Contract signed for rail project's 70km 'backbone'
The State Government today signed a $310million contract to build the visionary Southern Suburbs Railway line between Perth and Mandurah.
The New MetroRail Project contract has been won by RailLink Joint Venture - a group comprising of John Holland Pty Ltd, MacMahon Contractors Pty Ltd and Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the agreement was a major step in delivering a world-class passenger rail service to Perth's fast-growing southern suburbs by the end of 2006.
"This contract is the backbone of the New MetroRail Project - a 70km track that will service almost 400,000 people within two years," Ms MacTiernan said.
The Southern Suburbs Railway component of the $1.518billion project includes 10 new train stations and passes through seven local government areas between Perth and Mandurah.
More than 28,000 people are expected to use the Southern Suburbs Railway and the Thornlie Spur each weekday when the service commences.
"Today's signing is a major step in giving southern suburbs residents the same advantage of a clean, fast public transport system currently enjoyed by the people of the northern suburbs," the Minister said.
"Our commitment to this project is rock solid.
"We need to make this investment to ensure Perth remains a liveable city well into the 21st century.
"Only Labor is committed to making this important investment in public transport by building the Southern Suburbs Railway all the way to Mandurah."
Ms MacTiernan said the Package A contract would provide significant job opportunities during the construction phase and boost the local economy.
"Over the life of the project, the contractor estimates one million hours will be worked, equating to about 200 full-time jobs," she said.
As part of the project, RailLink will establish a temporary construction depot in Rockingham, where rail will be welded into long lengths, ahead of track and sleeper laying.
The contract includes the construction of a railcar storage and internal cleaning depot at Mandurah and 15 road, rail and pedestrian bridges and underpasses between Glen Iris and Mandurah.
"Rockingham and other communities along the route will see real economic benefits from this project, both during the construction phase and when the line opens," the Minister said.
Track will be laid north and south from Rockingham, using the same self-contained track-laying equipment and method as the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway.
The technique means traffic will not be disrupted when the track is being laid through the centre of the Kwinana Freeway.
The contractor will be responsible for the design and construction of the track, signalling and communication systems, along with associated electrical and civil works.
The contract includes provision of station earthworks, railway formation, drainage, fences, traffic barriers, access roads, signs, accommodation works, retaining walls, noise walls, landscaping, services relocation and protection.
RailLink will build electrical substations at Jandakot and Karnup to convert the 132kV supply to the 25kV power needed to operate the trains.
Ms MacTiernan said the last three major contracts, to build the nine stations between Canning Bridge and Mandurah, would be awarded by the end of the year - tendering for these contracts had started.
Construction of the stations south of the river would begin with the South Street and Leach Highway stations in May next year.
Work on stations at Thomsons Lake, Thomas Road, Leda, Rockingham and Waikiki would start between September and November 2005.
Work on the Mandurah and Canning Bridge stations would start in early 2006.
For more information on the New MetroRail project, please visit www.newmetrorail.wa.gov.au .