THE State Government has signed off on a $1.176 billion dollar contract to construct a rail link between Perth’s hills and the airport.
Premier Colin Barnett said a recent payment of $490 million from the Federal Government would go towards funding the project.
The rail link is due to open in 2020 and will connect Forrestfield in the eastern foothills with the airport and the CBD.
At its peak, the project is expected to employ around 600 workers.
The line will be tunnelled underground from a junction near Bayswater Station, under the Swan River and the airport, and out to Forrestfield.
Mr Barnett said the link was the most significant rail undertaking the city had seen in some time.
“It’s the biggest expansion of the city’s rail system since the Mandurah rail line was completed,” Mr Barnett said.
“This is a huge milestone on the path to delivering this project, which will change the face of Perth’s eastern corridor and give people direct access to the airport by public transport.”
The project is a joint venture between Italian company Salini Impregilo and local firm NRW Pty Ltd (SINRW), with the companies to design, construct and maintain the link.
“SINRW are contracted to build the eight kilometres of rail tunnels and three stations for the Forrestfield Line, as well as maintenance of the tunnel and civil structures for 10 years after completion,” Mr Barnett said.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said early work was already underway for the construction, including geotechnical work, contract management and land purchases.
“Various forward works have been underway at Forrestfield since November 2015 and I expect the joint venture to mobilise on site in the coming months,” Mr Nalder said.