AUSTRALIA: On March 18 New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma unveiled plans for a 38 km metro line with 17 stations to link Rouse Hill in the northwestern suburbs of Sydney with the city centre.

Expected to be completed by 2017, the line is projected to cost A$12·5bn to build. Worked by single-deck stock, the metro would open for passengers on an initial section between Epping and the Hills Centre in 2015, five years after construction is scheduled to begin. The proposed route would run beneath Victoria Road, through Epping and Castle Hill to reach Norwest and Rouse Hill. There would be a number of interchanges with existing CityRail services.

Iemma added that the metro was just the first of a number of projects that were to be unveiled as part of the Sydney Link package, which he described as ‘the biggest transport infrastructure programme in Australia’s history’. A community consultation process will run until April 29 to allow local residents to give feedback on the proposals.