NSW rail project achieves highest sustainability rating

A NSW rail project has secured an Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Leading rating for design, the highest standard of sustainability in the industry.

The rating recognises a commitment to sustainable outcomes during the design phase of the Parramatta Light Rail infrastructure works package. 

Transport for NSW Executive Director, Anand Thomas, said, “This achievement reflects the project’s commitment to deliver long-lasting economic, social and environmental outcomes while delivering a major transport infrastructure project to the people of Western Sydney. 

“It’s been a key priority during the design and construction process to identify and implement opportunities where we can increase resource efficiency and reuse materials, as well as create job and career opportunities in the local area.”

 Transport for NSW and Parramatta Connect, the Infrastructure Works contractor building the light rail, have worked together to deliver a raft of innovative and sustainable outcomes for the project.

The light rail project will be the first in New South Wales to have ‘grass track’, as well as achieve significant and positive outcomes for the project and community. 

Mr Thomas said, “In a NSW first, ‘grass track’ will be installed along ten per cent of the alignment, which requires 81 per cent less concrete compared to standard embedded trackform.

“The project will achieve a 36 per cent reduction in carbon emissions through construction and operations, simply by designing areas with a wire-free system, using supplementary and recycled materials in concrete and asphalt, and re-using existing rail, sleepers and ballast.”

Other Parramatta Light Rail initiatives that contributed to the rating include:

  •  An Australian First Innovation with the use of a noise and vibration reducing product known as a rail boot system, which is installed on the tracks in sensitive areas
  • A NSW First Innovation with the use of macro synthetic fibres within the light rail’s concrete track, which reduces the quantity of steel reinforcement required, increases concrete durability and performance, and is quicker to install
  • Achieving strong positive social impacts through the creation of jobs and employment opportunities. To date, 57 per cent of trades roles are apprentices, 14 per cent of the workforce are under the age of 25, 2.7 per cent are women in non-traditional roles and 2.4 per cent are Aboriginal

The ISCA rating scheme is Australia and New Zealand’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction, and operation of infrastructure. 

At the completion of the project, ISCA rating scores from each package of works will be combined to provide an overall rating for the Parramatta Light Rail project.

Major construction of Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail is underway, with more than 50 per cent of tracks laid across the 12-kilometre alignment. 

From 2023, the Parramatta Light Rail will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia.

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