Tunnelling works are scheduled to begin in 2014 on Sydney’s $9bn North West Rail Link announced Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian following the recent release of the project’s first of two Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). The scheme contains 15km of twin bore tunnels, which will be the deepest and longest built to date in Australia, bored by four TBMs and eight roadheaders.
Before major construction can start, EIS 1 must be approved by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure with the decision expected in the second half of 2012.
The first EIS examines major construction work including tunnelling, underground station excavation and major above ground construction, including a new section of Skytrain. The EIS outlines the impacts of construction on the local community and, more importantly, how they will be managed.
“The release of this EIS is further evidence the NSW Government is getting on with the job of delivering the North West Rail Link,” Mr O‟Farrell said.
“This is the most important transport project in the country, and we are proceeding full steam ahead with its delivery.”
Ms Berejiklian said 17 construction sites are planned to be set up along the North West Rail Link‟s alignment from Epping to Rouse Hill, highlighting the scale of the project.
Eight new railway stations are planned along the route at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Hills Centre, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road.
“We‟re building tunnels almost six times longer than the Sydney Harbour Tunnel so we can deliver frequent, reliable and direct rail services to Sydney‟s North West – linking the region to Epping, Macquarie Park, Chatswood, North Sydney and Sydney‟s CBD.”
As part of the first Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the community has the chance to comment on tunnelling, underground railway station excavation as well as construction of the above ground Skytrain section between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill railway stations.
The EIS can be viewed by going to http://www.northwestrail.com.au and following the links or at the community information centre.
A second and separate EIS is currently being prepared for the design of railway stations and the areas around them, operational rail infrastructure and systems like signalling.This second EIS will be released during the second half of this year.