Western Australia

METRONET Budget includes WA's biggest ever rail investment

THE 2018-19 METRONET Budget is Western Australia's biggest ever investment in rail infrastructure, and will lay the foundation for a more sustainable and connected city as the population grows, the State Government said last week.

The total funding allocation in the Budget, including the Forrestfield-Airport Link, for METRONET projects is $3.6 billion. Included in the State Budget is $536 million to extend the Thornlie Line to Cockburn Station on the Mandurah Line, including two new stations at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road.

There is also a $420 million allocation to extend the northern suburbs rail line to Yanchep, including three stations at Yanchep, Eglinton and Alkimos, as well as bus interchanges and park and ride facilities. The WA Planning Commission will spend a further $100 million.

WA Labor Government's METRONET map

The Forrestfield-Airport Link project receives $515 million in 2018-19, some of which will be allocated towards building a turn back facility at Claremont and upgrading Bayswater Station. The Bayswater upgrade is the first stage of the Morley-Ellenbrook Line project, with additional space and capability provided to allow the new METRONET connection.

More than $50 million is allocated to continue planning work on other key METRONET projects, including the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Byford Rail Extension, Midland Station Project and new Karnup Station.

The State Government successfully secured additional Federal Government funding for key projects, with $750 million allocated across the forward estimates for projects under development, including $21 million of State Government funding.

As planning and business cases continue to be finalised this provision will remain, with additional funding provided in subsequent budgets to complete the projects.

Meanwhile, $69 million will be invested in removing the level crossing at Denny Avenue in Kelmscott over the forward estimates. By the end of 2017-18, another $1 million will have been invested in planning for the removal of further crossings at Caledonian Avenue, Oats Street and Wharf Street.

As committed prior to the election, servicing the new METRONET projects will require 102 new railcars (17 six-car sets), with delivery of the first sets due to begin in 2021. $508 million is committed in this Budget for this order, with further funding earmarked for an additional 24 six-car sets to replace the ageing A-series trains used on heritage lines.

The pre-qualification tender for the overall project to build 246 new METRONET railcars includes a local content target of at least 50 per cent for the manufacturing of new railcars, honouring a key election commitment as part of WA Labor's Plan for Jobs.

Funding for a local railcar assembly facility and associated infrastructure is also included within the project's budget.

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