John Holland has started its survey, investigation and other preparatory works on the A$176m ($179.8m) Inner West Light Rail extension along the 5.6km project corridor in Sydney, Australia.
According to the New South Wales (NSW) Government, the early work will enable major construction of the project to start later in 2012.
The extended line will link to the city's existing light rail service, which operates from Central to Lilyfield, and run along the former Rozelle freight rail corridor, through the Inner West to Dulwich Hill.
NSW awarded the contract to John Holland for the detailed design and construction of the main infrastructure elements of the project.
The contract includes construction of nine new light rail stations, power and signalling systems and bridge works.
The new stations will be located at Leichhardt North, Hawthorne, Marion, Taverners Hill, Lewisham West, Waratah Mills, Arlington, Dulwich Grove and Dulwich Hill Interchange.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said that over the coming weeks, John Holland will continue to survey the project corridor, locate existing services, undertake geotechnical investigations and clear vegetation.
"The results of these works will enable John Holland to progress detailed design of the project, ready for community consultation in September / October this year," Berejiklian said.
"Importantly, completion of these works also means that the Inner West Light Rail Extension corridor is ready for major construction to begin in earnest towards the end of the year."
"When complete, this project will make it easier for Inner West commuters to access public transport for work and leisure," said Berejiklian.
Services on the Inner West Light Rail extension are expected to start in 2014.
The NSW government said that the project is the first step in its plan to extend light rail in Sydney.
The government is also investigating the feasibility of extending light rail through the CBD, to the University of NSW and the University of Sydney via the development of the Sydney Light Rail Strategic Plan, which will be completed in the coming weeks.