Engineering, Passenger Rail

Thornlie-Cockburn link and Yanchep extension plans head to IA for approval

Business plans for two of Perth’s Metronet projects, the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension, will be submitted to Infrastructure Australia (IA) in the coming weeks, following their endorsement by the Western Australian government.

WA premier Mark McGowan said that construction is expected to begin on the projects next year, with both rail lines to be delivered by one contractor.

“Development around train stations can take many years, however Metronet puts these areas in a good position to maximise our investment and create connected, liveable communities,” the premier said.

“Combining the two projects into one main contract should generate significant savings for WA taxpayers.”

The Yanchep Rail Extension will extend the Joondalup Line with a new 14.5km section from Butler to Yanchep, and three new stations three stations.

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will see 14.5km of new passenger railway constructed to connect Thornlie and Cockburn Central stations, with two new stations at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road.

The total cost of both projects is $1.056 billion, with the federal government providing $700 million and the state government $356 million.

The plans endorsed by the WA cabinet this week reportedly confirm positive benefit cost ratios for each project – a precondition of securing IA’s approval and Commonwealth funding.

State transport minister Rita Saffioti said that both rail links would provide those living along the future corridors better access to public transport and would support the continued development of these areas in the long-term.

“The rail connections for the both the northern suburbs and through Canning Vale have long been talked about. These plans recognised rail as essential infrastructure and an important travel option to help connect and move people living and working in the area,” Saffioti said.

“We have developed plans to ensure this investment creates places where people can live the lifestyle they choose and still have the option to access jobs, schools, the CBD and other facilities like the airport and Stadium.”

The procurement process for the construction of the two projects will begin in the coming months, with a contract expected to be awarded next year. A tender has already been released for consultants to carry out geotechnical and groundwater investigations, while a briefing session for the construction industry is to be held on Wednesday, July 18.

Saffioti said the community and stakeholder consultation process for the projects had helped guide their design.

“I am also pleased that our consultation with existing residents has already led to changes so that there will be more ballast matting under both new passenger lines and under the existing freight line between Thornlie and Cockburn to reduce noise and vibration,” she said.

“As a result, noise and vibration between Thornlie and Cockburn will be kept to the same or lesser levels to that currently generated by the existing freight line.”

Construction of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension is expected to begin next year. The opening of both lines is planned to take place in 2021.