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Historic Golden Mile Loopline Railway from Kalgoorlie to Boulder in WA Goldfields set to live again
At 7pm on Friday the Fremantle line will close for five days, while final work is completed on the rail tunnel that will sink the line from Milligan Street to Perth station and pave the way for the City Link project that will join the CBD with Northbridge.
"Working with live rail is a risky business," says Anderson.
Building the tunnel amongst the maze that is Perth's busy central station, where all five metropolitan service continued to operate, has had numerous challenges.
"Live rail around is something I'd rather not have sitting next to me while we're working.
"We're sitting on Kingsford Lake. The water table is one metre below the ground at the best of times.
"And we're working around heritage buildings, the Perth station building is heritage listed. We had to jack that up and underpin it.
"Everything at the time was risky."
To create the 600 metre tunnel, the team have had to move out 150,000 cubic metres of dirt, pump a gigalitre of ground water and bring in 53,000 cubic metres of concrete.
The tracks have now been laid and the shutdowns, which will occur over five days in July and another five days in August, will allow the electrical and signals works needed to make the underground line operational.
"We refer to it as the brains of the operation that needs to be installed," John Anderson says.
He's worked on rail projects around the world, and says Perth is high up on his list of achievements.
"As an engineer, in 20 years time I'll look back and say I had a part in changing where Perth is going."
Both Perth stations and the entire Fremantle line will close on Friday evening for five days, as work continues on the Perth City Link project.
Other lines will terminate at Leederville, Claisebrook and the Esplanade.
Extra buses will be running on some lines but commuters are being urged to ride, walk, carpool or work from home if possible.
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