Sydney awards billion dollar rail mega-project 25 Jun 2013
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Construction of the 15km twin running tunnels for North West Rail Link (NWRL) in Sydney is awarded to the Thiess (50%)/John Holland (25%)/Dragados (25%) joint venture.

New line links Sydney's north west to the centre

The successful TJHD JV beat off bids from Baulderstone/Bouygues and Obayashi/McConnell Dowell/ Laing O'Rourke to win the contract.
Scope for the Aus$1.15 billion tunnel and station civil works contract also includes the five underground stations - Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest and Bella Vista - planned for the total 23km rail link between Cudgegong Road and Epping.
The tunnels will be the longest ever built for trains in Australia. Thiess is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Leighton Holdings, which also owns JV partner John Holland. In a statement Thiess confirmed four TBMs will be procured to complete the 6m i.d. tunnels, with the first machine due in the ground next year (2014).
TJHD joint venture spokeswoman Sue Netterfield said: "We are hitting the ground running and expect to place orders for the double shield TBMs within the next few weeks. Work will start shortly to prepare three major tunnelling sites at Bella Vista, Showground and Cherrybrook, with contract completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2017."

NSW Premier O'Farrell (with spade) celebrates tunnel award

TBMs 1 and 2 will launch on 6km drives east from Cherrybrook to the existing interchange station at Epping, while TBMs 3 and 4 will complete 9km of eastbound drives from the Bella Vista station box to Cherrybrook. Roadheaders will be used to excavate a short tunnel section linking the two NWRL tunnels to the existing Epping-Chatswood line tunnels, as well as a crossover cavern linking the two lines.
"Thiess has been delivering projects in New South Wales for decades and between us, Thiess and John Holland have built 70% of Australia's major underground infrastructure over the last 10 years," said Bruce Munro, Thiess Managing Director.
"Together we have more tunnelling experience in Sydney sandstone than any other contractor and when combined with the international experience of Dragados we will deliver a fantastic transport outcome for the people of north west Sydney." The two companies worked in partnership to deliver the 3.6km Lane Cove traffic tunnel in Sydney, and 17km of TBM, cut-and-cover and roadheader excavations for the Brisbane Airport Link.

Four 7.6m diameter TBMs will complete NWRL tunnels

New South Wales Premier, Barry O'Farrell, said: "The people of north west Sydney have waited far too long for this historic day - now it's all hands on deck as we deliver Australia's biggest public transport infrastructure project."
"The NSW Government is getting on with the job of delivering the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link - and I'm pleased to confirm this project is on track and on schedule. We have now passed the point of no return, the first major contract has been awarded and the Western Sydney community can rest assured the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will deliver this critical public transport infrastructure project."
Three vie to build longest rail tunnel in Australia - TunnelTalk, September 2012
Four TBMs for Sydney's $8.5 billion rail link - TunnelTalk, April 2012

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