The Western Australian (WA) Government has started to lay track for the 8km tunnels for the METRONET Forrestfield-Airport Link project.

The track has been laid for the first kilometre near Redcliffe Station for the A$1.86bn ($1.33bn) METRONET project.

Under contract to the Salini Impregilo-NRW joint venture, Australian company Martinus Rail will use more than 2,400t of steel in the tracklaying process.

Additionally, the work is being carried out to install overhead line equipment and the communications and signalling systems.

The work altogether is expected to support more than 100 jobs.

The government plans to name the Forrestfield-Airport Link as the Airport Line after it starts operations.

Scheduled to begin operations late next year, the Airport Line will connect the Perth central business district and the eastern suburbs with a rail journey of 20 minutes.

WA Premier Mark McGowan: “This year alone, we have seven METRONET projects underway, providing a much-needed boost for our local economy as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tracklaying is one of the final major events on the construction of a rail line – it’s an exciting milestone for this $1.86bn project, with more than 2,400t of Australian-made steel being prepared.

“This project continues to provide opportunities for local businesses, with WA company Melchor recently announced as the builder of the multistorey car park at High Wycombe Station.”

In January, the WA government released a request for proposal (RFP) for the main works for the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line.

In a separate development, the Queensland government has commenced the work for the A$6m upgrade of the Mount Isa Rail line.

Major construction work has also commenced on the Parramatta Light Rail in Westmead Health Precinct, New South Wales.

This will provide access to one of the largest health, education and research hubs in Australia.