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Home Infrastructure Major METRONET projects to transform the Armadale Line

Major METRONET projects to transform the Armadale Line

The 129-year-old Armadale Line in Western Australia is set to be transformed through major METRONET projects including the Byford Rail Extension, the Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.

Works include extending the train line out to Byford, elevating the rail through Victoria Park and Cannington, and tying in the Thornlie-Cockburn Link at Thornlie Station.

Just under $2 billion is anticipated to be spent on the following projects:

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  • the Armadale rail line will be extended eight kilometres to Byford, with a new Byford station, a rebuild of the Armadale station at elevation and the removal of seven level crossings, with work already underway on removing the level crossing at Thomas Road;
  • the rail line will be elevated in Victoria Park, just south of the Miller Street Bridge, with new stations to be built at Carlisle and Oats Street, along with the removal of level crossings at Mint Street, Oats Street and Welshpool Road; and
  • the rail line will be elevated just south of Leach Highway, with new stations at Queens Park and Cannington, and the removal of the Hamilton and Wharf Street level crossings.

Thousands of local jobs will be supported and created through these projects, with the final scope, cost and timeframes to be confirmed once contracts are awarded.

Significant land will also be freed up, creating opportunities for open space and new community activation.

To enable work on these projects to occur as quickly and safely as possible, the Armadale Line will be shut down for up to 18 months starting in the first quarter of 2023. 

WA Premier, the Hon Mark McGowan MLA, said: “My Government committed to transforming our public transport network through METRONET, and we are delivering on this suite of major projects.

“The Armadale Line, which is nearly 130-years-old, will be transformed with the construction of the Byford Rail Extension, the Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal and Thornlie-Cockburn Link.

“We are pleased to partner with the Commonwealth Government to deliver almost $2 billion worth of investment, which will create and support thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

“While closing the Armadale Line for this period of time will be inconvenient, and we apologise for this disruption, it will completely transform the way people move around our south-eastern suburbs, slashing travel times and better linking our city.”

While a number of shutdown options were examined, the extended shutdown was the preferred option, as it was seen as the least disruptive over the longer term and allows the project to be undertaken faster with a safer workplace environment.

An extended shutdown means both METRONET projects can be constructed safely and efficiently over a shorter timeframe and provide certainty for replacement bus services.

During this time period, crucial works to the Thornlie-Cockburn Link will be also be undertaken including:

  • works in the Kenwick Tunnel; and
  • duplication of rail between Beckenham Junction and Thornlie Station.

WA Transport Minister, the Hon Rita Saffioti MLA: “When complete, these three METRONET projects will be a game-changer for our south-eastern suburbs through the transformation of the Armadale Line, creating more opportunities for thousands of residents.

“We understand a long-term rail shutdown will be inconvenient for many people, businesses and the broader community and we apologise in advance for this.

“We want to inform the community about this shutdown as early as possible, so people could start thinking about the closure and their potential transport options.

“In the next few weeks, Transperth will begin surveying Armadale Line passengers to find out about travel behaviours and how we can best target replacement services to suit their needs.

“We have also opened a survey on our Building for Tomorrow page, where people can go to have their say, while we will also be meeting with key stakeholders, businesses and the community over the coming weeks and months to discuss the closure.

“A number of options were considered but this style of shutdown was chosen as it will allow this to be done more safely and quicker.

“We will roll out a comprehensive advertising campaign and continue to provide updates as we firm up the timings of the closure and how replacement services will operate.”

Planning to reduce the impact of this disruption on passengers is already underway including the provision of significant replacement bus services.

During this time, it is intended that the Armadale line will continue to operate between Victoria Park Station and the CBD, including Perth Stadium Station.

Over the next few weeks, Transperth will start surveying Armadale Line passengers to help determine the best suite of replacement services to offer.

Options to be considered include:

  • new limited stops express bus services from Armadale to Cannington to the CBD;
  • new limited stops express bus services from Cannington to the CBD; and
  • new bus services, possibly linking Armadale and other key stations to the Mandurah Line via Cockburn Station and the Airport Line.

In addition, during consultation there will be a strong focus on school services and key employment centres.

The shutdown will also impact the Australind Train Service. Extensive consultation will be undertaken with passengers, including a survey, to ensure adequate replacement services. 

The new locally-made Australind railcars, to be built at the State Government’s Bellevue Railcar Facility, will be programmed for delivery and entry into service after the shutdown has ended.

Engagement with key stakeholders and the community will also commence in coming days.

The exact timing of the shutdown will be confirmed later this year along with further information on train replacement services for passengers, with a comprehensive advertising campaign rolled out to highlight the closure.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP: “The Morrison Government is continuing to fund the delivery of important infrastructure projects like this one, having committed over $3.3 billion to 15 METRONET projects to date. 

“These significant investments are helping people to get home to their families sooner and safer, move freight more quickly between our cities, and generate jobs across the country.

“These projects are being funded as part of the Australian Government’s record $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s economic recovery.”

Commuters are encouraged to visit buildingfortomorrow.wa.gov.au to provide feedback on how they use the Armadale Line to help shape replacement options. 

The Byford Rail Extension, Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link are jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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