AUSTRALIA’s High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) has awarded eight work packages to support the development of the business case for building the country’s first high-speed line between Sydney and Newcastle.

The eight contracts have been awarded as follows: 

  • project control services (costs, schedule and risk): KPMG
  • economics, funding and financing, demand modelling and economic development strategy: Ernest & Young (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, and
  • first nations culture and heritage: GHD.

The business case is expected to be presented to the federal government by the end of this year. The government has allocated $A 78.8m ($US 52m) to develop the Sydney - Newcastle business case, out of a total of $A 500m allocated to progress planning of Australia’s future high-speed network.

The Sydney - Newcastle high-speed line will have a maximum speed above 250km/h and will be built on a dedicated alignment between the two cities. The business case will also make provision for future extensions to Brisbane and Melbourne.

Used by 14.9 million passengers a year, Sydney - Newcastle is Australia’s busiest inter-city rail corridor.

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