It is not surprising that it experienced a number of issues in the early days. But, according to Ross Spicer, CEO Downer Rail, "We did what we set out to achieve when we created our vision for the Waratah project more than three years ago making the Waratah a transport icon that the people of New South Wales are proud to use."
"We are extremely proud of what we have achieved. We successfully delivered 78 passenger trains consisting of 626 carriages, a state-of-the-art maintenance facility at Auburn, and simulators for crew training. The turnaround on what was a challenging contract timetable has been quite remarkable, with the seventy-eighth train entering passenger service just eight months latea near impossible recovery of 10 months delay in the past two years."
Ross has earned a reputation in the rail industry as a ‘Mr Fix It' of sorts; he has worked in the industry for more than 25 years and has extensive knowledge and experience, having been a supplier, client, and project manager on new train projects in the UK such as Eurostar (300-km/h high-speed electric train), Voyager (200-km/h high-speed diesel train), and the Pendolino (225-km/h high-speed tilting electric train).
Ross was asked by the New South Wales Government to review the Waratah project in late 2010, and upon completion of his initial review Ross was asked by Downer to relocate to Australia and lead the delivery of the project a challenge which he accepted. He was appointed project director on 1 December 2010.