Preferred alliance named for WA’s Yanchep, Thornlie-Cockburn projects

A preferred alliance has been announced for the Yanchep Rail Extension and Thornlie-Cockburn Link projects as part of WA’s Metronet urban rail programme.

An alliance of Downer and CPB Contractors, known as NEWest, was announced as the preferred alliance to construct both projects on November 23.

The Yanchep Rail Extension will deliver the last proposed section of the Joondalup Line, from Butler to Yanchep, along a 14.5-kilometre route.

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will create Perth’s first cross line connection, by linking the Mandurah and Armadale lines.

Downer CEO Grant Fenn said the announcement was evidence of Downer’s long and successful history safely delivering transport infrastructure projects.

“We are pleased that our expertise in the design and construction of heavy rail, tracks, stations and rail bridges has been recognised,” Fenn said. “We look forward to working with our partners to deliver the important project for the Western Australian government and the people of Perth.”

Work will commence immediately for both projects on design, with construction expected to begin in May 2020, and a scheduled completion in 2023. Around 3,000 jobs are expected to be created over the life of both projects.

Early works has been underway on the Yanchep Rail Extension for a number of months, and a Welcome to Country ceremony was held on November 24 and attended by WA premier Mark McGowan, transport minister Rita Saffioti, and federal infrastructure minister Alan Tudge.

Early works contracts include site clearance and ground preparation, geotechnical investigations and site surveys.

The federal government his contributing $350 million of the $531.7 million required to deliver the Yanchep Rail Extension.

“There has been incredible growth in the northern corridor and the Yanchep Rail Extension will cater for further growth in this region,” Tudge said. “In addition, the Thornlie-Cockburn link will help close a public transport gap for residents in Perth’s eastern suburbs.”

“We promised to bring METRONET to Yanchep, and today we’re taking a major step forward to deliver on that promise with works starting on the job-creating project,” Premier McGowan added.

“Travelling up from Rockingham today, and seeing the amount of residential development in Alkimos and surrounds demonstrates just how popular the northern coastal lifestyle is.”

Saffioti called the early works “the beginning of a transformational era of rail construction across Perth”.

“Next year alone the McGowan Government will have six Metronet projects underway at once – a level of rail construction that WA has never seen before,” she said.

23 more Alstom trains for Sydney Metro

Alstom will deliver signalling and 23 more driverless trains for the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project, after the Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) consortium’s public private partnership was extended to the new line last week.

The state on November 22 announced it had approved Sydney Metro’s decision to exercise a pre-agreed extension to the existing NRT PPP, which was awarded in 2014 for the operation of trains and signalling along the Sydney Metro Northwest line, which opened earlier this year.

The extension means the consortium will operate along the entire 66-kilometre line between Rouse Hill and Bankstown, once the Sydney Metro City and Southwest portion opens between Chatswood and Bankstown in 2024.

Alstom’s portion of the news, worth around $570 million, makes it responsible for the project management, design, supply, manufacturing, testing and commissioning of 23 six-car fully-automated Metropolis trains, along with its Urbalis 400 Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system.

Alstom will build the 23 new trains at its manufacturing centre in Sri City, India, as it did with the 22 Metropolis trains operating on Sydney Metro Northwest.

The contract also includes an option to purchase more trains if required.

“Sydney Metro has been a game changer for the travelling public of Sydney and Alstom is delighted to continue to be a part of this iconic project,” Alstom’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand Mark Coxon said. “It strengthens Alstom’s position as the market leader for the supply of railway technologies in Australia.”

The extension news came as Sydney Metro Northwest reached more than 11 million customer journeys, in just its first five months of operation.

NSW transport minister Andrew Constance said expected operational issues in the first few months of operation were becoming less frequent, with 99 per cent of train services delivered in September and October.

“Like all new railways right around the world, there has been a period of bedding in and we apologise to our customers for the small number of issues that have occurred,” he said.

“Performance has been improving on a month-to-month basis as we settle in the new service and integrate metro rail with the community and Sydney’s wider public transport system.”