Australian Rail Track Corporation today outlined that the programme for delivery of the Southern Sydney Freight line is being re-evaluated with a view to determine the most cost effective way forward.
The opportunity to re-evaluate the programme of delivery has come about due to three key issues that have directly impacted on the original delivery programme.
Firstly, the windows available to conclude signal design and modifications to the RailCorp ATRICS signalling system do not match the current project delivery schedule which means signal changes may not be made until November 2010 or early 2011.
Secondly, it has become necessary to redesign part of the route to minimize impact on the Glenfield Garbage Tip. Changes to the garbage tip area have necessitated this redesign so as to minimize the impact on the tip area and reduce the exposure of the line to future environmental issues in the tip area.
In addition, requirement for more extensive service re-location along aspects of the rail corridor has had an impact upon estimates of quantities of materials required for the project. Due to the significant size of this infrastructure project and the adjustments to its delivery, quantities need to be recalibrated for the final construction of the line.
Given these adjustments to the timing of the line opening the opportunity is being taken to evaluate the most cost effective method of delivery of these adjustments and the overall project.
Each of these adjustments has a potential material impact upon the cost of delivery of the project and therefore the present programme of construction is being slowed somewhat, to evaluate the most effective options in moving forward.
It is important to highlight that ARTC will complete, without any delay, the delivery of ‘easy access’ railway station upgrades at Minto and Cabramatta.
ARTC will also complete, without delay, construction of Auburn Road Bridge and Chester Hill Road Bridge. All other road upgrades and modifications will be completed to alleviate any third party inconvenience (e.g. a temporary footpath); enables safe use and access of public areas; and removes a potential environmental impact from the construction programme.
The Southern Sydney Freight Line Project is funded by ARTC.