WA’s METRONET project has reached a key milestone with the new METRONET Forrestfield-Airport Link now officially joined to the wider rail network at Bayswater Junction.
Two 56-hour weekend shutdowns in February and March 2021 enabled the vital connection to be made.
Three METRONET train lines will run alongside one another for the first time on Perth’s rail network in Bayswater – the Midland Line, the Airport Line and the Morley-Ellenbrook Line.
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “Our newest train line, the METRONET Forrestfield-Airport Link has now been linked to the broader rail network via the Bayswater Junction.
“We’re working with the contractor to complete the project as soon as possible.
“Critical works still to be completed include track laying, which is anticipated to be finished in the middle of this year, as well as installation of overhead line equipment.
“Once the infrastructure is completed, testing and commissioning will be conducted so drivers can become familiarised with the line.
“This project has created thousands of jobs and, when complete, will change the way people from the eastern suburbs can choose to travel.”
In December 2017, a section of track on the Midland Line was temporarily relocated to create space for the construction of the Bayswater Junction dive structure. Over the past few months this has been rebuilt and located to its permanent home.
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said, “Just over 12 months ago the Tunnel Boring Machines Grace and Sandy broke through at Bayswater Junction and completed tunnelling on this major project.
“An exciting and busy time for the project, on the cusp of our COVID-19 recovery, we’re getting closer every day to tagging on for that first journey on Perth’s newest railway line.”
Track laying on the Forrestfield-Airport Link project is proceeding well with 85 per cent completed – almost 17km of track laid in the tunnels and at each end of the line.
More than 100 workers are involved in the rail infrastructure construction for the Forrestfield-Airport Link, which includes track laying and installation of overhead line equipment (OLE) by mechanics, fitters, riggers, rail traction linesmen, engineers, concrete and track workers.
Rail systems and signalling infrastructure within the tunnels are the next forefront of works, including installation of overhead conductor rail, which provides power to the trains.
The first operational trains are expected to run in the first half of 2022, due to some delays experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and work to ensure safety remained a continual priority on the project. This update is based on the latest advice, provided to the Transport Minister’s office.
The METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line, which will run alongside Bayswater Junction is proceeding well with works underway at the Gnangara Road rail crossing and within the Tonkin Gap median.
Construction is also well advanced on the New Bayswater Station project, where the three lines will connect, with earthworks, demolition and piling underway.
Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “METRONET is powering ahead, with the Forrestfield-Airport Link and Bayswater Junction coming together as part of the biggest public transport infrastructure project WA has ever seen.
“We currently have nine METRONET projects under construction, and another three projects currently in procurement.
“These projects are employing thousands of local workers, and providing opportunities for local businesses, helping to support our economy as we continue our strong recovery through COVID-19.”
The $1.86 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link project is jointly funded by the Federal Government and Western Australian Government, with the Federal Government providing $490 million.