The $8.3 billion North West Rail Link is the biggest public transport project currently under construction in Australia.

Northwest Rapid Transit announced as preferred operator for North West Rail Link Project

Published 24 June 2014

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - The New South Wales Government today announced the Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium (NRT) as the preferred operator for the North West Rail Link Project; the first stage of Sydney Rapid Transit, Sydney's brand new railway network. 

In a Public Private Partnership contract with the State Government, NRT will design, build, finance, and then operate a new rapid transit train service.

With new generation rapid transit trains it will be Australia’s first fully automated rapid transit service.

The Chairman of the NRT Consortium, Mr Lucio Di Bartolomeo said it had been a testing and rigorous tender process.

"Each and every member of our consortium has worked extremely hard to deliver the best possible value for money proposal to the Government and to create the highest level of services to our customers’’, Mr Di Bartolomeo said.

The Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium includes:

  • Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation – the major Operator participant, with John Holland and UGL Rail Services each having minority stakes;
  • John Holland Group, Leighton Contractors, MTR and UGL Rail Services  - a four way joint venture to deliver the construction;
  • Plenary Group – the financial sponsor and capital arranger.

Mr Di Bartolomeo said this long term investment by the public and private sectors will transform public transport in the northwest, placing the customer at the heart of all decision making throughout the construction and operation of the new railway.

Construction will commence in 2014 and will include:

  • installation of tracks, signalling, mechanical and electrical systems;
  • upgrades for the Chatswood to Epping railway section
  • construction of eight new railway stations and associated car parking facilities;
  • procurement of trains and signalling; and,
  • construction of a stabling and maintenance depot at Cudgegong Road in Rouse Hill.

NRT’s private financing will include three of Australia’s major banks in ANZ, NAB and Westpac as well as international banks Standard Chartered, BTMU, ING, HSBC, Mizuho and OCBC. 

Mr Di Bartolomeo said that the commitment of such major international banks to the North West Rail Link provided significant financing certainty for the State and the taxpayer.

Equity financing will come from three of NRT’s consortium members MTR Corporation, Leighton Contractors and Plenary Group and will also include equity investments from Palisade Investment Partners, Partners Group and Marubeni Corporation. The equity group has been selected for the experience and capabilities they bring to transport projects and their long term commitment to local partnerships.

The first passengers will use the North West Rail Link in 2019.