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Construction starts on Forrestfield-Airport Link

Work is underway on Perth's $1.96 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link (FAL) following a sod turning ceremony today at the site of the future Forrestfield Station.

Premier Colin Barnett said the FAL project was a key 2013 election commitment that would be delivered by the Liberal National Government in 2020, creating a vital rail corridor linking Perth's eastern suburbs to the central business district.

"The FAL will provide a much-needed 20-minute public transport link between Perth's CBD and the eastern suburbs, and importantly will service future projected growth of residential and business developments planned along the rail route," Mr Barnett said.

"It will also create 2,000 new jobs during construction.

"This project is yet another example of the State Government's strong record in delivering much-needed large-scale transport infrastructure across the metropolitan area.

"The link will not only benefit people living in the new rail corridor, but will serve airport passengers and tourists alike and will leave a great first impression for visitors to Perth."

The FAL project will create an 8.5 kilometre rail line, from a spur on the Midland Line east of Bayswater Station, largely underground to Dundas Road in Forrestfield.  It will include three new train stations, including two underground at Belmont (near Brearley Avenue) and Airport Central (Perth Airport T1/T2) and another aboveground at Forrestfield.

Transport Minister Bill Marmion said the FAL was expected to generate an estimated 20,000 daily boardings across the rail network.

"Construction of the rail line is an important step in improving public transport in Perth's eastern suburbs and reducing congestion in the metropolitan area," Mr Marmion said.

Preliminary works are underway at the Forrestfield end of the rail line, with relocation of key utilities complete and work set to start on the construction of the 'dive structure' or entry points to the rail tunnels before the end of 2016.

Two tunnel boring machines will arrive from Germany in mid-2017, when drilling is expected to start.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the FAL would enhance the economic benefits of the airport by improving access to the CBD for visitors to Perth.

"Supporting projects that provide long-term integrated public transport networks, which help to alleviate urban congestion and strengthen urban renewal opportunities, is a key focus of the Turnbull-Joyce Coalition Government," Mr Fletcher said.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the FAL would transport people from the airport to the city efficiently - so they could get to work or home quicker.

"The Turnbull-Joyce Coalition Government is investing more than $50 billion in a record investment in infrastructure across Australia, including this vital project here in Perth," Mr Chester said.


Fact file

  • FAL is jointly funded by the State Government ($1.47 billion) and Australian governments ($490 million 8km of the 8.5km FAL rail line will be underground
  • The deepest tunnel point under the Swan River will be 26 metres, and the average depth under the airport apron and runways will be 15m
  • Bus, pedestrian, taxi and cycle facilities and 3,000 car bays will be provided at Belmont and Forrestfield stations
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