AUSTRALIA: The Public Transport Authority of Western Australia has selected a joint venture of Salini Impregilo and NRW as preferred bidder for the main works of the A$2bn Forrestfield-Airport Link in Perth.

Two other bidders were shortlisted: the Forrestfield Connect joint venture of Acciona Infrastructure, BAM International and Ferrovial Agroman; and the JHL joint venture of John Holland and Leighton Contractors. The contract is expected to be signed by May.

The airport link is envisaged as a design-build project fully funded by the state, rather than a PPP, as it is seen as an extension of the city’s 1 067 mm gauge suburban network and will therefore use existing rolling stock.

In 2014 Golder Associates was awarded a A$5·7m contract to undertake geotechnical studies, and the following year the Western Australia parliament passed the Railway (Forrestfield-Airport Link) Bill 2015, authorising work to begin.

The 8·5 km line will leave the Midland Line east of Bayswater and enter twin bore tunnels, sinking to a depth of 26 m under the Swan River, before reaching the new consolidated international and domestic terminals. After 8 km the line would surface at Dundas Road, terminating at a new multimodal interchange at Forrestfield. Three new stations are to be built at Belmont (Airport West), Consolidated Airport and Forrestfield.

Due to open in 2020, the line is expected to generate an additional 20 000 passenger-journeys per day by 2021.

  • A detailed feature article on rail transport plans in Perth, including the airport link, appears in the March 2015 issue of Metro Report International, available to subscribers in our digital archive.