Contract signed for Sydney light rail project

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The New South Wales (NSW) Government has finalised a $2.1 billion contract to design, build and operate the new CBD and South East Light Rail line.

The ALTRAC Light Rail consortium, previously called Connecting Sydney, will deliver the new 12-kilometre tram system from Circular Quay through the central business district (CBD) and on to Moore Park and Randwick Racecourse.

The consortium, which comprises Transdev Sydney, Alstom Transport Australia, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Capella Capital, has a 15-year operating contract. From 2015, it will also operate and maintain the existing Inner West Light Rail network.

Construction of the CBD and South East Light Rail will start after Anzac Day (April 25) next year. The network will be completed in 2018 and begin revenue service in early 2019.

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

She added: “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.”

Sydney’s planned CBD and South East Light Rail will have the world’s longest trams. The system, which will be served by 30 new light rail vehicles (LRVs), will operate 67-metre coupled trams, longer than the 54-metre Siemens Combino Plus trams in Budapest.

As well as longer trams, proposals include extending the length of the line under catenary-free operation and using a less disruptive construction method for the tunnel under Anzac Parade through to Moore Park.

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