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All aboard as new Airport Line opens

Sunday, 9 October 2022

The Airport Line is officially open with the very first train pulling out of High Wycombe Station this morning.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Premier Mark McGowan and Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti rode the first train, joined by more than 40 lucky lottery winners. 

The $1.86 billion project - first committed by WA Labor as part of METRONET in 2012 - was jointly funded $490 million by the Commonwealth and $1.37 billion by the State Government. 

The new Airport Line adds 8.5km to Perth’s rail network, and travels underneath the Swan River and Perth Airport, reaching around 27 metres below ground at its deepest point. 

It is the first new train line to be introduced into the network since the opening of the Mandurah Line in 2007, built and opened by the former State Labor Government. 

There are expected to be about 20,000 daily trips along the new line in its first year, with trains stopping at all stations between High Wycombe and Claremont. 

Trains on the Airport Line will operate every 12 minutes in peak, every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night. 

It is the only train service in the country that will transport commuters to and from the airport, at the regular passenger fare, which is capped at $5 (or as low as $4 on a SmartRider).

The first weekday service will leave Perth Station at 5.12am tomorrow, arriving at Airport Central at 5.30am. Trains will run until about midnight, and later on Friday and Saturday nights. 

The new line will be supported by an enhanced bus network, connecting surrounding suburbs to the three new stations. 

This will add an extra 26 new buses and 1.7 million annual bus service kilometres to the public transport network. 

Parking for commuters will be available at High Wycombe Station (1,200 bays) and Redcliffe Station (500 bays) for $2 a day. 

There will also be plenty of secure bike shelters and drop-off bays at both stations.

The opening of the Airport Line has so far created 153 full-time equivalent jobs within Transperth train operations, including new positions for 27 customer service staff, 65 transit officers and 48 railcar drivers. 

During its construction phase the project created 2,000 jobs, with works largely continuing throughout the global pandemic, even in the midst of worldwide labour and supply shortages. 

To view the Airport Line timetable, visit the Transperth website - Airport Line (transperth.wa.gov.au). 

Comments attributed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

 “I am pleased to be in Perth today, to officially open the new state-of-the-art Airport Line. 

“As a former Infrastructure Minister, I know how important affordable and accessible public transport is, and the Airport Line will open up new transport opportunities for residents and tourists. 

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan: 

“This is a momentous day for Western Australia - the first time a new train line has opened in Perth in almost 15 years. 

“Thank you to everyone involved in this mammoth feat of engineering - the thousands of workers, hundreds of subcontractors, lead contractors Webuild Group and NRW, our transport agencies and all of our project partners. 

Comments attributed to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King: 

“I am thrilled this major infrastructure achievement has been made for Perth, which will help locals and visitors get where they need to be quickly, smoothly and safely. 

“This airport line will better connect communities to employment and encourage long-term opportunities for new businesses to grow, which will have a boon on the local jobs market and economy for years to come. 

Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti: 

“This has been one of the biggest and most complex public transport infrastructure projects our State has ever undertaken, and I am incredibly proud to see the new line begin operations. 

“Not only will this line increase public transport options for people living in Perth’s eastern suburbs and foothills area, but it will also create additional capacity on the Midland and Fremantle lines. 

“The Airport Line will also support domestic and international tourism by providing travellers with another option to travel to and from the airport at a very affordable price. 

Premier's office - 6552 5500

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