Western Australia’s Premier, Mark McGowan, and Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, on 13 May, welcomed the arrival of TBM Grace at the Redcliffe station construction site, which is part of the Perth’s Forrestfield-Airport Link.
“The last time I saw this incredible machine it had just broken through the wall at Airport Central Station. In the subsequent year, both TBMs have completed tunnels under Perth Airport’s runways and left the airside environment behind, one of the most critical points of this significant Metronet project. We are getting on and building Metronet, leaving no stone unturned as we roll-out major projects across our suburbs and create thousands and thousands of jobs in the process,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
TMB Grace has tunnelled 62 per cent of the 7.4 km tunnel component of the future 8.5 km train line to Bayswater. This is the first time Grace has ‘surfaced’ since leaving the Airport Central Station box in June 2018.
The project’s second machine, TBM Sandy, is about 500 metres behind Grace and is expected to break into the Redcliffe box in June.
Both TBMs will be stopped at Redcliffe for about six weeks to enable scheduled maintenance and replacement of their screw conveyors. The TBMs will be cleaned, worn cutter head tools replaced, and routine servicing and testing will be conducted.
The machines will then begin the final leg of their journey, under the Swan River and on to the Bayswater dive structure, where it will eventually connect to the Midland Line.
Redcliffe Station will form the centre of one of Metronet’s first transport oriented developments – a precinct of apartments, shops and entertainment where walking, cycling and public transport are made easy.
The AUD 1.86 billion (USD 1.28 billion) Forrestfield-Airport Link will be a new rail service to Perth’s eastern suburbs, enhancing the existing network by providing three new stations connected via twin-bored tunnels.
In April 2016 Salini Impregilo-NRW Joint Venture (SI-NRW) were awarded the AUD 1.17 billion (USD 809 million) contract for design, construction and a ten-year maintenance period.
The first trains are expected to run on the Forrestfield-Airport Link project in the second half of 2021.