The North South Rail Link, as it will be known, will connect with the existing Sydney Trains suburban network at St Mary’s on the Sydney - Penrith corridor, from where it will head south for approximately 22km to the new airport and an associated manufacturing, research, medical, education and commercial hub, to be known Aerotropolis.
The two governments have agreed to construct the North South Rail Link as equal partners, with each contributing 50% of the funding for the project which is currently estimated to cost $A 7bn ($US 5.5bn). So far each government has committed $A 50m for a detailed business case which will be used to determine the preferred route, station locations and final cost.
The Australian government has suggested that its share would most likely come from the $A 10bn National Rail Programme announced in the 2017-18 federal budget. A market sounding process will also be used to test private sector interest in station developments and explore innovative financing solutions.
The governments say they want to complete the rail in time for the opening of the new Western Sydney Airport in 2026. A second stage extension south via Leppington, to join up with Sydney’s southern commuter lines, is also under consideration.
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