(From the North West Rail Link Project Team)
Two years after the establishment of the North West Rail Link Project Team, we are writing to advise you the NSW Government has awarded the AU$1.15 billion tunnelling contract to the Thiess, John Holland, Dragados Joint Venture.
This is an important day for the Project and a historic day for the people of North West Sydney. The signing of the tunnelling contract means tunnel boring machines will be in the ground in the second half of next year - as scheduled - with contract completion expected in the first half of 2017.
The North West Rail Link is a world-class project to be delivered by some of the most skilled tunnel contractors in the world. The consortium comprises Thiess, John Holland and Dragados, bringing a depth of Australian and international experience and expertise in delivering major infrastructure projects. Each of the partners have delivered or are currently building tunnels for train systems around the world, including London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seville and New York.
The awarding of the contract heralds the beginning of a new high capacity rapid transit network for Sydney which will eventually include a new line through the CBD and beyond.
The contract involves:
· Four "double-shield, hard rock, gripper" TBMs to build the 15km twin tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping;
· Excavation and civil works for five new stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest and Bella Vista;
· The first TBM will be in the ground by the end of next year, with the remainder to follow soon after; and,
· Completion of the tunnel contract expected in the first half of 2017.
It is a major task to establish the construction sites in preparation for the arrival of the TBMs and this work, including major excavation work, will begin now.
The NSW Government announced last week the North West Rail Link budget has been set at $8.3 billion and the line will open by the end of 2019.
Once the tunnelling contract is complete in 2017, work will continue along the 36km length of the project to lay tracks, fit out stations and deliver Sydney’s new generation rapid transit trains.
The tunnelling contract is the first of three major contracts on the North West Rail Link to be awarded:
· The skytrain and surface construction contract is out to tender and is expected to be awarded before the end of this year; and
· Formal tender documents have been issued to the two shortlisted consortia competing to operate the North West Rail Link, with the contract expected to be awarded before the end of 2014. This contract will be a Public Private Partnership, subject to value for money criteria being met.
For further information on the North West Rail Link you can go to www.northwestrail.com.au
Call our Community Information Line: 1800 019 989
Visit our Community Information Centre: 299 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill