WA transport minister Dean Nalder says new legislation will enable the development of the Forrestfield-Airport Link, with a construction contract award now expected midway through next year.
Enabling legislation for the project, titled Railway (Forrestfield-Airport Link) Bill 2015, was introduced to WA Parliament this week.
“The Liberal National Government is pleased to be delivering this important new public transport corridor to the people of Perth,” Nalder said.
The Forrestfield-Airport Line is a $2bn project to build an 8.5km rail spur from the Midland Line out to Forrestfield via Belmont and Perth Airport.
The new rail line will run underground for 8kms in twin-bored tunnels beneath the Swan River and the airport, a move Nalder says will significantly reduce impacts on the local community and the environment.
If all goes according to plan, Nalder expects a construction contract to be awarded by mid-2016. Under that timeline, first trains are expected to run in 2020.
“Linking our eastern suburbs and Perth Airport to the CBD is a critical part of the Government’s plan to future-proof the city by providing increased access to public transport,” Nalder said on Wednesday.
The new connection will feature three new stations, including a bus-train interchange station at Airport West (Belmont), a second station at Consolidated Airport (near the current international terminal) and a bus-train interchange station on Dundas Road in Forrestfield.
Nalder said progress on the project was already being made behind the scenes.
“Fieldwork for initial geotechnical studies along the route of the underground rail line is now complete and this information will now be analysed,” Nalder said.
“The Public Transport Authority recently received five responses of Expressions of Interest for the design and construction of the new rail line, and an evaluation of these is well under way.”