Three vie to build longest rail tunnel in Australia Sep 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Three consortia, all with Australian companies among them, remain in the running for the contract to excavate the 15.5km of twin running tunnels that will comprise the North West Rail Link (NWRL) in Sydney.
New line links Sydney's north west to the centre

New line links Sydney's north west to the centre

Following an assessment of expressions of interest from six consortia, the following have made it to the final stage, and been invited to tender for the contract next month (October 2012):
• Baulderstone (Australia)/ Bouygues (France) North West Rail Joint Venture
• Rapid Link Joint Venture, comprising Obayashi (Japan)/ McConnell Dowell (Australia)/ Laing O'Rourke (Australia)
• Thiess John Holland (Australia)/ Dragados (Spain) Joint Venture
The unsuccessful companies and consortia were: China Rail; the all-European Civiclinc consortium of Acciona (Spain)/ Ferrovial Agroman (Spain)/ Ghella (Italy); and a second all-European joint venture comprising Obrascon Huarte Lain (Spain) and Impregilo (Italy).
Baulderstone, which completed the 4.8km twin-running CLEM7 traffic tunnel in Brisbane in 2010 in joint venture with its parent company Bilfinger Berger of Germany, and Leighton Contractors), has already secured a Aus$70 million contract to complete early NWRL civil works and construction of the TBM launch sites.
Four 7.6m diameter TBMs will carry out six drives

Four 7.6m diameter TBMs will carry out six drives

It also has experience of tunnel constuction in Sydney, having completed the 2km Cross City Tunnel in 2005 in joint venture with Bilfinger Berger.
"We're on track to have tunnel boring machines in the ground in 2014, delivering one of the O'Farrell Government's key infrastructure projects," said New South Wales Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
"The contract to build the tunnels, which will be the deepest and longest rail tunnels ever built in Australia, is expected to be awarded in the second half of next year."
The full scope of the completed Aus$8.5 billion NWRL includes laying 23km of new track between Cudgegong Road and Epping, 15.5km of which will be in twin-running TBM-bored segmentally lined tunnels. A further 8km will be a mixture of at-grade and elevated track, plus the upgrade of 15km of existing line linking Epping with suburban Chatswood in north Sydney. From Chatswood passengers will be able to access the city and CBD areas by changing trains.
Four TBMs are expected to carry out the bulk of the excavations, over six separate drives, with some being completed by roadheaders.
Expressions of interest are to be called next month (October 2012) for the surface and station civil works, and operations, trains and systems contracts.
New harbour crossing in Sydney's rail plan - TunnelTalk, July 2012
Four TBMs for Sydney's $8.5 billion rail link - TunnelTalk, April 2012
Rebuilt CLEM7 TBMs launch on Brisbane traffic tunnel - TunnelTalk, August 2012

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