The New South Wales (NSW) Government in Australia has unveiled plans for eight new railway stations along Sydney’s A$8bn ($7.96bn) North West Rail Link (NWRL).
Other major benefits of the NWRL and the project’s second Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) have been put on public exhibition.
NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said that commuters and other community members will have until 3 December 2012 to comment on the second EIS.
"We are building a piece of infrastructure that will completely change the way of life for people across Sydney benefiting generations to come, so we need to get it right from the start and the community is a critical part of that," Berejiklian said.
The EIS predicts that the project will eliminate 14 million car trips a year after opening and the reduction is expected to increase to 20 million car trips by 2036.
Following the opening, travel time from Cudgegong Road, Rouse Hill, to Macquarie Park will be around 28 minutes, while the journey to Chatswood will take 37 minutes and to Wynard 57 minutes.
The project’s second EIS highlights the design and operation of eight new stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road.
The statement also focuses on commuter parking for 4,000 cars and on how the rapid transit rail link runs, including new-generation single-deck trains.
The first EIS was approved in September 2012, giving the planning green light for the construction of 15km of tunnels, station excavations and a 4km skytrain section.
"By splitting the planning approvals process in two, we can now get on and build the tunnels, which will take the longest amount of time, while spending a little extra time through the second EIS looking at the design of the stations and the areas around them," Berejiklian said.
"We will consult with the community to ensure we deliver our customers the best possible service to meet all their needs, whether they are travelling to work, university, going shopping or even to the annual Castle Hill Show at the new Showground Station."
The government has shortlisted Baulderstone Bouygues North West Rail Joint Venture, Rapidlink Joint Venture and Thiess John Holland Dragados Joint Venture to design and build 15.5km of tunnels for the NWRL.
As the first part of a three-phase project, the tunnels will be built between Bella Vista and Epping to allow trains to pass through.
Over the next four years, the government will invest A$3.3bn ($3.36bn), which the state government has earmarked in its budget, while A$360m ($367m) is planned to be spent during the remainder of 2012.
The North West Rail Link will be a 23km line built along the outskirts of Sydney and will deliver eight proposed new stations.
The government is also calling for expressions of interest to design and build the 4km Skytrain track between Kellyville and Rouse Hill, as well as road bridges over railway tracks at Cudgegong Road and Tallawong Road.