One of New South Wales’ largest railway engineering projects reached its next phase after three international consortia were called to tender for its delivery and operation.
A range of high-calibre international groups will vie for the Public Private Partnership contract to Sydney’s CBD and South East Light Rail, which includes everything from the design and construction to the maintenance and finance of the network. The winning consortium will also claim the rights to operate the Inner West Light Rail, which stretches from Central to Lilyfield.
Transport for NSW revealed that SydneyConnect, iLinQ and Connecting Sydney are the three parties that have been invited for tender.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said that in addition to boosting the state’s public transport capacity, the project will be welcome news for those in the railway engineering sector as it promises to bring “thousands of jobs”. Once completed, the network will help tackle some of Sydney’s most pressing urban design issues.
“The $1.6 billion CBD and South East Light Rail will address three of the biggest challenges facing Sydney – unreliable journey times, traffic congestion, and population growth,” she explained.
She also added that a key consideration when assessing the bids would be how the groups planned to successfully deliver the requirements of the project, while minimising disruption to current services and “[maximising] benefits to our customers and NSW taxpayers”.
“We expect innovative thinking and detailed planning to be done over the coming months, before they submit their tenders later in the year,” she asserted.
The winner of the contract is likely to be revealed in late 2014, according to Transport for NSW. The entire project is expected to take anywhere between five and six years to complete.