australia's largest cities and most popular tourist destinations.

Operated by Keolis Downer, the G:Link runs 18 trams along 20.3 kilometres with 19 stations from Broadbeach to Helensvale.

Gold Coast passengers notched up 10 million trips in its first 18 months of operation, with an average of more than 20,000 trips per day. The famous Cavill Avenue is home to the busiest station, recording almost 5,000 boardings per day.

Since beginning operations in July 2014, G:link’s network has performed highly with results of 97% punctuality and 89% customer satisfaction in 2019. 31,000 trips are made on G:link every day which equates to 930,000 passengers every month. The Gold Coast has seen a 31.8% increase in patronage across bus and tram services, providing a significant boost to the region’s social and economic development.

Gold Coast light rail tram pulling into the station

Downer delivered the infrastructure of the Newcastle Light Rail project, with Keolis Downer appointed to operate the Newcastle integrated transport system including buses, ferries, light rail and interchanges.

This exciting project is transforming and revitalising Newcastle, and builds on Downer's proud history in the region.

Downer’s TrainDNA delivers a full-service approach for improved passenger experience through next generation asset management.

Our modular product approach for TrainDNA allows us to focus on differing customer needs, with the ability to expand in the future to provide a complete digital solution underpinning all maintenance activities, with real benefits including operational benefits, life cycle cost and safety benefits.

Learn more about how TrainDNA can help you provide safe, reliable and comfortable transport solutions for your passengers here.

Watch our General Manager – Asset Management Systems discuss how TrainDNA helps millions of passengers travel every day.


This video was produced for Downer by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions. Downer is proud to be a part of The Way We Move: Transporting Stories, a brand new, member-led series presented by UITP.