AUSTRALIA: The New South Wales government announced its preferred route for the second phase of the Parramatta light rail project on October 18.

The 9 km preferred route would extend the network to Sydney Olympic Park, diverging from Stage 1 near Rydalmere and running north of the Parramatta River through Ermington and Melrose Park before crossing the river to Wentworth Point. This alignment is further north than originally envisaged, as the south bank would be served by the planned Sydney Metro West.

The NSW government expects to complete the business case for Stage 2 by the end of next year. Meanwhile, subject to planning approval, construction of Stage 1 is expected to begin next year. The 12 km initial line linking Carlingford with Westmead is envisaged to open in 2023, and the government is now seeking expressions of interest to design, build, operate and maintain the light rail network.