Perth Airport’s $1.9 billion rail line will open to passengers on 9 October – two years later than originally scheduled.
Train services will directly connect the airport to two stations in the suburbs of Redcliffe and High Wycombe and are expected to carry 20,000 people a day in its first year of operation.
The link was originally due to open in 2020, but delays were blamed on a worker shortage, soft sand and workplace safety issues.
It is jointly funded by both federal and state governments and will be the airport’s first-ever rail line.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “As a former Infrastructure Minister, I know how important access to affordable and accessible public transport is and I’m really pleased this important METRONET project will start operating later this year.
“I look forward to visiting Perth and riding on the new Forrestfield-Airport Link later this year.”
Perth Airport originally serviced RAAF aircraft from 1942 until the end of World War II, and in 1944 the government allowed Qantas to operate from the site as the alternate location in Maylands was inadequate for modern commercial aircraft.
It formally became Perth Airport in 1952 but has never boasted a rail link.
It’s hoped the new line will grow to handle 29,000 daily passengers by 2032 and will be complemented by an enhanced bus network connecting surrounding suburbs to the two new stations.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said, “The first train will leave Perth Station at 5:12 in the morning and arrive here at the station at 5:30am. The last train will leave around 12pm. It’ll service approximately 80 to 85 per cent of flights.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan branded it a “game-changer” for people in Perth’s eastern suburbs.
“METRONET is providing the infrastructure our suburbs need, reducing congestion on our roads and delivering thousands of jobs right across Perth,” he said.
In July, Australian Aviation reported how the airport warned travellers to travel to the airport in taxis and Ubers as its 18,000-spot car park hit full capacity.
Perth’s parking shortage came amid the mid-year school holiday travel surge, and alongside a long string of problems seen in airports across Australia — and the globe — leading to snaking queues at check-in and security, lost and delayed baggage, and growing flight cancellations.