This week in transport (22 February 2015)

Posted: February 22, 2015 in Transport
Tags: , ,

VIDEO: South West Rail Link Aerials

Thursday: Federal government funds first urban rail project

The Federal Government will provide $60m in funding to the ACT to help pay for a new light rail line as part of the federal government’s “asset recycling” policy. The Abbott Government has been unwilling up until now to fund urban rail, but had confirmed that rail projects would be considered for funding if state governments privatised state owned assets in a statement by the Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs in May of 2013.

2014-05-22 Jamie Briggs

Federal funding may also be provided for public transport projects to Victoria if the sale of Melbourne Port goes ahead and to NSW if the electricity distribution network is leased.

Thursday: Opposition infrastructure plan

The NSW Labor Opposition announced its infrastructure plan, a scaled back version of the Coalition’s infrastructure plan with fewer projects planned but without the 99 lease of the electricity assets that the Coalition plans to go ahead with. Under its plan, a Labor Government would complete the North West Rail Link; the CBD and South East Light Rail; the M4 and M5 stages of WestConnex (with the latter connecting to Botany rather than St Peters); and build a light rail line around Parramatta. A second Harbour Crossing would be deferred for 5 years and be subject to a cost-benefit analysis and business case. Both the Inner West bypass road tunnel connecting the M4 and M5 as well as a Western Harbour road tunnel would both be scrapped.

  1. MrV says:

    Is this the most expensive 10km of rail line passing through basically undeveloped land in recorded history?

  2. Mark Newton says:

    “rail projects would be considered for funding if state governments privatised state owned assets ”

    Campbell Newman attempted to blackmail the Queensland electorate in a similar manner and failed. So will this. In any case it hardly matters what the federal government says it will do today, because tomorrow they will say they’re doing something different.

    Who cares, they’re dead in the water.

  3. > Is this the most expensive 10km of rail line passing through basically undeveloped land in recorded history?

    In a word: yes

    It’s also the most ridiculously over-engineered too. It needed to be single track, with two platforms at Leppington, and plan for all those flyovers at Glenfield that could be implemented in 2035

  4. MrV says:


    I think you are better off in the long run with the double tracking and yes I’m sure the flyovers were an expensive aspect. However still I don’t see how it should come out at a multiple of what per-km high speed rail would cost, all for a simple suburban rail system.

    As usual there will be no accountability.

  5. Greg says:

    Also remember that the project was staged – phase 1 was just the flyovers at Glenfield, the station rebuild and the massive multistory carpark. This work was needed to increase capacity on the Macarthur line by grade separating East Hills and Liverpool trains whether the SWRL was built or not, and this section was $800 million.

    The new line itself – phase 2 – was a $550 million design and construct contract including the line itself, bridges, tunnels, stations and stabling yard.

    Presumably the extra $450 was for government on costs and minor works, probably blown out by the stop-start nature of the project.

    BTW I’m not trying to justify the high cost – it certainly should have been cheaper. I’m just pointing out that most of the money was spent on stage 1 and the project costs rather than building the line itself.

  6. Mark Newton says:

    The whole point of the flying junctions at Glenfield was to eliminate the delays inherent in a flat junction. If you think they’re expensive now, how much do you think they would cost in 2035?

  7. Don says:

    A simple dive followed by 2 underground platforms would have been sufficient. The project was only given the go ahead in the first instance by the Labour party because it was an easy rail project after they had done almost nothing of their rail 2010 plan.

  8. Ray says:

    How much do you think two underground platforms would cost? Give us a break!

  9. michblogs says:

    I went to see for myself. Leppington has four platforms. That’s twice as many as they need. The line is a vista of extravagant concrete. It looks like the new work around Cheltenham.

    There were three people on the train I caught, and a man employed at Leppington to count them.

  10. michblogs says:

    All the train network maps have been showing Leppington, prematurely, for about 8 years now. Except, very curiously, the map on the platform at Leppington station, which doesn’t have the Leppington branch on it.

  11. Tim Joy says:

    Hi Bambul

    There’s a small typo in your 1 March post

    Should be “99 year lease” in the following:

    “The Christian Democratic Party’s leader Fred Nile has added conditions to supporting the 99 lease of the state’s electricity distribution assets . Mr Nile has demanded that workers rights be protected, seeking …”

    Regards Tim

  12. Well spotted. Has been corrected.

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