Major construction works on the Parramatta Light Rail in New South Wales, Australia, will commence in 2019 following the award of two major contracts to build and operate Stage one of the project, which will see Westmead being linked to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia.

The final budget for the project has been confirmed as $2.4bn, which comprises 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 the year 2015 to 2023.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the consortia selected have a proven history of delivering light rail projects around Australia.

Constance added: “We are excited to confirm the NSW Government is investing in not one but two experienced consortia to deliver us a world-class light rail.

“Between them, these teams have delivered the Newcastle, Canberra and Gold Coast Stage two light rail networks that have transformed these cities for the better.”

The $840m contract for developing the light rail system has been given to Downer and CPB Contractors in a joint venture.

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“In a few years, Parramatta Light Rail is going to get people out of their cars and transform the Greater Parramatta region with quick and easy transport.”

The $536m contract for the supply and operation of the network and building of the depot, light rail stops and power systems has been given to the Great River City Light Rail consortium, which includes Transdev, the operator of Sydney’s Inner West Light Rail, and CAF Rail Australia, which supplies vehicles for the Inner West and Newcastle light rail networks.

Constance added: “Both consortiums’ proposals for Stage one clearly demonstrated a strong appreciation of the needs of the customer and the community and the importance of connecting great places in the Greater Parramatta region.”

“We will also be bringing new business to Parramatta. For example, Great River City Light Rail will operate from its future base in Camellia, with a permanent workforce that provides opportunities for local jobs.

The Parramatta Light Rail network will have a wire-free design for around 4km of the 12-kilometre track between Westmead and Cumberland Hospital, as well as between Prince Alfred Square and Tramway Avenue.

According to Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee, the Parramatta Light Rail was an important addition to the public transport network in Greater Western Sydney.

Lee added: “We could not have achieved this without the tremendous support of the community, who have given us such valuable feedback and ideas over more than three years of planning and design.”

“In a few years, Parramatta Light Rail is going to get people out of their cars and transform the Greater Parramatta region with quick and easy transport.”

The Parramatta Light Rail will commence operations in 2023, providing a service that operates every 7 and a half minutes during peak periods. The 45m vehicles will be completely accessible and can accommodate up to 300 passengers each.

Remediation works started in October at the site of the future light rail Stabling and Maintenance facility at Camellia, while roadworks to prepare the Parramatta CBD and North Parramatta by redirecting traffic flow are currently underway.