News dalla rete ITA

4 Febbraio 2021

Australia

MAJOR RAIL PROJECTS TAKING NEXT STEPS IN CONSTRUCTION AROUND AUSTRALIA

Around Australia, major rail projects are connecting cities and reshaping regions. With delivery now underway. SYDNEY METRO The largest, and perhaps most ambitious rail project in Australia, has in 2020 expanded from the delivery of one line, to construction of three separate projects simultaneously. Sydney Metro is one of the defining transport projects not only in Australia but around the world, and is going towards reshaping Sydney into a metropolis of three cities. Since the opening of the Northwest Line, connecting the city’s north west growth area to the jobs hub of Macquarie Park and densifying suburbs such as Epping and Chatswood, there have been 25 million journeys on the driverless metro system, the first for passenger rail in Australia. Customer satisfaction rates are also some of the highest by transport mode in Sydney, and the service has maintained a 99 per cent reliability rate. The next lines are looking to replicate this success. On Sydney Metro West, which will link Westmead and Parramatta to the Sydney CBD via the Inner West, work is underway to prepare for the arrival of tunnel boring machines. While Sydney Metro West is about improving the link between Sydney two existing CBDs by doubling the rail capacity between Parramatta and Sydney, Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport is all about creating a new city for Sydney, the Aerotropolis. With a commitment to have the line open by the time the new airport opens in 2026, early geotechnical investigations have begun at St Marys ahead of the start of tunnelling. CROSS RIVER RAIL While South East Queensland is expected to continue its trajectory of population growth, unlike Sydney, jobs growth is expected to remain in central Brisbane. To address this, Cross River Rail is about overcoming bottlenecks and unlocking rail transport through Brisbane. This need has driven not only the construction of new stations but the integration of the new underground river crossing with the existing network. Construction on the project itself is well progressed, with up to 60 per cent of excavation complete for station boxes such as at Boggo Road. Tunnel boring machines are being assembled and will be launched in early 2021 and tunnel throughout the year. Besides tunnelling, 2021 will also see further steps taken on the rollout of European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling technology. With the pilot on the Shorncliffe Line complete, train fitment at Redbank will be underway and preparations will be made for further trials. While ETCS will be first operational in the new tunnels, the technology will also be deployed to the wider South East Queensland network, to increase capacity and safety. INLAND RAIL Split into numerous sections, construction both began and finished on various areas of Inland Rail in 2020. On the Parkes to Narromine (P2N) section, which opened in September 2020, the benefits of a community-focused approach to rail construction have already been felt. In total, $109.7 million was spent with local businesses with construction occurring from December 2018 to August 2020. A relatively short project, under 100km long, the completion of P2N provides a snapshot of the further benefits that will come as construction begins on longer sections. The next project to get underway is Narrabri to North Star, with a ground breaking ceremony held in late November. 2020 has also seen changes to the contract and procurement structure for the next legs of Inland Rail. New delivery mechanisms will accelerate work and by breaking up projects more companies at various levels within the construction industry are able to be involved. As of early December 2020, Inland Rail had $1.65 billion under contract progressing and two to three times that amount under procurement. For companies wishing to be involved, what is important to Inland Rail is a focus on social performance and creating jobs within the local community, as seen in the P2N section. With construction beginning on major parts of the project in 2021 and trains already running on completed sections, the future of Inland Rail will be decided by its connections to existing rail networks, intermodal hubs, and ports. Business cases on connections between either end of the project and ports in Melbourne and Brisbane need to be completed. Once these final connections are completed, Inland Rail will achieve its goal in connecting the country. (ICE SYDNEY)


Fonte notizia: Rail Express