John Laing, the leading international investor and manager of infrastructure projects, today announces that the ALTRAC Light Rail consortium has achieved financial close for the delivery and operation of Sydney’s new Central Business District (CBD) and South East Light Rail project. This follows ALTRAC’s formal appointment by Transport for NSW in December 2014, and confirms financial arrangements for delivery of the project.

ALTRAC Light Rail consists of Transdev Sydney, Alstom Transport Australia, Acciona Infrastructure Australia, Capella Capital and three equity investors through the ALTRAC Light Rail Partnership: John Laing (whose participation will be 32.5%), First State Super and Acciona Concesiones. John Laing’s equity commitment is £41m, which will be satisfied from its own resources. The investment is expected to increase John Laing’s primary investment portfolio.

Olivier Brousse, CEO of John Laing said: “We are delighted that Transport for NSW recognises the benefits of our proposals, which will deliver a world-class solution to provide reliable and high capacity tram services for Sydney commuters. Australia is a key market for John Laing and this fifth infrastructure investment in the region strengthens our local position and confirms our growth as a business".

Highlights of the CBD and South East Light Rail project include:

  • innovative wire-free technology along parts of George Street and Circular Quay, to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the CBD

  • efficient and comfortable travel on state-of-the-art Alstom Citadis light rail vehicles, with each vehicle carrying more people than nine standard buses

  • capacity for up to 15 per cent more light rail passengers in peak hours, and 33 per cent more seats across the day than previously planned

  • potential to carry 50 per cent more passengers in each direction than previously planned

  • improved traffic flow at key intersections

  • a redesigned single storey Moore Park stop with underground access

  • a team of on-the-ground construction support staff, to work directly with business and residents to manage impacts and address any issues and concerns.

“The CBD and South East Light Rail project is a major part of the solution to improve traffic flows and reduce congestion in Sydney and we are very excited to be part of it. Our focus is on keeping Sydney moving throughout the delivery of the project,” ALTRAC spokesperson, Malcolm Macintyre said.

“Work will be carried out in stages to minimise disruption along the alignment. We will provide extra construction support staff in the CBD to better manage the impacts for commuters, businesses and visitors alike.

“We are looking forward to delivering this project for the NSW Government and the people of Sydney.”

Services are expected to start from early 2019. As part of the project, the consortium will also assume responsibility for the existing Inner West Light Rail line that connects Sydney’s Inner West with Pyrmont, Darling Harbour and Central Station. The Inner West Light Rail will continue to be operated by Transdev Sydney. Coleman Rail is the specialist light rail sub-contractor.