The High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) has awarded tenders for the Sydney to Newcastle Business Case of Australia’s first high speed rail line.  

The eight work packages have been awarded to the following applicants:  

  • Project Control Services (Costs, Schedule and Risks) – KPMG 
  • Economics, Funding and Financing, Demand Modelling and Economic Development Strategy – EY 
  • Commercial, Delivery Strategy and Industry Engagement – EY 
  • Transport, Land Use and Property – WSP  
  • Technical Advisory, Environment and Sustainability, Community and Stakeholder Engagement – WSP and Arcadis  
  • High Speed Rail Network Operations Planning – Arup  
  • First Nations Participation and Engagement – GHD 
  • First Nations Culture and Heritage – GHD 

These advisers will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program.  

With 14.9 million passengers annually, Sydney to Newcastle is the busiest intercity rail line in Australia.  

The business case will determine important elements of the network, including proposed corridor alignment, station locations, fleet, cost estimate and construction timeframes. 

It will be an opportunity to benchmark best practice and explore lessons learnt from high-speed rail networks across the globe.  

The Federal Government has committed $500 million for the planning and corridor protection of the Sydney to Newcastle section and established the High Speed Rail Authority to conduct the work independently.  

HSRA will work closely with state, territory and local governments, industry and peak groups, community and First Nations stakeholders on business case development. 

The first major milestone will be progressing with onsite studies like geotechnical investigations to test ground condition.   

This will help inform high-speed rail corridor alignment and station locations.  

The business case is expected to be presented to the government by the end of 2024. 

Image: Denis Belitsky/shutterstock.com  

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