Engineering, Passenger Rail

Tunnelling, trains increase costs of Sydney Metro City and Southwest

Reports have surfaced that the Sydney Metro City and Southwest will increase in cost by nearly $5 billion.

The project was initially budgeted at between $11.5bn to $12.5bn but a review by Sydney Metro, reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, now estimates the cost at $16.8bn.

The increase in costs is reported to be due to cost overruns for new trains and systems, tunnelling, and the construction of underground stations.

A Sydney Metro City and Southwest spokesperson said that the project is on schedule and the NSW Government is committed to delivering the Sydney Metro City and Southwest, Metro West, and Metro Greater West.

“This is the largest public transport infrastructure program in the nation’s history.

“North West Metro was delivered on time and $1 billion dollars under budget,” the spokesperson said.

Revenue from offices, shops, and apartments built on top of stations is forecast to increase by $500 million.

The cost of new trains and systems is expected to double to $2.3bn. The rollingstock for the new line will be delivered by Alstom, in a deal announced in November 2019. The trains will be driverless and the French manufacturer will also deliver signalling to the project.

With multiple large and complex infrastructure projects underway at the same time across Australia, demand for the equipment and expertise needed to deliver tunnelling projects has increased, and this is reflected in the project’s increased cost for below-ground construction.

“The final cost of each project won’t be known until services commence,” the Sydney Metro spokesperson said.

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