New South Wales has inked its biggest ever public private partnership deal as the state government awarded a $3.7 billion agreement to run what it says will be Australia’s first fully automated rapid transit rail network.

In a joint announcement, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the state had awarded the contract to operate the trains and systems for the North West Rail Link from the Sydney suburbs of Chatswood to Rouse Hill to Northwest Rapid Transit consortium consisting of…