As Sydney’s second growing CBD, Parramatta supports a growing population of 4.5 million people. Local transport in the area is a major issue with significant congestion from private car use as well an inefficient existing public transport system. This 20 km light rail project will support the ongoing development of Sydney Olympic Park as a world-class, vibrant, mixed-use precinct. The light rail is being integrated with other established public transport modes such as heavy rail, bus and ferry, and is creating new interchange opportunities.
WSP was first engaged to undertake a feasibility study, and later provided further planning to assess the suitability of various public transport modes and corridors before a light rail network was proposed. A full business case was then funded by the NSW Government as a result.
The light rail is progressing in two stages. Stage 1 will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia with a two-way track spanning 12 kms. The route will link Parramatta’s CBD and train station to the Westmead Precinct, Parramatta North Growth Centre, the new Bankwest Stadium, the Camellia Town Centre, the new Powerhouse Museum and Riverside Theatres, the private and social housing redevelopment at Telopea, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse and three Western Sydney University campuses. Stage 2 will connect Parramatta CBD to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park along a nine kilometre route.
In 2018, we were engaged on Stage 1 of the project for two packages: the Parramatta Light Rail Infrastructure Delivery and the Supply, Operate and Maintain (SOM) packages. We are also supporting concept design for Stage 2 of the project.
Mapping Opportunities for Growth
During early planning, we identified the growth potential of corridors and centres for jobs and housing as well as opportunities for improved access to land uses such as health, education, recreation and social housing.
We applied an engineering overlay to the project to determine its feasibility at an early stage, including consulting light rail delivery experts at the beginning of the planning process, maintaining a focus on end-state operations. After this, we prepared a Consolidated Technical Report that coordinated and documented all technical work streams as the project transitioned into the definition and route options evaluation phase. In our final phase of services, we assessed at a high-level the traffic impact for the scheme along each of the identified route options.
Our transport planning team used early documentation and GIS to map out the opportunities and constraints and to examine the reuse of existing transport infrastructure assets in assessing options at each stage of project planning. This approach helped us to populate a risk register, which was then used to prioritise the project challenges and tactically integrate other professional services including engineering and environmental services, providing more time to explore and maximise opportunities for the project.
Stage 1 – Infrastructure Delivery Package
With our joint venture (JV) partner Aurecon, WSP will be responsible for the delivery of all design services, to our Construction JV consisting of CPB Contractors and Downer. This includes design and construction of works up to rail level comprising, design integration, civil structures and roads, services relocations, rail alignment and trackform, precinct works and placemaking, infrastructure design and active transport.
Stage 1 – Supply, Operate and Maintain (SOM) Package
As a subcontractor to Laing O’Rourke, WSP will be responsible for the design of the entire depot facility, traction power substation sites and the architecture, structural and system design for the 16 stops. It will include line-wide rail and operational systems, Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs), stop design and fit-out, a Stabling and Maintenance (Depot) Facility, systems integration, testing, commissioning and the operation and maintenance (O&M) for the Stage 1 System.
Powered for Passengers During Peak Hours
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will be powered through a combination of overhead wires and a four kilometre wire-free section, between the Westmead Station and Cumberland Hospital light rail stops, and between the Prince Alfred Square and Tramway Avenue stops.
Vehicles will be equipped with roof-mounted batteries that are charged via the overhead wires and ground level conductor rails at the Westmead Station stop.
Parramatta Light Rail is set to begin operating in 2023, offering travelers a “turn up and go” service that runs every 7.5 minutes during peak periods. The 45 m vehicles will be fully accessible and can carry up to 300 passengers each.