Shutdown of the Armadale Line to pave the way for its transformation

Monica Gameng   |   August 21, 2023

The Western Australian Government has announced the shutdown of the Armadale Line in November 2023 to enable works to be carried out as part of the transformational upgrade of the 130-year-old train line. 

The shutdown will begin on 20 November 2023 until mid-2025. During this time, construction will be undertaken on the three METRONET projects including Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal, Byford Rail Extension and Thornlie-Cockburn Link. 

Works that will be seen during the closure will include the construction of a 5.5-kilometre elevated rail line and seven new stations, extension of the Armadale Line to Byford, removal of 13 level crossings, and the creation of about 6 hectares of public space. 

The level crossings are going to be removed immediately following the line closure. 

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link project is also expected to be completed during the shutdown period, with two train stations built along Nicholson Road and Ranford Road as well as the delivery of the first east-west rail link that connects the Armadale and Mandurah lines. 

“This project is going to fundamentally change this 130-year-old train line, but we know to reach that destination, a period of disruption lies ahead. 

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure the closure is as smooth as possible, and that we have options to meet the needs of as many people as possible,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said. 

In addition to the Armadale Line closure, the State Government has also announced seven new temporary bus routes and five enhanced existing bus routes that will replace train services during the shutdown. 

The temporary bus services will have a combination of limited stop and all stop bus routes to provide passengers with options to get to the CBD and other local destinations. 

Over 100 additional buses will be in services to support the shutdown along with approximately 1.2 kilometres of bus priority lanes. Installation of intelligent system technology will also be carried out to help minimise disruptions to passengers and other road users. 

Some changes will be made to Optus Stadium transport arrangements as well. On weekends, public holidays and during events, trains will continue to stop at Stadium Stations and a new special event bus service (Route 651) will be available to help eventgoers in Perth’s south-east to get to Stadium Bus Station. 

The State Govenrment is currently assessing options for fare relief to regular Armadale Line passengers that are impacted by the train line shutdown. 

In September, timetables for the new and enhanced bus routes will be released along with the launch of a community awareness campaign. 

Temporary bus interchanges are going to be constructed in Armadale, Cannington and Victoria Park to support the additional bus services. The interchange at Cannington is already completed while the Victoria Park and Armadale interchanges are scheduled for completion in October. 

The temporary bus interchange in Cannington will be the largest in Perth with the capacity to accommodate more than 1,300 daily bus movements. The Cannington interchange will feature 16 active and eight layover bus bays, bike storage facilities and security measures. Public toilet facilities that can accommodate passengers using bus services during the Armadale Line shutdown will be accessible as well. 

The Western Australian Government is also expecting that many of the existing park and ride passengers may opt to drive to alternative station on other lines. 

Safety is a top priority in preparation for the shutdown. In line with this, safety measures such as increasing Transit Officer hours by up to 20 per cent and deployment of additional security vehicles will be put in place to support the shutdown. 

Surveillance at the new interchanges will also be increased along with the installation of new CCTV cameras that are monitored 24/7. 

Active transport will be a key part within communities close to the line and to support this, the Department of Transport is delivering an Active Travel Initiative and has already engaged with local governments as well as 10 schools to promote active modes of travel. 

From the beginning of the shutdown period, a full line closure will be observed to allow for essential works to be carried out to enable passenger services to operate between Victoria Park and Perth. Following the three-day closure, trains will be able to run between Victoria Park and Perth. 

The latest information on the Armadale Line shutdown will also be available on the Public Transport Authority web page for the Armadale Line Shutdown Hub.

“We’ll be implementing 12 new and enhanced bus routes which will be supported by more than 100 additional buses, three new bus interchanges, 1.2 kilometres of priority bus lanes and intelligent system technology at key locations to help minimise disruptions to passengers and road users. 

“Timetables for the replacement bus services will be released next month in line with the launch of a community awareness campaign. 

“I thank the community and regular passengers on the Armadale Line in advance for their understanding and patience while we undertake these critical works to transform the line,” Minister Saffioti said. 

The three METRONET projects – Byford Rail Extension, Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal and Thornlie-Cockburn Link – have an estimated combined value of $2 billion and are jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments. 

Together, the projects are expected to support thousands of local jobs. 

In August 2022, the contracts to deliver the Byford Rail Extension and Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal were respectively awarded to the MetCONNX Alliance – comprised of Laing O’Rourke, Pritchard Francis Consulting and Kellogg Brown & Root – and the Armadale Line Upgrade Alliance – comprised of Acciona Construction, BDM Constructions, WSP and AECOM. You can read more about the contract awards here. 

On the other hand, the contract to deliver the Thornlie-Cockburn Link was awarded to NEWest Alliance – consisting of CPB Contractors and Downer Group – in November 2019. 

Source: Government of Western Australia; Transperth; WA Building for Tomorrow; METRONET 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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