Station upgrade on target

  • Two 50t, 30 m-long concourse modules installed over one weekend
  • Use of digital engineering, modular and offsite construction saved months
  • Few line closures required, resulting in minimal disruption for commuters

The new A$25m East Perth station upgrade in Western Australia looks set for completion by the end of this year, having overcome some major engineering challenges.

The project is being delivered by the PRISM Alliance, led by Laing O’Rourke and in partnership with the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and AECOM, as additional scope of work to the A$358m Perth Stadium Transport Infrastructure project and the PTAs program of Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) upgrades. 

The onsite team is building a new station directly on top of the existing one, demolishing the old structures and constructing new ones – with East Perth remaining open for business throughout the works and trains running regularly.

Utilising Laing O’Rourke’s unique DfMA (Design for Manufacture & Assembly) approach, the station’s concourse was constructed off-site and lifted into place over four railway lines – two of them electrified – over a single weekend in July. A 500t crane was used at full counterweight to safely manoeuvre the 30 m-long, 50t modules into place during back-to-back 8 hour overnight possessions. Each step of the lift was planned meticulously and the crane was fitted with a megawing to allow the modules to be lifted at a 25m radius.

Other work at East Perth includes rebuilding and extending the main island platform to 150 m, and installing new canopies, lifts and stairs, new overhead electric power lines, signalling and track work and redeveloping station car parks.

Time saving techniques

Work began in August 2016 with the diversion of the PTA’s infrastructure (Pit and Pipe network) and in November the first demolition took place at the northern section to make room for temporary metro platforms and buildings, enabling the station to remain operational while the demolition and rebuilding works were undertaken.

“Ensuring the station remained operational and the trains were on time was a major challenge for the team and was always front of mind,” said Project Leader Michael Idoine. 

“We met these challenges by applying Laing O’Rourke’s unique digital engineering and DfMA technologies.

“There were limited line closures available on the electrified lines and none on the other two regional lines, but modular construction enabled us to work day and night outside the rail corridor, reducing our dependence on shutdowns.

“Our application of a number of digital and off-site techniques not only ensured we were able to deliver the project in a smarter and safer way, but also more efficiently - reducing construction time by up to three months.

“The concourse’s modular steel structures were built offsite then fitted out onsite with services, precast slab reinforcement, gutters, roofing and soffits, façade elements and edge and overhead wire protection before the lift. 

“This success persuaded us to adopt the modular approach to the new platform canopies and stairs, something we had not originally planned,” Michael added.

“We also used digital engineering modelling to demonstrate how the various components would interface with each other, and created visual method statements for the client to assure them we could work safely with overhead electrics and in a live rail environment.”

The concourse also provides access to the client’s headquarters in the East Perth terminus building and a single platform serving inter-state and regional trains.

“We set up our site office on the third floor of the client’s headquarters, directly overlooking the site, making it easier to manage the project, liaise with the client and get decisions made collaboratively” says Michael.