Designing Perth's new airport line
At a glance
For many visitors arriving in Perth, their first experience of Western Australia is a new 8.5 km Airport Line that connects the airport and the city’s eastern suburbs with the rest of the urban rail network.
GHD was the lead design consultant to Webuild-NRW Joint Venture for the new Forrestfield-Airport Link (now known as the Airport Line), which includes twin-bored tunnels under the Swan River, three new rail stations: Redcliffe, Airport Central and High Wycombe plus the creation of a grade-separated rail junction as well as rail-bus interchanges servicing suburbs in the adjacent areas.
We provided design coordination for the project and delivered the architecture, above and below ground structural engineering, building services, rail systems design, civil engineering and Building Information Modelling (BIM) for one of Western Australia’s biggest infrastructure projects. The BIM models reduced duplication, unexpected issues and clashes during design development. GHD also developed automated design processes for rail electrification systems and tracks.
- 20km of infrastructure for permanent way (wail formation, drainage, track systems) - concept and final design
- 120-year design life
- 1,700 new car parking bays
- Three new rail stations - architecture and building services
- All infrastructure at dive structures and inside the twin tunnels
- Twin bored tunnels under the Swan River (8 km long and 6,170 mm in diameter)
Architecture services were provided by our integrated design studio GHD Design and Weston Williamson + Partners.
The Redcliffe Station is designed to reflect the local heritage and future area precinct integration, aligning the station design to the plans for new development surrounding the station, according to the previously approved masterplan. There was a series of interactions with the local government to understand the intentions for the precinct and critical considerations were taken to integrate the station.
The Airport Central Station is a gateway to passengers arriving in Perth and needed to reflect a world-class standard. The prominent feature of the Airport Central Station design is the strikingly iconic roof shape with its dynamic and directional form which takes inspiration from the aircraft aerodynamic features providing a design statement and welcoming entrance to station users. Furthermore, the atrium was designed with ground to ceiling glass to create a sun-filled space with generous dimensions.
The High Wycombe station operates as an intermodal transport hub to feed the eastern suburbs and foothills. The character of the area inspired the design approach and construction materials selected for the station.
Perth’s Airport Central Station has earned recognition from respected industry organisations including the Concrete Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects. The building was awarded the 2023 Western Australia State Award for Infrastructure Projects by the Concrete Institute of Australia and was also recognised by the Australian Institute of Architects with the 2023 Award for Public Architecture (WA). Jurors from the Australian Institute of Architects had high praise for the collaboration between GHD Design and Weston Williamson + Partners, nothing that:
“The complex and technical performance requirements of public transport infrastructure has been convincingly navigated, with a vast array of specialist consultant inputs coordinated, integrated and often expertly displayed.”