WA Armadale Line transformation a step closer to reality

Monica Gameng   |   February 23, 2022
Level crossing (cr: METRONET)

Transformation of the 129-year-old Armadale Line in Western Australia is closer to becoming a reality as several METRONET projects gear up for construction – including the Byford Rail Extension, the Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link. 

These projects – with a combined value of just under $2 billion – include: 

  • Extending the Armadale rail line about eight kilometres to Byford, with the construction of a new Byford Station, rebuilding of the Armadale Station at elevation and the removal of seven level crossings. Works are currently underway to remove the Thomas Road level crossing 
  • Elevating the rail line in Victoria Park just south of the Miller Street Bridge, with the construction of new stations at Carlisle and Oats Street as well as the removal of level crossings at Mint Street, Oats Street and Welshpool Road 
  • Elevating the rail line just south of Leach Highway, the construction of new stations at Queens Park and Cannington along with the removal of the Hamilton and Wharf Street level crossings 

The METRONET projects are expected to support thousands of local jobs. The final scope, cost and timeframes for the developments are going to be confirmed once the contracts have been awarded. 

In addition to the transformation of the Armadale Line, the projects will also free up significant land that will provide more open space and enable community activation. 

“These significant investments are helping people 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,” Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said. 

Starting in the first quarter of 2023, the Armadale Line is going to be shut down for up to 18 months to allow works to quickly and safely get underway on the METRONET projects. 

The extended shutdown was the preferred option as it was seen to be the least disruptive over a long period and it will allow construction to progress faster with a safer working environment for the project crew. 

This shutdown option will also mean the METRONET projects can be built safely and efficiently with a shorter timeframe while providing certainty for replacement bus services. 

During the shutdown period, significant works on the Thornlie-Cockburn Link will also proceed. This includes works in the Kenwick Tunnel and duplication of rail between Beckenham Junction and Thornlie Station. 

“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. 

“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,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti MLA said. 

 

Planning has already commenced on delivery options to reduce the impact of disruptions on passengers, including providing replacement bus services. 

On the other hand, the Armadale Line will stay operational between Victoria Park Station and the CBD – including Perth Stadium Station – during this period. 

Over the next few weeks, Transperth will conduct a survey of Armadale Line passengers to help determine the best option for the replacement of services. 

Option will 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 
  • New bus services, possibly linking Armadale and other key stations to the Mandurah Line via Cockburn Station and the Airport Line 

The consultation will also have a strong focus on school services as well as key employment centres. 

“These major upgrades to the Armadale Line are going to transform the lives of people living in Perth’s south eastern suburbs and outer metro regions. 

“The Morrison Government’s firm commitment to these projects is about ensuring West Australians have access to great public transport that enables economic opportunity and grows jobs. 

“I know in my own electorate the Byford Rail Extension is eagerly anticipated by many people, so it’s encouraging to see these upgrades progress to a new stage,” Federal Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie MP said. 

Australind Train Services are also going to be impacted by the shutdown. An extensive consultation phase will be carried out as well to ensure sufficient replacement services are provided. 

New Australind railcars that are locally built at the Western Australian Government’s Bellevue Railcar Facility are set to be “programmed for delivery and entry into service after the shutdown has ended”. 

In the coming days, engagement with stakeholders and the community will commence. 

The exact timing for the Armadale Line shutdown is expected to be confirmed later this year together with more information on train replacement services for passengers. 

The three METRONET projects – Byford Rail Extension, Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link – are jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments. 

“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,” Premier Mark McGowan said. 

Source: Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts; Government of Western Australia – Media Statements; ABC News; Perth Now; 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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