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High speed rail gaining momentum

The High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) is on track to deliver the first key milestone for Australia’s first high speed rail line, with tenders awarded for the Sydney to Newcastle Business Case. 

Advisers will support HSRA to plan and develop the East Coast High Speed Rail Network, connecting Sydney, Central Coast and Newcastle.

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A competitive open tender process sought industry experts with extensive experience in planning and delivering major infrastructure projects like high-speed rail.

Industry was also encouraged to form suitable consortia, where necessary, and comply with all requirements set out by the Commonwealth Approach to Market Terms.

More than 300 industry members participated in the HSRA’s industry briefing held on 27 March, 2024.

The session was an opportunity for industry to learn more about the program’s milestones and demonstrate interest in the project.

The eight work packages have been awarded to the following applicants:

Work packages  Advisers
Project Control Services (Costs, Schedule and Risks) KPMG
Economics, Funding and Financing, Demand Modelling and Economic Development Strategy EY
Commercial, Delivery Strategy and Industry Engagement EY
Transport, Land Use and Property WSP
Technical Advisory, Environment and Sustainability, Community and Stakeholder Engagement WSP and Arcadis
High Speed Rail Network Operations Planning Arup
First Nations Participation and Engagement GHD
First Nations Culture and Heritage GHD

These advisers will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program.

With 14.9 million passengers annually, Sydney to Newcastle is the busiest intercity rail line in Australia.

The business case will determine important elements of the network, including proposed corridor alignment, station locations, fleet, cost estimate and construction timeframes.

It will be an opportunity to benchmark best practice and explore lessons learnt from high-speed rail networks across the globe.

The Federal Government has committed $500 million for the planning and corridor protection of the Sydney to Newcastle section, and established the High Speed Rail Authority to conduct the work independently.

HSRA will work closely with state, territory and local governments, industry and peak groups, community and First Nations stakeholders on business case development.

The first major milestone will be progressing with onsite studies like geotechnical investigations to test ground condition.

This will help inform high-speed rail corridor alignment and station locations.

The business case is expected to be presented to Government by the end of this year.

Stakeholders can register their details to participate in future engagement opportunities by emailing info@hsra.gov.au.

Program information is available at the website.