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First major Parramatta contracts placed

First major Parramatta contracts placed

The AUD840m (EUR516m) contract to build the first 12km (7.5-mile) stage of the light rail line between Westmead and Carlingford has been awarded to a joint venture of Downer and CPB Contractors by Australia’s NSW Government. After feedback from the local community, construction works on Church Street (known locally as Eat Street due to the large number of restaurants) for the AUD2.4bn (EUR1.48bn) project will not begin until 2020, with a suspension each summer from the beginning of November until the end of January. The contract includes requirements to avoid work in the evenings and at other busy times, commitments to local employment and penalties if works are significantly delayed. At the same time, a AUD536m (EUR329.5m) contract was signed with the Great River City Light Rail consortium of Transdev and CAF. CAF will supply 13 seven-section Urbos LRVs with off-wire capability for 4km (2.5 miles) of the route between Westmead and Cumberland Hospital and between Prince Alfred Square and Tramway Avenue as well as traction substations, signalling, communications, 16 tramstops and the depot and control centre. The latter will be built by sub-contractor Laing O’Rourke. Transdev will be responsible for testing, commissioning, operations and maintenance for eight years from construction completion; there is an option for an extension for up to ten years. Service is planned to start in 2023 with 7.5-minute peak...
KC Streetcar:  Looking to the Future

KC Streetcar: Looking to the Future

Hans Retallick discovers how the successful reintroduction of trams to Kansas City after a break of 57 years is just one major part of a transformational regeneration programme for this ‘Smart City’.   The morning of 6 May 2016 saw a large crowd gathering outside the recently renovated Union Station in Kansas City for the grand opening of the first Streetcar service in the city since 1957. The culmination of many proposals and a planning process that commenced in 2011, the new 16-stop line serves important areas in the city’s downtown area for a distance of 3.5km (2.2 miles). Kansas City, with a metropolitan area population of over two million, is unusual in that it is located in two states – State Line Road which divides Kansas from Missouri goes through the centre of the city on a north-south axis. Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO, form the heart of the district, with a large number of other urbanised areas spreading out in all directions. Located on the Missouri River, the city quickly became one of the most important US railway junctions in the early 20th Century and in its heyday boasted a 25-line streetcar network – one of the largest in the nation. From horse-drawn services that began in 1870 and electrification from the late 1880s, the streetcar followed the growth of the rapidly expanding city under the stewardship of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company that lasted until 1914. By the 1920s the effects of increased private car ownership were becoming apparent, and the succeeding Kansas City Railway Company only lasted five years before entering receivership in...