Councils look to light rail to connect south-west Perth

Councils in south-west Perth are pushing for a new rapid transit link between Murdoch and Fremantle.

The South West Group, made up of six councils from the region, have released a new report highlighting the need for a dedicated transport link to stimulate urban growth and improve transport connections. Read more

Midland Station

Works for Morley-Ellenbrook Line begin as Midland Station design released

Works to prepare for the rail corridor in the Tonkin Highway median have begun, while new designs for Midland Station are released.

The current works include the construction of two underpasses with dive structures to enable the line to enter and exit the highway, as well as travel underneath the Reid Highway and Tonkin Highway interchange.

A road and bus bridge will also be built at Broun Avenue, including a bus interchange station, to enable access to the Morley Station.

The Tonkin Gap project is one of a number of major infrastructure projects in Western Australia that have been accelerated to encourage the economy to recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The works follow the signing of the contract for the construction of the Morley-Ellenbrook line.

“We now have workers on the ground starting the vital enabling works for the train to travel down Tonkin Highway to Ellenbrook,” said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“These works will create thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses.”

The rail enabling works are expected to be complete in late 2022 and the full Tonkin Gap project in late 2023.

Updated concept designs for Midland Station
Revised concept station designs have been released for the new Midland Station, also part of the WA Metronet program.

The new station will involve decommissioning the existing Midland Station and building a new station closer to commercial and health facilities and better integrated with the surrounding community.

The project also involves the removal of the Helena Street level crossing and a new crossing at Cale Street for more efficient traffic movements.

The alliance contract for the station works is expected to be awarded in mid-2021.

Saffioti said the project would link with the new railcar manufacturing site.

“The new station will also link to Metronet’s Bellevue Depot, making it the first landmark our brand new C-Series trains will pass through on their way to regular service on the network.”

The station will also service the nearby Midland TAFE, where a purpose-built training facility for rail courses was recently finished.

Morley Station

Contract signed for Morley-Ellenbrook Line construction

The contract for the construction of the Morley-Ellenbrook line has been signed, with the project coming in at $700 million, with contingency, escalation and ancillary costs taking the total project budget to $1.1bn.

The winning MELconnx Consortium, led by Laing O’Rouke, will deliver the project which involves 21km of new track and is the largest expansion of the Perth rail network since the Mandurah Line.

In addition to the new rail line, the project includes five new stations at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park, and Ellenbrook, a future station will be developed at Bennett Springs East.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was already making progress.

“Now the contract has been signed, the funding secured and early works are underway.”

These early works include the New Bayswater Station, where the line will begin from the Midland Line, and the Tonkin Gap Project which allows the line to access in and out of the Tonkin Highway and preparing the corridor for tracklaying.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the project would boost the local economy.

“Now more than ever, big infrastructure projects like METRONET’s Morley-Ellenbrook Line are imperative to WA’s COVID-19 economic recovery as they create a pipeline of work and support thousands of jobs.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2023-24 and Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the benefits would be immediate and longlasting.

“Metronet will re-shape Perth and that transformation is underway all across the metropolitan area,” Tudge said.

“It means jobs right now and critical, targeted infrastructure for generations to come.”

The jointly state-federal funded project would cut public transport times in half for residents in the north-eastern suburbs of Perth, with direct trains from Ellenbrook Station arriving in the Perth CBD in 30 minutes.

MELconnx beat a CPB Contractors and Downer EDI joint venture to win the contract.

WA budget includes $1.7bn for rail projects

The Western Australia government will invest $1.7 billion in Metronet projects in this financial year.

The figure comes from the WA state budget, released on October 8, and is in addition to the $1.5bn in federal funding for Metronet.

Projects to be funded this year include the Forrestfield-Airport Link project, which is expected to be completed in late 2021, the first $275.3 million for locally made rollingstock and the assembly and manufacturing facility in Bellevue, and $195m for the Thornlie-Cockburn link.

In addition, level crossings, new stations and carparks, and the extension of existing rail lines are included in the 2020-2021 budget.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the total investment over the forward estimates would support the WA economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To keep our local economy strong, the state Budget delivers a record $27 billion in infrastructure investment over the next four years, including construction and manufacturing work for Metronet and major roads across WA,” he said.

“We’ve worked hard to establish a major pipeline of work to support local jobs and help guide Western Australia’s economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring we’re delivering and building major projects for tomorrow.”

The funding in this year’s budget ensures that current projects can continue and procurement can take the next step forward in the 2020-2021 financial year. Contracts are expected to be signed and work to begin shortly on the Byford Rail Extension, New Midland Station, and level crossing removals on the Inner Armadale Line. Final negotiations for the construction contract for the Morley-Ellenbrook line are expected to be completed soon.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said skills and training would be part of the major construction investment.

“These projects won’t just change the way we travel, they will also have a huge role in supporting local jobs and training opportunities, with more than 10,000 jobs expected to be supported as part of these METRONET investments,” she said.

“This year’s investment will allow for continued delivery of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, Yanchep Rail Extension and Forrestfield-Airport Link, but we’re not stopping there.

“Even more projects are in the pipeline, ensuring we’re delivering and building the infrastructure needed for tomorrow.”