Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has unveiled the preferred route for the Parramatta Light Rail project in Sydney.
Four shortlisted corridors were investigated by the government for light rail in Western Sydney and the preferred network includes a combination of two of these options.
The 22km light rail network will connect Parramatta’s CBD to the key hubs of Sydney Olympic Park, Westmead Hospital, Western Sydney University and Strathfield.
NSW premier Mike Baird said: "We’re delivering a modern, efficient and reliable light rail network for Western Sydney.
"The light rail network will help Parramatta reach its potential as Sydney’s second CBD and be a major boost to existing public transport services in Western Sydney."
The preferred route runs from Westmead to Strathfield via Parramatta CBD, and incorporating Camellia and Sydney Olympic Park, while a light rail line will also replace the existing heavy rail shuttles between Parramatta and Carlingford.
NSW minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance said: "Light rail will be a fantastic new public transport option for Western Sydney. We’ve started building in Sydney’s CBD, Newcastle light rail is on track and now progress for Western Sydney is about to crack on."
With the routes of the project unveiled, work will now be initiated on a final business case and assessment of the preferred network.
Scope of work will include planning, design and consultation with key stakeholders along the network to develop the staging of the project, the exact light rail route and stops, and the final project cost.
The state government has already reserved A$1bn ($720m) for Parramatta Light Rail and a separate special infrastructure contribution (SIC) has now been announced.
Subject to consultation, the levy is expected to be set approximately A$200 for each square metre of gross floor area of new residential developments.
The government will also explore funding contributions from the federal and local governments.
Image: The preferred route will run from Westmead to Strathfield via Parramatta CBD, and incorporating Camellia and Sydney Olympic Park. Photo: courtesy of NSW Government.