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This Week’s Highlight: High Speed Railway Business Case

The High Speed Rail Authority (HRSA) is a federal authority founded in 2023 which is tasked with planning, overseeing, and developing a high speed rail network across Australia’s Eastern seaboard, allowing passengers to travel between major and regional cities at speeds exceeding 250 kilometers per hour. The first priority of the HRSA is to plan works for the Sydney to Newcastle section of the rail network, supported by a $500 million commitment from the Australian Government.

The proposed railway will connect Sydney to the Central Coast and Newcastle, will provide faster travel times, where the estimated Sydney to Newcastle trip will be 40 minutes. If developed, this railway will provide economic benefits, allowing Central Coast and Newcastle residents to easily work and study in the Sydney CBD.

The detailed business case, to be completed by the end of 2024, will detail important elements of the proposed railway including station locations, cost estimates, fleet, and construction timeframes.

To achieve this, the HRSA is seeking tenders for multiple work packages to develop the business case. They are doing this through multiple Request for Tenders (RFTs) for the key aspects of planning required for the works.

The individual work package RFTs are:

Rail Operations Planning Services: 

The Rail advisory will develop operations and maintenance concepts, including performance, safety, and system requirements which will guide the wider project. This advisory will also consider how the high speed rail network will integrate into the wider existing rail network.

Commercial, Delivery Strategy, and Industry Engagement Services (CDSIE): 

The CDSIE advisory will apply key stakeholder and peer review feedback to develop a commercial framework, industry engagement plan, and a social procurement and workforce delivery strategy.

Economics, Funding & Financing and Demand Modelling Services:

This service provider will provide economic advisory services, including an economic development strategy, a demand model for the high-speed rail network, funding and financial services, and benefits realization services.

First Nations People Cultural and Heritage Advisory Services:

To align with the Australian Governments Reconciliation Action plan, this service provider will manage engagement with First Nations People stakeholders, which aims to understand the cultures and stories of local First Nations peoples, to identify mitigations for unavoidable corridor impacts and to produce materials that constructively inform public debate.

Project Controls Services:

The Project Controls Service provider will produce schedules, cost estimations, risk management, document control and change control.

Technical Advisory, Design and Environment Assessment Services:

This provider’s responsibilities include digital engineering services, environmental and sustainability services, geotechnical engineering services, and technical advisory services.

Transport, Land Use, and Property Advisory Services:

This service provider will undertake investigations to support the business case, including the social and economic impacts of the railway, the impacts on transport integration and land use changes such as housing affordability.

These individual providers will work as part of a wider project team to develop the business case.

There will be online industry briefings held on the 27th of March.

The closing time and date for responses will remain open until the 12 April 2024. 

If you are after further advice on this topic or any tender opportunity, feel free to contact us. You can also subscribe to this newsletter for regular weekly updates.

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