October 26, 2017 – Tunnel-boring machine Sandy began its journey from Forrestfield to Perth in the latest milestone of the AU$1.86-billion Forrestfield-Airport Link, METRONET project to extend the city’s rail service to the eastern suburbs.
Named by a primary school student after the Western Australian Sandgroper digging insect, the TBM began work three months after its twin, Grace, set off. It began excavating in a 12-metre deep dive structure at the site of Forrestfield Station, one of three stations to be built along the line.
The TBM will excavate a tunnel parallel to the one being made by Grace, which has already travelled about 620 metres.
Grace is expected to break into the station box at Airport Central Station in early 2018, with Sandy following shortly after.
“As the construction of the three train stations on the Forrestfield-Airport Link ticks on above ground, underneath the surface Grace and Sandy will be boring and reinforcing the foundation of the tunnels which trains will run through in only three years’ time,” Western Australia Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said in a statement.
The project by Salini Impregilo and joint-venture partner NRW is to be completed in 2020. The line's total length will be 8.5 kilometres, 8.0 kilometres of which underground. It will allow residents in the eastern suburbs to travel 20 minutes to the city centre, helping reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
About 2,000 jobs will be created as a result of the project.
In Sydney, Salini Impregilo is working on the Metro Northwest public transport project that will connect the northwestern suburbs to the city centre.
Perth’s Rail Line – Forrestfield-Airport Link