Four tunnelling contractors were issued with tender documents at the end of November for the construction of the 14km long Epping to Chatswood section of Sydney’s A$1.62bn, 27km long Parramatta rail link in Australia.

The four are Leighton Contractors; Baulderstone Hornibrook in JV with Germany’s Bilfinger and Berger; Thiess in partnership with Hochtief; and Transfield with Japan’s Obayashi. The competition is unusual because Leighton is pitched directly against fellow group company Thiess, while Germany’s Hochtief is the overall parent of both.

A further four groups – Leighton, Baulderstone Hornibrook with Bilfinger + Berger, Alstom Australia and a JV between Siemens and Barclay Mowlem – are bidding for the systems contract.

The railway will link Epping and Chatswood, providing rail access to the burgeoning areas around Macquarie Park, although the final route alignment is still awaiting approval by New South Wales state planners. Construction is expected to start in mid-2002.

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New Parramatta Transpeed Interchange