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First trains through Fremantle rail tunnel

Posted On July 18, 2013

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

  • Fremantle rail tunnel opens in the heart of Perth
  • Trains now running through 600m-long tunnel
  • Minister welcomes opening as historic day for city

Perth’s new rail tunnel has opened with trains now using the 600-metre line beneath the CBD.

The first train travelled through the tunnel at 5.23 this morning.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell welcomed the opening of the Fremantle tunnel as an historic milestone in the Perth City Link project - and the transformation of Perth.

Mr Buswell joined project workers this morning on one of the first trains to use the tunnel.

The Minister said the opening of the tunnel was the culmination of more than two years work on the site.

“This is a very significant day for the people of Perth because it will transform how we use our city,” he said.

“We have successfully completed the sinking of the Fremantle rail line - on time and on budget. This lays the foundation for fulfilling the dream of reconnecting the CBD and Northbridge.”

The new underground tunnel will allow construction to begin above ground on the 13.5 hectare Perth City Link project, which will be home to 1,650 new dwellings and 244,000 square metres of new retail and commercial space in the heart of the city.

“Together with Elizabeth Quay, the Riverside project, and the Perth Stadium, the Perth City Link is part of an era of transformation which will deliver benefits for generations of West Australians,” Mr Buswell said.

The Minister thanked commuters for their patience during rail shutdowns to allow work on the tunnel.

“I thank the people of Perth for their understanding while these transformational works were under way.”

A second closure of the Fremantle line is necessary between July 31 and August 4 to allow rail engineers to complete final works.

Mr Buswell said the Midland, Thornlie and Armadale lines would not be disrupted by the second shutdown. The Joondalup and Mandurah trains will again stop at Leederville and Esplanade stations respectively.  

“This work is to ensure there is the flexibility in the future to divert trains into both the Fremantle Line tunnel and the Perth Underground tunnel,” he said.

Work on the Perth City Link rail project began in August 2011 and is on-track to finish ahead of the original mid-2014 completion date.

The $360million project to sink the rail line was funded jointly by the State and Commonwealth Governments and the City of Perth.

The next phase of the project will see the Wellington Street bus station demolished and replaced with a new underground bus station.  

The final phase of the rail project will see the pedestrian underpass connecting Perth and Perth Underground stations completed.  

Fact File

  • The estimated total cost to complete the rail works and sink the bus station is $609million
  • Part of that funding, $236million, was allocated by the Federal Government in the 2009-2010 Budget for major Infrastructure projects under the Nation Building Program
  • The City of Perth is contributing approximately $38million towards the overall project
  • A total of 16,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured to build the 600 metre-long tunnel which features 4,800 rail sleepers

Source: ProjectLink.com.au

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