Two Transperth B series trains at Butler station, 16 September 2014. The Joondalup line will be extended from Butler to Yanchep as part of Stage One of Metronet. Photo: Orderinchaos, Wikimedia Commons.

B Set train at McIver station, 20 February 2010. Level crossings will be removed from the Fremantle, Armadale and Midland lines as part of Stage One of Metronet. Photo: DBZ2313, Wikimedia Commons.

Metronet

David Matheson

10 March 2019

Metronet is a public transport policy of the Western Australian Government. It focuses on connecting Perth suburbs by the provision of railway lines and train services. A number of plans outlined in Metronet were previously included in the 2016 report Transport @ 3.5 Million. This report outlined a long-term plan for Perth’s transport infrastructure when the city reaches a population of 3.5 million people, and then beyond that time. Projects were aligned to the size of population growth. It included details for a flexible transport system to meet the needs of passengers and freight.

 

Metronet Stage 1

The following projects have been announced as Stage One of Metronet:

  • completing the Forrestfield–Airport Link railway line

  • extension of the Thornlie line to Cockburn Central on the Mandurah line

  • extension of the Joondalup line from Butler to Yanchep

  • construction of a railway line from the existing Midland line to Morley and Ellenbrook

  • extension of suburban services from Armadale to Byford

  • construction of a new Midland railway station to replace the existing station, and extension of suburban services from Midland to Bellevue

  • construction of a new railway station at Karnup on the Mandurah line

  • removal of level crossings on the existing Armadale, Midland and Fremantle lines

  • upgrading signalling and train control systems, enabling trains to operate at higher frequencies

  • procurement of 246 new electric train carriages for the Perth suburban and interurban railway network, which will be formed into 41 six-car sets

  • upgrading of Bayswater station on the Midland line and Claremont station on the Fremantle line.

 

Possible Long-term Projects

The following projects were previously considered part of Metronet and may eventually be implemented as long-term projects:

  • completion of the South Circle line, which forms an extended loop heading out from the CBD and then returning. The South Circle line extends from the CBD along the Midland line to Bayswater, continuing on the Forrestfield–Airport Link line currently under construction, along the existing freight railway from Forrestfield to Fremantle via Kenwick Junction (on the Armadale line), through Thornlie and South Lake (between Murdoch and Cockburn Central on the Mandurah line), and then from Fremantle along the Fremantle line to the CBD

  • completion of the North Circle line, which forms an extended loop heading out from the CBD and returning. The North Circle line extends along the Joondalup line to Balcatta (between Stirling and Warwick), continuing along a new line to Morley, connecting to the Midland line near Maylands, then along the Midland line to the CBD

  • construction of a new railway line from the new North Circle line to Wanneroo

  • inner city transit light rail project.

 

Forrestfield–Airport Link

The Forrestfield–Airport Link (FAL) is a new railway line that will connect the Central Business District to Forrestfield via Perth airport. It will diverge from the existing Midland line near Bayswater station, and then run to Forrestfield through underground tunnels. Three new stations will be built on the line: Belmont, Airport Central and Forrestfield. The new line will be 8.5 km in length and include 8 km of twin tunnels, which will include passing underneath the Swan River. Construction is ongoing, and the first trains are scheduled to run on the line in 2021.

Thornlie–Cockburn Link

The extension of the Thornlie line to Cockburn Central on the Mandurah line will provide transport for the current and future growth areas between Mandurah and Armadale. It will provide expanded public transport options, enabling passengers to transfer between lines without travelling into the city. It will also enable special trains to operate on the Mandurah line for transport to events at Perth Stadium. The Thornlie line extension is the first stage of a proposed South Circle railway line. Construction is expected to begin in 2019. Planning work will finalise details of the following aspects of the project:

  • duplication of approximately 3 km of railway between Beckenham and Thornlie stations

  • relocation of existing freight lines

  • extension of approximately 14.5 kilometre of railway line Thornlie and Cockburn Central stations

  • modifications at Thornlie to provide capacity for six-carriage trains to operate through the station

  • modification of grade separations at Karel Ave and Ranford Road

  • an additional platform at Cockburn Central, along with required track work

  • new stations, bus interchanges and parking facilities at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road

  • additional trains to service the extension

  • planning for land use around stations.

Map showing the planned railway link between Thornlie and Cockburn Central. Photo: Metronet <www.metronet.wa.gov.au/news-info/gallery>.

Yanchep Rail Extension

Extension of the Joondalup railway line from Butler to Yanchep involves construction of 13.8 km of new railway that will provide public transport for current and future growth areas.

It will cater for more than 150,000 residents expected to live in Yanchep–Two Rocks in the future, and enable Yanchep to develop into a growing business and employment area. Construction is expected to begin in 2019. Planning work will finalise details of the following aspects of the project:

  • finalising the alignment, including rail infrastructure at grade or within a cutting

  • grade separations at major road crossings

  • new stations, bus interchanges and parking facilities at Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep

  • expansion of the existing bus interchange at Butler station

  • additional trains to service the extension

  • planning for land use around stations.

Expected journey times to and from Perth are:

  • Alkimos 41 minutes

  • Eglinton 46 minutes

  • Yanchep 49 minutes.

Map showing the planned railway extension from Butler to Yanchep. Photo: Metronet <www.metronet.wa.gov.au/news-info/gallery>.

The Western Australian Government allocated $3.6 billion to Metronet in its 2018–19 budget, while the Australian Government committed $1.1 billion to Metronet in its 2018–19 budget. Details of further projects that comprise Metronet will be released as planning progresses.

 

References

Government of Western Australia, Department of Transport, Transport @ 3.5 Million: Perth transport plan for 3.5 million and beyond, Perth, 2016.

Metronet <www.metronet.wa.gov.au>.

‘Top Table Talk: Budgets 2018–19’, Table Talk, no. 310, pp. 1–3, June 2018.

Map showing the planned railway line to Ellenbrook. Photo: Metronet <www.metronet.wa.gov.au/news-info/gallery>.