Tunnel boring machines reach Airport Central Station as Forrestfield-Airport Link construction speeds ahead

Media Release

PF053/2018

21 May 2018

Joint release with:

Mark McGowan

Premier of Western Australia

Rita Saffioti

WA Minister for Transport; Planning; Lands

  • Forrestfield-Airport link workforce successfully tunnel to Airport Central Station
  • About 2000 jobs created as part of the METRONET project
  • Tunnel boring machines to be serviced then continue to Redcliffe Station
  • The 2018–19 State Budget included $3.6 billion towards METRONET projects

The two tunnel boring machines for the Forrestfield-Airport Link have now reached Airport Central Station—about a quarter of the way into their 8km journey to Bayswater.

TBM Sandy broke through the arrival box at Airport Central Station on Sunday, following TBM Grace, who broke through on May 8. It is the first time the machines have re-appeared since they began tunnelling at Forrestfield in late 2017.

The machines have arrived at track level of the future Airport Central Station—some 17 metres below ground. Future passengers will enter the station at ground level and go down to a concourse and train platform level, similar to Perth Underground in the city.

A dedicated local workforce was busy preparing the Airport Central Station box prior to the arrival of the two TBMs.

They prepared 2200 square metre concrete blocks for the machines to enter the station through, which also served to stabilise the walls and reduce water ingress during the breakthrough.

The TBMs were guided through the 12.5m block over a period of 24 hours, with a team of 15 present inside each machine for the final breakthrough.

Both machines will now be subject to a month-long maintenance program where they are cleaned and serviced TBM Grace will then continue her journey to Redcliffe Station, with TBM Sandy following about two weeks later.

Extensive works have been completed at the Airport Central site in recent weeks, with construction of the station's base slab now complete.

The new METRONET Forrestfield-Airport Link will provide a 20-minute direct link between the eastern foothills and the CBD—as well as the wider public transport network—via the airport.

The $1.86b Forrestfield-Airport Link project is jointly funded by State ($1.37b) and Federal ($490m) Governments

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“These breakthroughs are an exciting milestone for this METRONET project—the station construction workers and machine operators are to be congratulated.

“The scale of these machines are incredible, they are taller than a two-storey house, and the footage of them boring into the box structure is equally impressive.

“This job-creating, city-transforming project is just one element of our record rail investment for METRONET.”

Comments attributed to Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister Paul Fletcher:

“The recent Federal Budget continued to deliver for the city-shaping METRONET projects, including commitments to the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Byford Extension, Midland Station Project and the Lakelands Station business case.

“As well as this investment, the Australian Government has committed $943.5 million for a new Perth Congestion Package to ease pressure on the urban transport network and improve safety.

“This brings the total federal METRONET commitment to $2.33 billion, bringing our broader commitments in the state to $9.6 billion from 2013–14 to 2021–22, as we continue to roll-out our $75 billion infrastructure investment package across the country.”

Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“As Transport Minister, I am thrilled to see TBM Sandy and TBM Grace have arrived at the future Airport Central Station. It is a visible sign of great progress on the project.

“This is the biggest rail project to take place in WA for more than a decade, and will dramatically change the way eastern foothills residents travel, how their communities develop, and how the rest of Perth journeys to Perth Airport.

“This will be the first of many METRONET rail projects, which will bring with it exciting new communities, jobs and better lifestyle for locals.