Marking the start of tunnel construction

Premier Colin Barnett, Senator of WA Louise Pratt, Transport Minister Troy Buswell and Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi visited the Perth City Link rail project site today to mark the start of work on the Fremantle Line tunnel.

During the visit, artist impressions of Perth Station in 2014 were unveiled to show the new features Perth Station, such as a new platform and pedestrian underpass in connecting all platforms to Perth Underground.

The artist impressions were sealed with other documents in a time capsule, which will be buried in Perth Station to be reopened in 2031.

Premier Colin Barnett said the $360million rail component, on track for completion in 2014, literally underpinned the delivery of the entire Perth City Link vision.

“The Perth City Link will fundamentally change the face of Perth and benefit both local people and visitors to our city through reconnecting the CBD and Northbridge for the first time in 100 years,” Mr Barnett said.

“With the Perth Waterfront, Riverside Development, the Perth Cultural Centre and new Perth Stadium, the Perth City Link is part of an era of transformation and I hope all West Australians embrace and enjoy these exciting changes.

“In addition to new entertainment, cultural and lifestyle choices for the WA community, Perth City Link will also help meet a shortage of inner-city residential, commercial and visitor accommodation necessary to support the State’s long-term economic growth.

“This project is set to make Perth a more vibrant place to live and easier to live in by removing the railway line that has acted as a barrier cutting the CBD off from Northbridge.”

Mr Buswell said there would be a number of upgrades to Perth Station, including a new pedestrian underpass, linking all platforms to Perth Underground Station, and a new platform on the Roe Street side.

“This project will significantly improve passenger amenity and cater to Perth’s growing public transport needs - it will give our 44,000 city station patrons improved connections, better access and faster transfers between services,” Mr Buswell said.

“The new platform on the Roe Street side of Perth Station will ensure the Public Transport Authority has greater flexibility to service special events, meet future demand and accommodate new projects like the stadium in Burswood.”

Senator Pratt said the time capsule acknowledged the history of railways in Perth as well as celebrated the building of this important infrastructure project.

“The Australian government is providing $236 million from the Nation Building Program for the construction of the Perth City Rail Link with the tunnelling works about to commence on this project, it will place the rail lines underground, providing direct pedestrian access between the City and Northbridge. 

This journey will become a pleasure rather than a chore, consistent with the Australian Government’s objectives of making our cities more liveable.” Senator Pratt said. 

Lord Mayor Scaffidi said the physical barrier between the CBD and Northbridge has created a psychological divide between these two distinct areas for well over a century.

"The start of the rail work for the Perth City Link marks the first step to the much needed reunification of two key city precincts. The Perth City Link is a merging of our cultural, entertainment, business and retail precincts which will encourage more people to live, work and play in our State's capital city and provide much needed capacity for our city."

Preparatory works for the rail project began in 2010, with services relocated and the site cleared to allow the main excavation work to start in early 2012. The sinking of the Fremantle Line is scheduled for completion in 2014.