The first kilometre of the $1.86 billion 8km METRONET Forrestfield-Airport Link rail has been laid near Redcliffe station, following the completion of tunnelling in April.
Australian company Martinus Rail – under contract to Salini Impregilo-NRW Joint Venture – will use more than 2,400 tonnes of Australian-manufactured steel in the tracklaying process, with around 40km of rail needed to form the track in each tunnel, tie-ins at Bayswater and stowage at High Wycombe.
The rail started out as 27.5m pieces of steel before being flash-butt welded into giant 220m strings. Multiple teams work simultaneously to weld lengths of rail, transport and precisely lay the rail and sleepers to form the skeleton track in the tunnels, then pour the concrete that finishes the slab track.
Work is also underway to prepare for the installation of the overhead line equipment and the complex systems for communications and signalling. The tracklaying and rail infrastructure processes will support more than 100 jobs.
The Forrestfield-Airport Link will be named the Airport Line when it becomes operational, and will provide a 20 minute rail link between the Perth central business district and the eastern suburbs, with new stations at Redcliffe, Airport Central and High Wycombe.
Trains are scheduled to start running on the Airport Line in late 2021.
WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said that the seven METRONET projects currently underway, which includes the Airport Line, are providing a much needed boost for the local economy in recovery from the initial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tracklaying is one of the final major events on the construction of a rail line – it’s an exciting milestone for this $1.86 billion project, with more than 2,400 tonnes of Australian-made steel being prepared,” Mr McGowan said.
“This project continues to provide opportunities for local businesses, with WA company Melchor recently announced as the builder of the multi storey car park at High Wycombe Station.”