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Contract to build Australia’s longest rail tunnels awarded

Australia’s New South Wales government has announced that a joint venture between Thiess, John Holland and Dragados has been awarded the contract to build a new underground rail system in Sydney.

The AUS$1.15bn (£690M) North West Rail Link involves construction of twin 15km long tunnels – the longest rail tunnels built so far in Australia - and underground stations between Bella Vista and Epping.

The tunnelling contract is the first of three major contracts on the 36km North West Rail Link to be let while contracts for the at surface construction and skytrain sections currently out to tender and expected to be awarded by the end of the year.

The 6m internal diameter tunnels will be excavated by four tunnel boring machines, the first of which is expected to be launched before the end of next year although the order for the TBMs has not yet been placed.

Construction of the tunnels is expected to be completed in early 2017 with the rail link operational by 2019.

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