The continuation of stage two of the Parramatta Light Rail in the Western Sydney project is moving forward after the New South Wales government committed $602.4 million to start the project.
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO, Caroline Wilkie, said it was pleasing to see the crucial Western Sydney project would proceed to start works and commence a detailed planning process.
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia with a two-way track spanning 12km and is expected to open in 2023.
Stage 2 would connect Stage 1 and the Parramatta CBD to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point with the entertainment, education and employment hub at Sydney Olympic Park and the Carter Street Precinct.
“This announcement provides much needed certainty for this critical project and will ensure the Western Sydney community can reap the full benefits of light rail,” Ms Wilkie said.
“Light rail projects like this are uniquely positioned to drive urban renewal and increased land values and can be the launching pad for further development in the community.
“Parramatta Light Rail will help unleash that opportunity and support sustainable lifestyles across Greater Parramatta in the future.”
Ms Wilkie said the certainty provided by the announcement would allow industry to plan for its successful delivery and support the retention of key skills in the state.
“Having a clear pipeline of upcoming projects is essential to support the delivery of the range of major infrastructure projects underway or planned across Australia,” Ms Wilkie said.
“This is vital to supporting workforce planning and building skills capability throughout the industry.”
“We are pleased to see this continued commitment to rail projects to ensure the growth and development of vibrant, sustainable communities over the long term.”
The ARA’s 2021 report, The Renaissance of Light Rail, confirmed the transformational impact of light rail projects, enabling urban renewal, economic growth and new business opportunities along the rail corridor.
Light rail projects could also deliver significant sustainability benefits, supporting increased active and public transport use in the community.
Mockup image courtesy of the Parramatta Light Rail.