Two Key North West Rail Link Milestones Reached

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said the North West Rail Link is another step closer with two key milestones reached.

 Tenders have closed to build the billion-dollar tunnels, and expressions of interest have also closed on a separate contract to operate the rail link.

 “I’m really pleased to announce these milestones – we are getting on with the job of building the North West Rail Link,” Ms Berejiklian said.

 “We are on track to have tunnel boring machines in the ground next year, which is exciting not just for the north west, but the whole of NSW.”

 Three tenders were received to build the 15km twin tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping – the longest rail tunnels ever built in Australia.

 The tenders for the Tunnel and Station Civils (TSC) contract, to be assessed over coming months, were from:

  • Baulderstone Bouygues Travaux Publics Joint Venture; 
  • Rapidlink Joint Venture – Obayashi, McConnell Dowell, Laing O’Rourke Australia 
  • Thiess John Holland Dragados Joint Venture.

 This contract, fully funded by the NSW Government, is expected to be awarded around the middle of this year.

 The Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) contract includes supplying Sydney’s new-generation single deck trains and converting the Epping to Chatswood Rail Line.

 Three consortiums made up of a combined 17 organisations from Australia and overseas have lodged expressions of interest for the contract. They are:

  • Northwest Rapid Transit  – MTR Corporation (Australia), John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services, Plenary Group; 
  • TransForm – Serco Australia, Bombardier Transportation Australia, SNC-Lavalin Capital, McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust), John Laing Investments, Macquarie Capital Group; and 
  • The Pulse Consortium – Keolis Australia, Downer EDI, Obrascon Huarte Lain, Ansaldo STS Australia, Mitsubishi Corporation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

 “This is a massive vote of confidence in the North West Rail Link and the NSW Government’s rapid transit system,” Ms Berejiklian said.

 The submissions will now be evaluated and shortlisted as the contract moves forward to the request for proposal stage.

 The contract will be delivered as a public private partnership subject to being value for money for taxpayers.

 “It’s full steam ahead on the North West Rail Link – we’re getting on with the job of delivering a fast, safe and reliable rail system to the people of the north west for the very first time,” Ms Berejiklian said.



  • Eight new stations will be built at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road; 
  • Total of 4,000 commuter car spaces are also part of the project – making up about 10 per cent of all commuter car parking on the entire Sydney rail network; 
  • Includes fast, safe and reliable new generation single deck trains; 
  • Twin tunnels will be 15.5kms long, and each tunnel boring machine will weigh about 1000 tonnes. 
  • Some tunnel boring machines can to 200m long and can cut 120m of tunnel a week. 
  • Three major contracts are part of delivering the North West Rail Link: 
  • Tunnel and Station Civils (TSC) contract to build the twin 15km tunnels and underground station excavation – expected to be awarded middle of this year (fully funded by the NSW Government); 
  • Surface and Viaduct Civil (SVC) contract to build the 4km skytrain and associated civil works including embankments and cuttings for the railway – three groups have lodged expressions of interest, with tenders to be called in coming months (also fully funded by the NSW Government); and 
  • Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) contract to deliver the new-generation single deck trains, install tracks and signalling and operate the North West Rail Link – a Public Private Partnership to be awarded in 2014.