NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell and NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced the multi-billion dollar tender process to build the North West Rail Link has started.
The North West Rail Link will be the first rail line to feature new generation single deck, high frequency trains as part of Sydney’s Rail Future.
The first single deck trains will operate from the North West to Chatswood, providing customers with at least 12 trains an hour in the peak – or one every five minutes.
“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 tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“The first tunnel boring machines will be in the ground in 2014 – on schedule.”
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 trains operating on the North West Rail Link will be a new generation, single deck service – delivering a fast, safe and reliable journey for commuters,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“There will be no need for a timetable – customers will just turn up to one of the eight new stations proposed for the North West and catch the next train.”
There will be three major contracts for the construction of the North West Rail Link project:
“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.”
Ms Berejiklian said the new generation trains will mean faster services along the North West Rail Link because it takes less time for passengers to board and disembark single deck trains, and they accelerate faster.
The North West Rail Link could ultimately cater for more than 20 single deck trains an hour. Single deck trains can carry more people per hour.
“We know customers want faster, more reliable services and the new generation trains will provide a more efficient, comfortable journey on our network,” Ms Berejiklian said.
About one-third of customers from the North West are expected to alight at or before Chatswood in the morning.
While the first heavy rail tunnel under Sydney Harbour is being planned as part of Sydney’s Rail Future, North West customers travelling to the city will cross the platform at Chatswood to change trains. More trains will be introduced on the North Shore Line so there will be a train every three minutes in the peak.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is investing $3.3 billion into the North West Rail Link over the next four years, with $360 million in this year’s State Budget alone.