The $A 840m ($US 599.2m) contract to build the light rail system has been awarded to a joint venture of Downer and CPB Contractors, while the $A 536m contract to supply and operate the network and build the depot, light rail stops and power systems has been awarded to the Great River City Light Rail consortium, which includes Transdev and CAF Rail Australia.

CAF will supply 13 seven-car Urbos LRVs, each with capacity for 300 passengers, as well as the systems and their integration which includes the traction system, substations, signalling, communications and control centre for the project.

CAF’s scope also includes the design and construction of the stabling and maintenance facility and the above-ground fit-out of 16 light rail stops. This work will be subcontracted to Laing O’Rourke.

Transdev Australasia will be responsible for the testing, commissioning and operation and maintenance of services, assets and infrastructure. The operations and maintenance contract runs for eight years from construction completion, with the possibility of an extension for up to 10 years.

New South Wales (NSW) minister for transport and infrastructure, Mr Andrew Constance, confirmed the final budget for the project is $A 2.4bn, which includes the two major contracts, early and enabling works, road network upgrades, new bridges and active transport links, urban design, changes to the bus network and project costs from 2015-23.

“I am also pleased to confirm the Parramatta Light Rail network will have ‘wire free’ design for around 4km of the 12km track between Westmead and Cumberland Hospital, and between Prince Alfred Square and Tramway Avenue,” Constance says.

The route for the line, which was revealed in February 2017, will connect a major hospital at Westmead with central Parramatta and Carlingford.

After feedback from the local business community, the NSW government confirmed that main construction works on Church Street (known locally as Eat Street due to the large number of restaurants) will not begin until 2020, while construction will be stopped on Church Street each summer from the beginning of November until the end of January.

The contracts include requirements for construction teams to avoid working during evenings and other busy times, a commitment to employ local workers and penalties if works are significantly delayed.

Parramatta Light Rail is due to begin operations in 2023 with a headway of 7min 30s during peak periods.

Remediation works began in October at the site of the future light rail stabling and maintenance facility at Camellia, and roadworks to prepare central Parramatta and north Parramatta by redirecting traffic flow are underway.

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