NSWs $8B rail pledge

Hailed the biggest expansion of the rail network in 30 years, the State Government said planning for the new link from Sydney,s north-west to south-west was expected to be finished by 2009, with construction works to be completed from 2011-2017. The line is expected to be funded through a mix of borrowings, budget funding and private sector finance. It is believed the Government has already begun acquiring land for the new rail service. It is thought five new stations will be built on a new line extending from Central Station in Sydney,s CBD to St Leonard,s in the north. The announcement comes as the $A2 billion Epping to Chatswood rail line hit a major milestone this week, with excavation work completed on the first tunnel in the city,s north. A tunnel-boring machine broke through at Chatswood to complete the first of the project,s two 12.5km tunnels. The entire line is expected to be running by mid-2008. Sydney,s other major tunnel project, the $A680 million Cross City Tunnel, is due to open end-July.
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