Train extension runs on time

Representatives from the Public Transport Authority gave residents an update on the project at a meeting in Butler on October 24.

Brighton Estate Residents Association president Graham Cooney said the meeting focused on the future of transport in the area, with experts talking about the Butler rail extension works and the planned Mitchell Freeway extension.

Mr Cooney said development of a shopping centre, the Marketplace, in Butler, would also have traffic and transport implications.

PTA’s Butler rail extension project director Stephen Gilmartin said though the station building was nearing completion, there was more happening in the background.

‘There’s a lot more to a project like this than just building a station,’ he said.

‘Construction work has been going for three years.

‘Civil works were completed in October last year, track works are about 80 per cent complete and Butler Station is quite advanced.

‘The last thing invariably that comes along is the signalling system.’

Mr Gilmartin said the PTA had so far spent about $155 million, or 65 per cent, on the $240 million extension project.

‘We are expecting to deliver under budget,’ he said.

But Mr Gilmartin said there had been challenges, including dust suppression, accommodating a water main under the Benenden Avenue road bridge and higher costs to excavate rock.

He said they had moved more than a million cubic metres of dirt to build the extension, and a quarter of that had required hard digging.

‘We had a lot more hard rock in this project than we originally planned for,’ he said.

Mr Gilmartin said there had been one serious injury, where a worker’s leg was broken while moving a piece of rail, but otherwise injuries had been limited to ‘small bangs and strains’.

To cover the extra kilometres needed to service the station, he said the PTA would get 11 new buses and four three-car train sets.

‘Passenger services are expected to start by the end of 2014,’ he said.

‘We expect, really from day one, we will have about 2000 passengers a day.’

Mr Gilmartin said there would be a major shutdown at Clarkson train station and the Nowergup rail depot from February 28.

‘Over that weekend there will be a bus service that will take you to Currambine,’ he said.

‘We hope to reopen that on Monday morning, which happens to be a public holiday.’

Read more here.