NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell and NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian yesterday announced the multi-billion dollar tender process to build the North West Rail Link has started. “We’re getting on with the job of building the North West Rail Link – expressions of interest will be called later this month for the multi-billion dollar construction contract to build 15.5km of (twin-bore) tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping,” Mr O’Farrell said. “The first tunnel boring machines will be in the ground in 2014 – on schedule.”
There will be three major contracts for the construction of the North West Rail Link project:
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- Surface construction works
- Rail systems, trains and operations.
“We are now beginning the tender process for the multi-billion dollar construction contract to build the longest and deepest underground rail tunnels in Australia,” Ms Berejiklian said. “There will be a major industry briefing next week to outline the contract structure, allowing the NSW Government to get on with the job of delivering this vital new infrastructure for the people of the North West.
“Early construction work on the North West Rail Link is due to start later this year and major tunnelling work is on schedule to start in 2014.”
Four TBMs are planned to build the twin tunnels, travelling at some 120m a week, as well as eight roadheaders – double what was needed to build the Epping to Chatswood rail link. More than 100 excavators, ranging from 5 to 70 tonnes in capacity, are expected to be used across the project. A total of eight new railway stations are also proposed along the alignment at: Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Hills Centre, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road.
Sydney’s Rail Future also commits the NSW Government to begin planning for a second rail crossing under Sydney Harbour, which will allow for direct trains from the North West to the Sydney CBD via Chatswood, and beyond. The tunnel will be the first ‘heavy rail’ tunnel under Sydney Harbour.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is investing $3.3bn into the North West Rail Link over the next four years, with $360M in this year’s State Budget alone.