Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said that overarching approval has been given for the entire project, as well as approval to start construction of the 15.5km of twin tunnels and the 4km skytrain section. “This tick of approval means we can get on with the job of getting the tunnel boring machines in the ground in 2014,” she said. Three consortia had been shortlisted to tender for the multi-billion-dollar tunnelling contract, with tenders expected to be called later this month.
The approval of the first environmental impact statement includes the two 15.5km rail tunnels between Epping and Bella Vista, excavation works for railway station construction including underground caverns and above ground construction, including a 4km viaduct structure between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill.
A second environmental impact statement later this year will allow the community to have its say on other issues including the design of the eight new train stations, access points to the stations and how the railway will operate.
The North West Rail Link will include eight railway stations.