Preferred proponent announced for Morley-Ellenbrook line construction

The Western Australian government has selected the preferred proponent for the design and construction of the Morley-Ellenbrook line.

Led by Laing O’Rouke Australia Construction, the winning consortium, MELconnx won out over a joint venture between CPB Contractors and Downer EDI as the preferred proponent for the design, building, and commissioning of the new 21km line and five stations.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the line would ensure that Perth’s transport system kept up with urban growth.

“Perth’s north-eastern suburbs have boomed recently and the population is predicted to increase dramatically over the next decade,” she said.

“We need to ensure our infrastructure keeps up with this growth – not only are we delivering on the much anticipated Metronet Morley-Ellenbrook Line, we have also delivered key road upgrades including Northlink, the duplication of Reid Highway and the upgrade of Drumpellier Drive.”

The rail construction contract is one of four works packages that make up the project. Other packages include the new Bayswater station, works on the Tonkin Gap highway, which the new rail line will run down the middle of, and forward works.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the project would benefit the communities it serves and the WA economy.

“This has been talked about for decades and is a big step forward for this project, which will transform Perth’s growing north-eastern suburbs and benefit the local and surrounding communities,” he said.

“Now more than ever, big infrastructure projects like Metronet’s Morley-Ellenbrook Line are imperative to WA’s COVID-19 economic recovery as it creates a pipeline of work and supports thousands of jobs.”

The Morley-Ellenbrook line is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the benefits would be immediate and long-lasting.

“It means jobs right now and critical, targeted infrastructure for generations to come.”

The announcement of the preferred proponent for the Morley-Ellenbrook line closes out the new rail projects that are currently part of the Metronet program. Further contracts are expected to be announced for level crossing removals on the Armadale Line and the electrification of the Armadale Line to Byford.

infrastructure

National Infrastructure Summit speakers and agenda announced

As Australia looks to invest in infrastructure as a way to build the country’s economy out of the COVID-19 crisis, the National Infrastructure Summit has arrayed some of the most significant leaders in this space to discuss the opportunities ahead.

Opening the virtual conference on day one, October 14, will be NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who is looking at an expanding rail infrastructure pipeline in the state, with new Sydney Metro lines recently funded and moving ahead in the contract process.

For a federal view, day two will be opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack. With the conference taking place days after the delivery of what the federal budget, which is widely expecte to include more infrastructure spending, McCormack will highlight these commitments as well as other projects such as Inland Rail that are always underway.

The program also includes discussions between Romilly Madew, CEO of Infrastructure Australia, Marion Terrill, Transport and Cities Program Director, Grattan Institute, and Cathal O’Rouke, who will pick over what impact COVID-19 has had on the infrastructure sector.

With logistics impacted by new trends during COVID and the acceleration of others, Dean Dalla Valle, CEO of Pacific National, and Maurice James, managing director of Qube will be joined by Marika Calfas, CEO of NSW Ports and Brendan Bourke, CEO of the Port of Melbourne to analyses these changes.

Alan Tudge Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population and NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey will give ministerial addresses, followed by a Q&A.

Other panels include a focus on infrastructure funding and post-pandemic transport.

This year, the conference will be delivered virtually via online events platform Brella. The platform will provide an opportunity for networking and viewing speaker and sponsor information.

For more information, click here: https://www.nationalpolicyseries.com.au/afr-national-infrastructure-summit/.

Tender process begins for Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport

A call for registrations of interest has kicked off the tender process for the construction of Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport.

Prospective tenderers are invited to put forward their interest in delivering 10 kilometres of twin metro railway tunnels. The tunnels will stretch from St Marys to Orchard Hills and between the Airport and Aerotropolis.

The tunnels will form part of the new rail line which will connect Western Sydney Airport with the city’s rail network at St Marys, via Orchard Hills and Luddenham.

NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said construction is close to starting.

“Construction starts later this year on a project that will become the transport spine for the Western Parkland City,” Constance said.

“The new railway will link residential areas with jobs hubs and connect travellers from the new airport with the rest of Sydney’s public transport network.”

The project has also confirmed the station locations at St Marys, Orchard Hills, Luddenham and the two airport stations. A stabling and maintenance facility is planned for an area adjacent to the alignment south of Orchard Hills. Two services facilities will be built within the alignment, one at Claremont Meadows and another at Bringelly.

With locations confirmed for the stations, the nature of the line is beginning to shape. At St Marys, the new station underneath the existing Sydney Trains station will enable interchanges between the Sydney Metro line and the existing rail network.

The stations at Orchard Hills and Luddenham would support future residential and commercial development.

Two stations will be at the airport itself, with one at the Airport Business Park and one at the Airport terminal.

A final station will be built at the Aerotropolis, which would be the commercial heart of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday the station would be the core of a new city.

“Where we are standing today will become a major new transport interchange, right in the heart of the future central business district for the Western Parkland City.”

The automated metro line will be controlled from a facility at Orchard Hills where train stabling and maintenance will occur.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said with construction beginning before the end of 2020, the project will soon be delivering benefits.

“This city-shaping investment is being fast-tracked to help our economy recover from COVID-19 and deliver a major stimulus right in the heart of Western Sydney,” said Tudge.

“Western Sydney residents will reap the benefits of this investment well before the first train leaves the station.”

The future line will not only include tunnels but elevated viaducts and at-grade rail.

The station locations come as the NSW Planning Minster, Rob Stokes rezones 6,500 hectares of land around the future airport to allow for the development of the Aerotropolis.

The rezoning includes the Aerotropolis Core, which will be rezoned for mixed use, as well as the Northern Gateway, which covers mixed use around the Luddenham train station site and enterprise zoning surrounding that.

Planning documents indicate future rail links between the Aerotrpolis Core and Leppington and further south towards Macarthur.

“Today’s approval lays the foundations for the transformation of 6,500 hectares of land into a thriving metropolis with new homes, jobs and public spaces supported by a new, world-class Metro line,” said Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres.

Loganlea Station

Community feedback sought for Loganlea Station relocation

Commuters in the region of Logan, south east of Brisbane, are being asked to give input on the relocation of Loganlea Station.

The new station will be located closer to health and education precincts while also allowing for capacity increases on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines to meet future demand.

The new station will enable better public transport access to Logan Hospital, Loganlea TAFE, and Loganlea State High School. Connections to bus services and active transport links are also part of the upgrade.

The station will be redesigned and carparking at the station is also part of the improvements.

The proposed location of the new station is to the east of Loganlea Road, south of Armstrong Road. This would place the station adjacent to Loganlea State high School and opposite TAFE Loganlea.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new station is part of wider plans to improve rail connects through South East Queensland.

“The road and rail transport corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s busiest inter-city commuter corridors,” he said.

“This project will lead to longer-term planning improvements on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh rail lines and it’s so important we get feedback from local people so we can deliver them the best result.”

Queensland Minister for Transport Mark Bailey said the success of the project depended on community input.

“Relocating the station east will improve that all-important access to the hospital, TAFE and high school, and in the long term set up future upgrades on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh rail lines,” he said.

“But it’s vital we work with the families and workers who use it every day to get it right.”

While face-to-face consultations are not being held, feedback is being sought through phone calls and online surveys.

Mandurah station carpark under construction

A new carpark at Mandurah station, south of Perth, is now under construction.

Ground breaking occurred today, Tuesday September 8 on the $32 million, three storey carpark. The carpark will add an additional 700 parking bays, taking the total number of parking at the station to 1,800 bays.

The extra parking is hoped to encourage more commuters to use the Mandurah line and fits with existing transport patterns as 70 per cent of passengers at Mandurah station travel to the station by car. The current carpark reaches 90 per cent capacity by 9am on weekdays.

As the terminus of the Mandurah line, Mandurah Station provides a rail connection for the wider Peel region to the Perth metro area, said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“As an end-of-the-line station, Mandurah caters not just to those living and working in suburban Mandurah but those from further afar and these upgrades will help future-proof public transport for communities across the Peel region and beyond.”

The carpark is funded by both the federal and WA government. Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the carpark would work alongside other transport investments.

“Together with a new station at Lakelands, it will future-proof access to public transport for communities locally and across the Peel region,” he said.

SmartParker machines as well as security and safety technology will be installed as part of the construction of the carpark. While the new carpark is under construction a temporary carpark has been set up off Morfitt Street.

Constructed by WA builder PS Structures, WA Premier Mark McGowan said that it was important that these projects supported the local economy.

“This is all part of our plan to keep Building for Tomorrow, which is about getting shovels into the ground and constructing lasting transport infrastructure across WA for generations to come.”

The carpark is expected to open in the second half of 2021.

designs

WA reveals new station designs and combined construction disruption website

Updated designs for new train stations on the Thornlie-Cockburn Link were unveiled by the Western Australia and federal governments on Sunday, August 23.

The designs were showcased as contractor NEWest Alliance, a joint venture of Downer Group and CPB Contractors has mobilised on site. The first works will involve the relocation of utilities and moving the current freight line to the northern side of the corridor to allow for the duplication of the line to serve passenger services.

Two new stations will be built on the east-west line, at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road. Thornlie and Cockburn Central stations will be upgraded. The Ranford Road station will include a new, higher road bridge to future-proof the rail corridor.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said he was pleased to see work underway on the project.

Maintaining activity in the construction sector is a pillar of our economic recovery, and Metronet projects like this are creating hundreds of jobs from designers to engineers to tradespeople to truck drivers,” he said.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the project would support over 1,500 jobs during the next four years and will tie in with projects such as the Kwinana Freeway widening and the North Lake Road Bridge.

“These major works will create more vibrant communities with connections to good quality public transport.”

Constructed is expected to be complete by 2022 and trains will begin running in 2023.

The WA government also launched the Building for Tomorrow program, which brings together Metronet projects as well as road, cycling and marine upgrades around Perth and regional Western Australia. The new website highlights construction updates and disruptions to minimise impacts on surrounding communities.

“All efforts will be made to co-ordinate works with minimal impact to the public but with an investment of this scale, construction will undoubtedly cause disruption to commuters in the short-term,” said Saffioti.

“It is important the public are aware of the disruptions near them, understand why the works are going on and when they are expected to be completed.

“The Building for Tomorrow campaign and website will build awareness of the specific works and assist the public in making informed travel choices.”

Fremantle Traffic Bridge

Procurement fast tracked for new rail-road bridge

A new multimodal bridge over the Swan River at Fremantle will be brought forward by six months.

The $240 million project is funded on a 50-50 basis by the Western Australia and federal governments and has had procurement brought forward by six months, with construction expected to start by late 2021, said federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge.

“Fremantle continues to be a bustling hub and we brought forward funds so construction on this project could kick off sooner.”

The bridge will carry rail and road traffic, as well as providing a pedestrian and cycle link between north and south Fremantle. The current bridge is nearing the end of its useful life.

The alliance contract is expected to be awarded in early 2021, said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“Community consultation is now underway and will inform the project’s development and design to ensure we reach the best possible outcome for this significant infrastructure in Fremantle.”

Infrastructure Australia added the project to its Infrastructre Priority List in February, 2019. The independent advisory body noted that rail connectivity in the region is limited due to the shared Fremantle Rail Bridge. Currently, passenger services are given priority, however both freight and passenger volumes on the bridge are expected to increase. Adding more connections would prevent delays and improve freight efficiency into and away from Fremantle Port.

In seeking community input for the project in early August 2020, the WA government noted that the project is highly complex and positioned in a challenging area. Issues including heritage-listing, ensuring continued connectivity while the new bridge is constructed, and ensuring ease of navigation on the river will impact upon the nature of the project.

“It has been well known for more than a decade that the Fremantle Traffic Bridge needs replacing so we’re excited to reach the stage of community consultation,” Saffioti said at the time.

Flinders Link

Tracklaying in progress on Flinders Link

Three kilometres of new track will be laid on the Flinders Link project this week.

The project will extend the Tonsley Line by 650 metres to the Flinders Medical Centre in southern Adelaide. The new line will be a single track and include two new stations, Flinders and Tonsley railway stations.

1,000 new concrete sleepers will be added between Alawoona Avenue, Tonsley and the new Flinders station.

Construction also involves elevated track over Sturt Road, Laffers Triangle and Main South Road.

Alongside the line is a shared pedestrian and cycle path.

Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the new rail line will help grow these suburbs.

“It will open up and reshape this entire area of Adelaide, for students, for health workers, for thousands of people,” he said.

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the project will connect key institutions.

“Once complete, this rail link will better connect residents in the southern suburbs with important services including the Flinders Hospital and Flinders University.”

55 jobs per year over the course of the project are expected to be created. Passenger services are planned to begin by the end of 2020.

Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the rail line would enable investment.

“The Flinders Link Rail line will also help the University unlock investment for their $1.5 billion Flinders Village redevelopment, as well as linking their main campus at Bedford Park to the new Tonsley Innovation Precinct.”

Upgrades kicking off for Melbourne rail corridors

A $1bn upgrade to the Cranbourne Line is one of a number of upgrades to the Melbourne rail network to recently take a step forward.

Duplication of eight kilometres of track between Cranbourne and Dandenong is now underway, in addition to the 11 level crossings already removed.

The duplicated track will allow services ever 10 minutes, increasing capacity by 121,000 passengers in the peak across the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

Construction crews are working on power, signalling, and drainage upgrades at Merinda Park Station and in the rail corridor from Cranbourne to Greens Road.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said that works will enable a first for the line.

“We’re getting on with the massive Cranbourne Line Upgrade, delivering more frequent services and removing its last four level crossings – making it Melbourne’s first level crossing-free train line.”

Level crossings still to go on the line include the Abbotts Road level crossing, where 25-metre foundations are being drilled into the ground, and the Merinda Park station will be renewed in August. At Evans Road the bridge will remove the level crossing before the end of 2020, restoring connections in Lyndhurst, Lynbrook and Cranbourne West.

Elsewhere on the Melbourne rail network, the federal government has committed $8 million in funding to remove the Glenferrie Road level crossing in Kooyong. The funding will allow the Victorian government to begin a business case, said federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge.

“This funding means we can start vital scoping and early development works for the level crossing removal.”

The $8m comes alongside $2m for initial feasibility studies for level crossing removals at Tooronga Road in Tooronga and Madden Grove in Burnley.

Glenferrie Road has been identified as a high priority level crossing in studies in 2013 by VicRoads and in 2017 by the Victorian Auditor General, in part due to the interaction of trains, trams, and vehicles.

In the west of the Melbourne rail network, two level crossings have been fast tracked to begin construction in early 2021. Level crossings at Fitzgerald Road in Ardeer and Deer Park’s Robinsons Road will be removed by 2023.

At Robinsons Road a road underpass will be built, and at Fitzgerald Road a road overpass will be built to minimise disruptions to train services and allow for upgrades to the Geelong-Ballarat train line.

Safety and congestion have been a concern at both level crossings, with 18 near misses since 2012 and boom gates down for 45 per cent of the morning peak.

With the two level crossings gone, the Mount Derrimut Road level crossing can be removed by 2025, the last between Deer Park and the city.

Victoria is now seeking community feedback on the design of the level crossings.

In Hallam, station designs have been released as part of the removal of Hallam Road level crossing, with a new elevated rail line with access from both sides of Hallam Road. Works is expected to begin at the end of 2020 with the crossing to be removed in 2022.

As some level crossing removal projects begin, others are closer to completion. At Mentone Station, the station will open two weeks ahead of schedule and Cheltenham station is on schedule to open on Sunday, August 16. Frankston line trains will begin running a week ahead of schedule, stopping at Mentone Station from Monday, July 20.

New facilitation at the station include a climate-controlled waiting area, sheltered seating, and electronic passenger information displays to enable smoother transitions between bus and train services. Accessibility and access has been improved and work will now begin on landscaping and active transit connections between Cheltenham and Mentone.

Cheltenham and Mentone stations have also received a five-star Green Star sustainable design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The award has recognised the installation of solar panels, water saving, and rainwater collection facilities.

Beaconsfield

New cark park to be built at Beaconsfield station

An extra 150 spaces will be added to Beaconsfield station, with a car park funded by the federal and Victorian governments.

The current 285-space car park at Beaconsfield station in the outer south east suburbs of Melbourne is often full by 7.30 in the morning, and over 250,000 commuters use the station each year. Commuters instead use nearby streets for parking.

Delivering the project are the Level Crossing Removal Project, Metro Trains Melbourne, and Fulton Hogan.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said that commuters on the Pakenham line would not only be the ones who benefit.

“More parking spaces at trains stations means more people on public transport and more cars off the road.

“Beaconsfield Station is one of 30 sites identified as high priority across Victoria and this will make a big difference in the lives of local people.”

The car park will be built on vacant state-owned land next to the existing car park and will feature improved lighting and CCTV. Bicycle parking will also be facilitated, with the installation of new amenities such as a Parkiteer and 16 additional bike hoops.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said that the investment would enable more people to use public transport.

“Victoria’s Big Build is revitalising transport in the south-east – we want all Victorians to be able to experience our huge investment in our transport infrastructure and be better connected than ever,” he said.

“The Victorian government is getting on with boosting capacity at station car parks that need it most – making sure everyone can use our public transport system without parking congestion being a barrier.”

Federal Member for La Trobe Jason Wood said that the upgrade was the first for an Urban Congestion Fund project in La Trobe.

Funding has also come from the federal Commuter Car Park Fund and the Victorian Car Parks for Commuters Fund.

Craigieburn parking underway

At Craigieburn, in Melbourne’s outer north, 745 new carparking spaces are under construction.

Member for Yuroke Ros Spence said that for the expanding area car parks meant more could travel via train.

“These new spaces will deliver a significant boost to car parking for Craigieburn Station and enable more people to access public transport in our rapidly growing community.”

The carpark is expected to be completed before the end of 2020 and will lift the total number of spaces at the station to over 1,000.

Surrounding streets will be improved to enable pedestrian access, as well as space for bicycles, lighting and CCTV.