Three in running for North West Rail Link

An Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for New South Wales’ North West Rail Link ‘Operations, Trains and Systems’ PPP has come to an end. Three bidding groups will compete for the contract.

New South Wales (NSW) Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has announced the closure of the Expressions of Interest phase for the public-private partnership (PPP) element of the state’s North West Rail Link project.

The “Operations, Trains and Systems” (OTS) contract – which incorporates the construction and operation of the link – will be competed for by three rival groups:

Northwest Rapid Transit: MTR Corporation (Australia), John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services and Plenary Group;

TransForm: Serco Australia, Bombardier Transportation Australia, SNC-Lavalin Capital, McConnell Dowell Constructors (Australia), John Laing Investments and Macquarie Capital Group; and

The Pulse Consortium: Keolis Australia, Downer EDI, OHL, Ansaldo STS Australia, Mitsubishi Corporation and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ.

The three bids will be evaluated and shortlisted before the process moves on to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage.

The North West Rail Link is a 23-kilometre line connecting Chatswood in Sydney’s North Shore (10km north of the central business district) with the Hills District (Sydney’s north-western suburbs) and includes the construction of eight new train stations.

The winner of the OTS contract will be responsible for providing passenger rail services on the link as well as the operation and maintenance of all the infrastructure.

To reduce the overall financing requirement, the NSW government has said it expects to make a contribution towards the capital and service costs of the project.

A separate design and construct (D&C) contract for the construction of the link’s tunnels has reached the end of its tender process, also with three consortia involved. That contract is expected to be awarded in the middle of this year.