While the former DPI building has looked empty since government staff moved out last year a new crew is at work preparing for a major change.
Having won the state government contract to run the Country Rail Network, UGL Regional Linx has been moving into Orange which will become the headquarters of its operations.
The company has won a 10-year contract to look after train operations and the maintenance of stations, buildings, platforms, bridges and other infrastructure across country NSW starting in late January.
Space to house the railways' network control centre is being fitted out as part of UGL's move into part of the former government offices in Kite Street.
Staff have been recruited from all walks of life to train for five and a half months to run the control room.
With backgrounds including retail, the military and other forms of rail work about 11 staff, mostly from the Orange area, are in training.
Senior management for the company, including CEO John Pistak, are in the process of relocating to Orange for the work.
Training Centre manager Jamie Dean said he was moving back to the Central West for the project after living in Sydney.
"I lived in Parkes for nearly 30 years," he said.
"Orange is a logical, central place [for the company's headquarters]," Mr Dean said.
He said the company was committed to having at least 80 per cent of its staff based in country areas.
About 75 people will be based in the Kite Street offices.
While the inside of the building today is now much quieter than in its DPI heyday it is also a construction site as UGL upgrades and refits its part of the building for its own uses.
"It's basically an office re-fit, to be fit for a purpose," he said.
The control centre staff are doing their training on a range of computer screens.
However Mr Dean said when the control centre was up and running it would feature large display screens covering the state's rail network.
The $1.5 billion deal for UGL to take over the role from John Holland Rail was announced earlier this year.
Regional Transport and Roads minister Paul Toole said it was a huge win for regional NSW.
"We went to the market asking for a strong focus on regional employment including a minimum of 80 per cent of jobs needing to be based in the bush and a requirement for a Network Control Centre in a regional area which UGL has advised it plans to set up in Orange," he said in February.
"Running the Country Regional Network is an important and mammoth task. Since 2011, the NSW government has invested more than $1 billion. Almost 1000 kilometres of the network is dedicated to moving grain, highlighting the importance of the [CRN] in moving the state's crops from the silo to local markets and ports for export."
UGL will also operate depots in other areas across NSW including in Bathurst.
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