Downer EDI Works has been awarded the $93 million Design and Construct contract to deliver the Gosford Passing Loops Project, part of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the contract will deliver additional rail track and associated infrastructure adjacent to the existing lines between Gosford and Narara stations, improvements which will allow passenger trains to overtake and pass freight trains.
“This latest announcement follows the awarding last month of the $260 million Alliance contract for construction of the North Strathfield Rail Underpass component of the project to Bouygues Travaux Publics and Macmahon Contractors Pty Ltd,” said Mr Albanese.
“For many years now, Sydney has been the single largest bottleneck on the Interstate Rail Network, with freight trains facing frustrating delays getting into and out of the City. The work that’s now underway along the rail corridor between North Strathfield and Newcastle will help remove this barrier to greater productivity.
“It will also complement the new, recently completed Southern Sydney Freight Line as well as the improvements we’re currently making to the line to Port Botany. We’re determined to restore rail’s competitiveness when it comes to moving freight over long distances.
NSW Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian, said the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program would help take 200,000 heavy vehicles off roads each year.
“The Gosford Passing Loops is one of four key projects that will improve reliability on the line to the north of Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The project will help improve the reliability of passenger services, which we know is so important for our customers, and also improve freight movements.”
All four projects that make up the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor will be completed by 2016.
This project involves the construction of two new passing loops between Gosford and Narara stations, rail bridges to accommodate the new tracks, as well as signalling, overhead wiring and civil works. Construction is scheduled to commence in March.
The contract was awarded following a competitive tender process. Downer EDI Works are experienced contractors in the Australian market and have recently worked on rail projects including the Kooragang Rail Upgrade and Port Botany Rail Infrastructure Upgrade.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Impact Statement for the Epping to Thornleigh Third Track project is being considered by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure following the public exhibition and consultation with the community late last year.
The Hexham Freight Loop was the first project to be completed under the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program and became operational on 24 June 2012.
In other recent project developments, earlier this month NSW rail agencies reached agreement with the Australian Rail Track Corporation on the operational arrangements that will underpin the delivery of the additional freight capacity that is anticipated from the works program.
The $1.1 billion North Sydney Freight Corridor Program is jointly funded by the Australian ($840 million) and NSW ($213.8 million) governments.