AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Two shortlisted for NWRL operations

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Two groups, Northwest Rapid Transit and TransForm have been shortlisted for Sydney’s North West Rail Link operations contract, following an extended Expressions of Interest phase conducted by the NSW government. </span> <p>The Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) contract includes the construction and installation of track, trains, facilities, stations, car parks, and signaling and operations equipment for the planned 23km rail link connecting Sydney’s north west region to Chatswood where it will link in to the existing CityRail network.</p><p>The Northwest Rapid Transit consortium includes the Australian branch of MTR Corporation, the Hong Kong-listed firm which operates several metro networks around the world, including Hong Kong’s MTR metro system and Metro Trains Melbourne.</p><p>MTR Corporation is teaming up with Australian rail engineer UGL Rail Services and construction company John Holland – both of which are fellow stakeholders in Metro Trains Melbourne.</p><p>Also listed as stakeholders in Northwest Rapid Transit are Leighton Contractors and infrastructure investor/developer Plenary Group.</p><p>The other shortlisted consortium, TransForm, includes the Australian arm of London-listed Serco Group.</p><p>Serco Group owns several rail operations worldwide including Great Southern Rail, which runs major cross-Australian passenger services The Ghan, Indian Pacific, The Overland and The Southern Spirit. It also operates the Docklands Light Railway in London and the Dubai Metro.</p><p>For TransForm, Serco is working with train builder Bombardier Transportation and SNC-Lavalin Capital, the investment and financing arm of engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin.</p><p>Both Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin are based in Canada. The pair have partnered together before on transportation projects in Malaysia and Turkey.</p><p>Also part of the TransForm consortium is Australian engineering and construction company McConnell Dowell Constructors.</p><p>McConnell Dowell, which is owned by Johannesburg-listed Aveng Limited, was on the consortium which built Sydney’s Eastern Distributor road tunnel.</p><p>Other companies listed on the TransForm consortium include developer John Laing Investments and the Macquarie Capital Group.</p><p>Macquarie Capital Group operates under the same umbrella as Macquarie Atlas Roads, which owns 25% of Sydney’s Westlink M7, and 30% of Canada’s Highway 407 as part of a consortium with SNC-Lavalin.</p><p>NSW minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian announced the two shortlisted groups late last week.</p><p>“We now have the cream of the crop from across Australia and around the world competing to deliver this critical project for the people of Sydney,” Berejiklian said.</p><p>“The NSW Government thanks all those companies who have taken part as we move forward to the next stage of this major contract process.”</p><p>The winning consortium will be contracted to build eight new railway stations for the NWRL network, complete with car parks for 4000 cars in total.</p><p>It will also be tasked with the delivery of the new ‘rapid transit’ single deck trains and the construction and operation of a stabling and maintenance facility.</p><p>The winning group will also convert the Epping to Chatswood rail link for the new ‘rapid transit’ system, and will undertake the installation of tracks, signaling, mechanical and electrical systems.</p><p>Next for the two shortlisted groups is the Request for Proposal process, where each will put forward how they would deliver the OTS contract. The proposals are due by the end of the year, with a contract expected to be awarded in the third quarter next year.</p><p>The OTS contract will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), subject to value-for-money guidelines being met, NSW Government said.</p>