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Gawler electrification tender process opened

The tender process for the electrification of Adelaide’s Gawler rail line has begun, with companies invited to register their interest for the roughly $300 million contract.

South Australian transport and infrastructure minister Stephen Mullighan said on May 9 the RoI period would open for interested parties on May 10.

He said the State Government would contribute $152.5 million to electrify the line to Salisbury, but a matching commitment from the Federal Government would be needed to complete the project.

“This is the first stage of a long-awaited project which will provide real transport benefits to commuters in Adelaide’s northern suburbs,” Mullighan said.

“The Gawler electrification project will enable faster, safer, more reliable and more comfortable rail services which will encourage more people to leave the car at home and take public transport.”

Companies with experience in rail electrification works are invited to register on the SA Tenders website. Those eligible will be invited to complete a full tender by July, so work can begin in early 2018.

The Gawler rail electrification works will include:

  • Installation of the overhead wiring system including masts and gantry supports
  • Installation of a new signalling system
  • Installation of an Automatic Train Protection system
  • Installation of a new fibre optic communications system cable
  • Installation of protective works and modifications to existing infrastructure
  • Service relocations, vegetation trimming and removal and other works necessary to enable the electrification to proceed

The contract will require all steel to be sourced from Australian-standard certified fabricators and mills.

According to the Government’s figures, patronage rose by more than 30% on the Gawler line over the seven years to 2016, making it Adelaide’s most popular line.

“Almost 5 million trips were recorded on the Gawler line last financial year and that doesn’t factor in the hundreds of thousands of free trips taken on our trains every year with services such as the MAC Footy Express,” the minister said.

“If not for the Federal Liberal Government’s decision to withdraw funding from the project when Tony Abbott was elected Prime Minister we would be able to complete even more of this important public transport project.”

Mullighan said the state would continue to lobby the Turnbull Government to recommit to the project.