Forrestfield-Perth Airport rail link tunnel boring machines reach airport

Premier Mark McGowan, Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe.
Premier Mark McGowan, Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe.

TWO tunnel boring machines for the Forrestfield-Perth Airport rail link have reached the airport – about a quarter of the way into their 8km journey to Bayswater.

Sandy broke through the arrival box at the future Airport Central station yesterday after sister machine Grace arrived on May 8.

The machines, which started tunnelling at Forrestfield late last year and were briefly halted in late March because of “minor ground disturbance”, are at track level of the future station, 17m below ground.

Future passengers will enter the station at ground level near the Terminal 1 control tower and go down to a train platform similar to Perth Underground.

Premier Mark McGowan visited the site this morning to mark the arrival of the boring machines as “an exciting milestone for the Metronet project”.

He congratulated the station construction workers, who prepared the station’s 2200sq m concrete walls, and the machine operators.

“The scale of these machines are incredible, they are taller than a two-storey house, and the footage of them boring into the box structure is equally impressive,” he said.

“This job-creating, city-transforming project is just one element of our record rail investment for Metronet.”

Both machines will now be serviced for a month before Grace continues to Redcliffe station, with Sandy following about two weeks later.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Forrestfield-Airport Link was the biggest WA rail project in more than a decade.

“It will dramatically change the way eastern Foothills residents travel, how their communities develop, and how the rest of Perth journeys to Perth Airport,” she said.

The $1.86 billion rail link is jointly funded by the State ($1.37 billion) and Federal Government ($490 million).

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