The New South Wales (NSW) Government has awarded the $1.15 billion tunnelling and station civils contract for its flagship North West Rail Link project.

A joint venture of Thiess, John Holland and Dragados (TJHD) a deliver the programme of works which includes constructing 15 kms of twin-bored tunnels and excavation works for five underground stations.

The tunnels, which will run between Bella Vista and Epping, will become ‘the longest rail tunnels ever built in Australia’, according to TJHD.

The JV said it expects to place an order for four new tunnel boring machines (TBM) in the next few weeks.

Tunnelling is scheduled to begin by the end of 2014.

Announcing the contract award, Thiess managing director Bruce Munro said: “Thiess has been delivering major projects in New South Wales for decades and between us, Thiess and John Holland have built 70 per cent of Australia’s major underground infrastructure over the last 10 years.

“Together we have more tunnelling experience in Sydney sandstone than any other contractor and when combined with the international expertise of Dragados, we will deliver a fantastic transport outcome for the people of northwest Sydney.”

Early proposals for the North West Rail Link date back to the late 1990s.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said: “The people of the North West have waited far too long for this historic day – now it’s all hands on deck as we deliver Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure project.”

1 COMMENT

  1. In fact the North West Rail Link route was originally proposed back in the 1920’s by a civil engineer named John Job Crew Bradfield. He was also the person that designed and oversaw construction of Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge as well as the first section of Sydney underground railway line from Central to St James. He also proposed a number of other rail lines in Sydney, a number of them have had previous governments proposing to build them, but we are still waiting 90 years later! And the O’Farrell State Government is proposing that this new metro automated line is not going to connect with the current network forcing passengers to change modes of rail transit temporarily at Epping before the brand new, already operating and intergrated rail line from Chatswood to Epping will then by upgraded to automated service, still forcing passengers to change trains at Chatswood, 10 kms from the northern side of the Harbour Bridge and 12kms from the city of Sydney. Australia has a history of different Government’s creating different systems, which is why passengers have had to change trains at state borders from 1860 until Federal Government stepped in and started standardising the network in the 1960’s, but here we go again. It’s now a city transport system that is going to suffer the stress that the state networks suffered for a century.

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