Capital Metro Stage 1 and potential future light rail network options. <em> Image: Supplied </em>

Capital Metro Stage 1 and potential future light rail network options. Image: Supplied

Without a sod turned on Stage 1 of the Capital Rail line, the government has appointed a consortium to investigate extending it to the rest of the city.

The consultants will look at the feasibility of extending the $600 million-plus rail line to the airport, the Parliamentary Triangle and Kingston, Woden, Erindale, Tuggeranong, Lanyon, Weston Creek, Molonglo, Belconnen and Kippax, Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell said on Tuesday.

An early draft of the master plan is to be ready mid-year, a final draft by November, with public consultation, and a completed master plan by early next year.

The master plan will look at extending first to the Parliamentary Triangle, Russell, Kingston and Woden, with the rest of the city to follow.

Stage 1 of the project runs from Gungahlin to the city, a 12-kilometre route down Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue. Construction is to start in 2016, and the government points out that a sensible plan for the route must take into account where future extensions would go.

Eight groups had tendered for the project, Mr Corbell said. He did not say how much the successful consortium was being paid.