Contract awarded for Sydney’s $2.1bn CBD and South East Light Rail project

NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian last week announced that the contract to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the $2.1 billion CBD and South East Light Rail line has been finalised.

In a statement, Ms Berejiklian said that major construction of the project is now expected to finish in 2018, and services scheduled to commence in early 2019, almost a year earlier than originally expected.

The contract, which was signed with the ALTRAC Light Rail consortium (formerly named Connecting Sydney), also provides customers with better services with increased capacity, improved traffic flow at key intersections and less overhead wires,  according to the Minister.

Photo: Artist’s impression of light rail at Central / NSW Government – Transport for NSW.

“This project will provide a significant improvement in public transport in Sydney, as well as creating more than 10,000 jobs for our economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Customers will have brand new clean, modern, reliable and efficient services from Circular Quay, through the CBD, to major event venues at Moore Park and on to the south east’s major residential areas and educational and medical facilities.

“As previously announced, this contract will result in an increased project cost due to customer improvements to the original scope, and customers will enjoy services around one year earlier than previously planned.”

Ms Berejiklian said other improvements for customers include:

  • Increased capacity, with longer vehicles and longer light rail stops;
  • Services from day one will carry up to 15 per cent more light rail passengers in peak hours, and 33 per cent more seats across the day;
  • The potential to ultimately carry 50 per cent more passengers in each direction than previously planned;
  • The operation of 67 metre coupled pairs of light rail vehicles that will each carry 450 people, around nine standard buses.
  • A team of on-the-ground construction support staff, to work directly with business and residents to manage impacts and address any issues and concerns;
  • Improved traffic flow at key intersections;
  • Modern light rail technology removing the need for overhead wires between Town Hall and Circular Quay; and
  • A redesigned single storey Moore Park stop with underground access.

“Constructing the light rail in the busiest city in Australia will be challenging, and there will be disruptions, but our key focus is ensuring we keep Sydney moving throughout the delivery of the project,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Major construction will start after Anzac Day 2015, and works will be staged along the route, to reduce the impact on residents and businesses during construction.

“We will continue to work closely with the community to fine-tune the detailed week by week program for construction, and regular one-on-one meetings and community and business forums are already underway along the light rail route,” the Minister said.

“It is great news for businesses, residents and customers that the majority of major works are expected to be complete by late 2018, and after a period of testing, services will begin early the following year.”

The ALTRAC Light Rail consortium is made up of Transdev Sydney, Alstom Transport Australia, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Capella Capital. From mid-2015, the consortium will also have responsibility for the existing Inner West Light Rail.


Photo: Artist’s impression of CBD and South East Light Rail / NSW Government – Transport for NSW.

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 23 December, 2014

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