Perth’s Airport Rail scheme officially opened


Perth's new Airport Line is one of the largest transport projects ever undertaken in Western Australia
Perth’s new Airport Line is one of the largest transport projects ever undertaken in Western Australia

Built by Italian contractor Webuild, the new Airport Line is one of the biggest and most complex public transport projects ever undertaken in Western Australia.

The new 8.5km-long line was developed with an investment of AU$1.86 billion (£1.06 billion). It connects the eastern suburbs with Perth’s central business district via the international airport. It is expected to take about 15,000 vehicles off the roads every day, helping to save up to 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

Commissioned by the Public Transport Authority and jointly funded by the West Australian and Australian governments, the project entailed the construction of two parallel tunnels, three stations (at Redcliffe, Airport Central and High Wycombe), 12 cross passages, and other related infrastructure.

Webuild led the construction with an 80% stake in the joint-venture together with its local partner NRW. The construction supply chain comprised around 1,200 companies of which 91% were local.

Two tunnel boring machines were used to drive tunnels to a depth of 26 metres under the Swan River.

Webuild is targeting expansion in the Australian market with specific focus on sustainable transport and renewable energy projects. It is part of an international consortium named in March 2022 as preferred bidder for a new freight rail scheme between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Webuild is also the main contractor for Snowy 2.0, a major hydropower project in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. Australia currently accounts for 13% of Webuild’s construction order backlog, the company says.

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