New South Wales seeks private interest for railway line

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New South Wales seeks private interest for railway line

New South Wales has launched a request for expression of interest (RFEOI) to develop a 35-kilometre rail freight line in the Illawarra.

Transport for NSW Freight and Regional Development will manage the registration of interest (RoI) for the proposed line, a partially constructed freight line which would connect the Main Southern Railway at Maldon to Dombarton, near Port Kembla. Construction on the line started in 1983 but was halted due to an economic downturn and the forecast growth in coal traffic not eventuating.

Investigations completed by Transport for NSW and the NSW Bureau of Freight Statistics indicate existing rail infrastructure is sufficient to manage short and medium term rail capacity to Port Kembla. "However, as the freight task grows with the growing NSW economy and passenger services increase, it is important we have the right infrastructure in place for our rail network to operate at its peak efficiency in the future," Minister Ajaka said.

The project will be developed on a design, build, operation and maintenance (DBOM) basis. The contract period is estimated about 20 years.

The Australian Government commissioned a feasibility study on the rail freight line and committed $25.5 million in funding to Transport for NSW in late 2011, to prepare detailed designs necessary for any future construction. Transport for NSW has now completed this planning and pre-construction design work, making the project ready to go ahead pending market interest and planning approval.

The registration of interest process to construct the remaining sections of the Maldon to Dombarton rail freight line opened on 13 October 2014 and the deadline for responses is 2 p.m. on 24 February 2015.

New South Wales has recently announced the financial closure of another rail PPP project. Specifically on 22 September we published that the Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) consortium had reached financial close for the A$3.7 billion OTS package of the North West Rail Link project.

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