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Downer boss won't rule out more trains

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SYDNEY, Nov 11 AAP

November 11 2012, 10:45AM

Downer EDI chief executive Grant Fenn hasn't ruled out the company taking on another large public-private trains contract despite the problems of the Waratah project.

The engineering and infrastructure company has written down more than $440 million on the Waratah train contract it entered into with the NSW government in 2006.

But Mr Fenn said while the project had its problems, the trains were now performing well and Downer believed it would make money on the 30-year maintenance contract.

"Our numbers suggest that we'll make good returns and the trains are performing very well in service, so we're pretty happy about that," he told the ABC's Inside Business on Sunday.

While Downer had chosen not to enter a tender for the Queensland government's Next Generation Trains, Mr Fenn said the company would consider another train contract.

"The Waratah project is in a much better place now than where it was, so look, I never say never, but we'd certainly need to look very much at the risk allocation," he said.

He said the company had learned a great deal about risk allocation and the complexity of such a large design and construction job from the Waratah job.