Major contract for works on Canberra Light Rail Stage 2A awarded

Monica Gameng   |   August 14, 2022
Canberra Light Rail (cr: ACT Government)

A major contract has been awarded by the Australian and Australian Capital Territory Governments as part of the overall Canberra Light Rail Stage 2A project that will extend the light rail from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park. 

The contract award with Canberra Metro is for the delivery of five new light rail vehicles (LRVs) as well as the modification to Canberra’s existing light rail fleet and the expansion of the light rail depot. 

“This contract is a critical milestone for the delivery of the Stage 2A extension of light rail to Commonwealth Park and supports future services to Woden. 

“We need to order new LRVs now, and upgrade our existing fleet and depot, to ensure we have enough vehicles manufactured, delivered, tested and ready to start services to Commonwealth Park when construction of the track is completed,” ACT Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said. 

The five new LRVs are going to be manufactured by CAF and will be progressively delivered from 2024. On the other hand, the 14 existing light rail vehicles are going to be retrofitted with onboard batteries to enable them to operate on the wire-free line extension to Commonwealth Park as well as on the future Stage 2B extension to Woden. 

The new LRVs will allow the existing vehicles to be temporarily taken out of service to be retrofitted without affecting the current light rail services. 

As part of the project, the light rail depot at Mitchell is also going to be expanded to accommodate the ongoing maintenance of the larger fleet of LRVs. The depot expansion is due to be completed in early 2024, ahead of the progressive delivery of the new LRVs. 

“Moving to retrofit all existing LRVs with onboard energy systems for wire-free running shows our commitment to delivering light rail, not only to Commonwealth Park, but right through the Parliamentary Triangle to Woden. 

“The five new vehicles will be built for Canberra’s future light rail system will support the same high frequency services on the next stage that have been embraced by Canberrans on the first stage,” Minister Steel said. 

 

The Light Rail Stage 2A project will include: 

  • Raising London Circuit to provide an at-grade intersection with Commonwealth Avenue 
  • Delivering 1.7 kilometres of track connecting the current Alinga Street terminus to Commonwealth Park. This will include three new light rail stops at Edinburgh Avenue, City South and Commonwealth Park 

The next steps for Stage 2A will involve the beginning of construction to raise London Circuit, which is part of the enabling works of this stage of the project – works are due to commence soon. 

The submission of an environmental assessment and works approval application for Stage 2A will follow suit so that major construction of the light rail line can begin once the raising of London Circuit is completed. 

“The LRV modifications and depot expansion will increase the network’s capability to improve connectivity for people needing to travel for work or to access services and events in the southern part of the city. 

“This project and associated works are expected to support up to 1,000 jobs over its life, which is a significant amount of local employment,” Federal Member for Canberra Alicia Payne said. 

While the works on Stage 2A are being carried out, detailed design as well as approvals will continue for Stage 2B – a project that will take the light rail all the way to Woden through the Parliamentary Triangle. This stage of the light rail project will also include nine new stops. 

Canberrans will be given the opportunity to have their say on the final light rail design early next year once it has been released for public display, which is part of the works approval application. 

The Light Rail Stage 2A project is jointly funded by the Australian and Australian Capital Territory Government. 

“The Australian Government understands the importance of investing in reliable and efficient transport to help commuters and travellers navigate their home. 

“This is another significant step in a project that will reduce congestion and improve travel times,” Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said. 

Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government; ACT Government – Media Releases; ACT Government – Light Rail to Woden (1, 2); ABC News; CBR City News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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