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Plans for the North West Rail Link moved a step closer this morning.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the start of the third major North West Rail Link contract process to deliver and operate the link.
"This is the biggest milestone so far in this massive infrastructure project," Ms Berejiklian said.
The NSW Government called for expressions of interest for the Operations, Trains and Systems contract.
The tender includes building the eight new railway stations, supplying the new single deck trains, installing tracks and operating the North West Rail Link.
More than 30 entities have so far registered to participate in the expressions of interest process, Ms Berejiklian said.
"The project is on target for the first tunnel boring machines to be in the ground in 2014," Ms Berejiklian said.
The government would pay the private sector operator an unspecified amount to run the North West Rail Link under strict rules including running 12 trains an hour during peak periods.
"The government will set the fares on the North West Rail Link and they will be determined the same way as fares on the rest of the Sydney rail network," Ms Berejiklian said.
The deadline for submissions for expressions of interest is February 14, 2013.
# The 23km North West Rail Link proposes eight new railway stations at: Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Rd.
The link includes 15.5km of tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping.
This article first appeared on northern-district-times.whereilive.com.au
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