Australia, Canberra Light Rail Tender Winner Announced

Australia, Canberra Light Rail Tender Winner Announced :Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for Capital Metro Simon Corbell have announced today, 1 February 2016, that the first stage of Canberra’s light rail network connecting the City with Gungahlin will be constructed and operated by the Canberra Metro consortium.

The Canberra Metro consortium comprises:

Pacific Partnerships: consortium leader, operations
Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments: equity partner
John Holland: design and construction, operations and maintenance, equity partner
Mitsubishi Corporation: equity partner
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi: financial adviser
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF): tram supply and maintenance
CPB Contractors: design and construction
Deutsche Bahn International: operator

The consortium, which beat the Activate consortium led by Downer EDI and including Bombardier Transportation Australia and Melbourne tram network operator Keolis Downer, has promised to deliver the system sooner and with a capital cost lower than earlier estimated:

the capital cost included in the winning bid is $698 million, with a variance of 5% depending on contract negotiations and changes in market conditions between now and contract closure
construction is planned to be completed in late 2018 with operations beginning early in 2019

The Stage 1 route will connect the City to Gungahlin via a 12 km route following Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway, Flemington Road and Hibberson Street. Thirteen stops have been planned.

The contract includes the provision of 14 CAF Urbos 100 trams, each one 33 meters long with 66 seats and capacity to carry 207 people, one depot and 20 years of operation and maintenance.

The trams will be 100% powered by renewable energy. Also on-board energy storage will capture braking energy, allowing trams to run without wires between stops and helping energy efficiency. Passengers will have access to free wireless Internet on board.

The Capital Metro light rail will operate from as early as 6:00 AM up to 1:00 AM, with services running every 6 minutes at peak times. It will be part of an integrated public transport system including the ACTION bus network and will share the MyWay ticketing system used on ACTION buses. The journey time between the City and Gungahlin is anticipated to be 25 minutes or less.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that a decision on a possible extension to Russell will be made this year as discussions continue with the Federal Government to secure funding. Mr. Barr confirmed the Canberra Metro consortium has priced the extra 3.2 km of line.


Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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