Error icon

This news article has been archived:

It may be out of date and some links may no longer work.

Rail Clearways program still on track

Posted: Thursday November 22 2007

Reports that the Rail Clearways program has overrun its budget have been declared wrong by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport John Watkins. Mr Watkins today announced that the program is on budget and the construction phase of the project is on schedule.

Mr Watkins said despite today's reports, the program to remove bottlenecks to on our rail system remains on budget at $1.8 billion and the cost of the projects has been made public by the Government every step of the way.

The Clearways program, which is designed to untangle the complex CityRail network, is made up of 14 projects, with a further project under consideration. Mr Watkins emphasised that today's reports included a number of projects that are part of RailCorp's future rail upgrade program - not the Clearways program, he stated that "these projects are laid out in the State Plan as future rail works but are not part of the Clearways program and never have been announced or costed as part of Clearways" and that "the proposed Sydenham to Erskineville Clearways project, not included in the project funding, is still the subject of further work and analysis."

Benefits from the Rail Clearways program are already being experienced across Sydney with one instance of this being the completion of the $77 million Bondi Junction Turnback. This project has provided commuters with improved capacity and reliability since May last year.

The impact of the skill shortage, relating in particular to Signal Electricians which was outlined in the recent Auditor General's report conduct on RailCorp titled Signal Failures on the Metropolitan Rail Network has also been acknowledged by the Minister, who confirmed that the Clearways program "is a major investment in rail even in world terms and we're competing with the rest of the world for signal engineering staff - that's why an assessment of the impact this shortage may have on Clearways projects final integration into the CityRail system is now underway."