The Newcastle Light Rail project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has moved a step forward as the government awarded local firm GHD a contract for early scoping studies for the scheme.
Under the new contract, GHD will carry out detailed analysis on the location for the new transport interchange and the most appropriate alignment for light rail in the city centre.
The company will also analyse opportunities for future connections to bring the light rail system to surrounding suburbs, beaches and the broader Hunter region.
Transport for NSW awarded the contract to GHD through a closed competitive tender process targeting firms with expertise in light rail, engineering and multi-modal transport projects, along with local knowledge and experience.
The contract was awarded through a closed competitive tender process targeting firms with expertise in light rail, engineering and multi-modal transport projects, as well as those with local knowledge and experience.
The new light rail system in Newcastle city centre is expected improve the city’s economy, improve access and boost the amenity of the central business district.
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said that the light rail project was made possible due to a $340m investment from the potential long-term lease of the Port of Newcastle.
"We’ve sourced the funding and now the Government is getting on with the job of making light rail a reality," Baird said.
NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said that Transport for NSW will be advertising soon for two more specialist firms to join the team working on the project.
The first tender will be for an engineering firm to work with the planning team on important operational and engineering requirements for the truncation of the heavy rail link, while the second tender will be for engineering and operation services.