Perth's Forrestfield-Airport rail link tunnelling expected to finish in first half of 2020

Perth's Forrestfield-Airport rail link tunnelling expected to finish in first half of 2020
Perth's Forrestfield-Airport rail link tunnelling expected to finish in first half of 2020

Perth's new Forrestfield railway line that will also serve Perth Airport is expected to complete tunneling in the first half of 2020 as progress steps up a gear on building the new stations.

In an end of year news update, the project delivery team said 7600 tunnel rings have been installed and both TBMs - Grace in the lead, Sandy in pursuit - are nearing the end of the run under the Swan River broadly along the Tonkin Highway corridor toward the Bayswater tunnel diver and junction site.

Following the excavation of the station pit at Redcliffe - located to the east of Perth Airport's Qantas terminals - both TBMs arrived in the first half of 2019, underwent a one-month-long maintenance round and then were sent on the final leg of the journey towards Bayswater.

Meanwhile, early works have begun on the upgrade to Bayswater station that Urban.com.au reported on in December 2018, with an 80-year-old Kurrajong tree delicately relocated from the station worksite.  

At Airport Central station which is located next to the Virgin and International terminals, in November the Skybridge linking the station to the terminals was completed with the longest single-span uninterrupted escalators measuring 35m long and 15 high being the noteworthy addition late last year.

The line's terminus at Forrestfield station reached the halfway mark during 2019 according to the end-of-year summary. The tunnel portal building, storage building as well as station's main concourse, platforms and vertical transport (escalators, stairs, lift frames) were all installed in 2019.

The Forrestfield-Airport Link is being delivered through a single-package "lump sum" Design and Construct Contract that was awarded to a Slini Impregilo-NRW Joint Venture in April 2016.  

Thornlie-Cockburn link contracts signed

In mid-December 2019 the Western Australia Government signed a contract to kick off construction on the Thornlie-Cockburn link which will create a suburb-to-suburb loop in Perth's southern and southeastern suburbs.

The Thornlie-Cockburn link is designed to connect the southern Mandurah line with the southeastern Armadale line.  Thornlie already exists as a branch off the Armadale line, the project will see existing track duplicated and then extended to Cockburn Central with two new stations located between Thornlie and Cockburn Central.

The price of the contract has come in at $716 million and is expected to be complete by 2023.  This compares to a pre-election commitment of $474 million and a start date of 2021.

The NEWest Alliance comprising CPB Contractors and Downer was awarded the contract.

Perth's Forrestfield-Airport rail link tunnelling expected to finish in first half of 2020
The WA Government's METRONET heavy rail plan

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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Perth Metronet

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