RAILLINK JV has been named preferred bidder for the contract to fit out the 70 km New MetroRail line in Western Australia connecting the state capital with urban developments along the southern coast between Rockingham and the resort of Mandura (MR03 p44).

Announcing the decision on December 9, WA Planning & Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said she expected a contract worth more than A$300m to be awarded by the end of March so that work could start in mid-2004. The work includes electrification at 25 kV. RailLink members are John Holland, MacMahon Contractors and Multiplex Constructions. Thiess Barclay Mowlem JV are reserve preferred tenderers.

On November 2 the Leighton Kumagai group was named as preferred bidder for the 1·6 km tunnel through the centre of Perth including two underground stations. This contract is expected to be signed in January. The tunnels will be used by a new north-south service extending from Clarkson to Mandura. The 4 km northern extension from Currambine to Clarkson is due to open later this year.