Metronet: construction on Yanchep, Thornlie rail extensions to begin next year

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

CONSTRUCTION on the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension is expected to begin next year after Cabinet approved a business plan for the projects recently.

During a media conference at Cockburn Central train station on Tuesday morning, Premier Mark McGowan said the business case would be submitted to Infrastructure Australia within the next week for approval before construction tenders went out.

“The expectation is we’ll have one contract for both rail lines,” he said.

“Combining the two projects into one main contract should generate significant savings for WA taxpayers.”

The 17.5km Thornlie-Cockburn Link will begin at the existing Cockburn Central train station and will include new stations at Ranford Road and Nicholson Road in Canning Vale connecting to the Thornlie train station.

The Yanchep Rail Extension will build an extra 14.5km onto the existing Joondalup train line, extending from Butler station to a new Yanchep station through two more new stations at Eglinton and Alkimos.

The current combined budget for the two projects is $1.056 billion, which includes $700m of Federal Government funding.

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said they were two “very significant projects” which were needed in those areas.

“The rail connections for the both the northern suburbs and through Canning Vale have long been talked about,” she said.

“These plans recognised rail as essential infrastructure and an important travel option to help connect and move people living and working in the area.

“The northern suburbs extension up to Yanchep really facilitates all the urban development along that corridor and makes sure that we build rail in conjunction with the suburbs and the town centres such as Alkimos and Yanchep.

“The Thornlie to Cockburn connection is a very important connection giving people across this corridor better access to public transport and taking pressure off the Mandurah line.”

Ms Saffioti said they were aiming for both lines to be open in 2021.

Tenders for geotechnical and groundwater investigations for both projects have been released and a construction industry briefing has been scheduled for July 18.