Contract to build Australia's longest rail tunnels awarded

28 June 2013

Australia's New South Wales government has announced that a JV made up of Thiess, John Holland and Dragados (TJHD) has been selected to build a new underground rail system in Sydney.

The AUD 1.15bn (USD 1bn) North West Rail Link involves construction of twin 15km long tunnels, the longest rail tunnels built so far in Australia. The project also includes civil works for five of the eight new stations and two service facilities.

Four custom-made Tunnel Boring Machines will be used to construct the 6m diameter tunnels with the first of the TBMs to be in the ground by the end of next year.

Bruce Munro, Thiess managing director said: "Thiess has been delivering major projects in New South Wales for decades and between us, Thiess and John Holland have built 70 per cent of Australia┬╣s major underground infrastructure over the last 10 years. Together we have more tunnelling experience in Sydney sandstone than any other contractor and when combined with the international expertise of Dragados, we will deliver a fantastic transport outcome for the people of northwest Sydney."

TJHD expects to place orders for the TBM within the next few weeks. Work will start shortly to prepare the three major tunnelling sites at Bella Vista, Showground and Cherrybrook with contract completion scheduled for first quarter 2017.