September 11, 2017

Western Australian budget backs rail projects

Written by  Mark Carter
  • Print
  • Email
Western Australian budget backs rail projects John Hoyle

THE government of the Australian state of Western Australia announced on September 7 that it has allocated a budget of $A 1.34bn ($US 1.08bn) over the next four years for its Metronet expansion of the Perth suburban rail network.

The Forrestfield - Airport Link, on which work started earlier this year, has been allocated $A 406.5m in 2017-18, with the 8.5km line scheduled for completion in 2020.

The 17.5km Thornlie - Cockburn line will eventually connect the Armadale and Mandurah suburban lines when completed in 2023, and has been allocated $A 423m over four years in the budget.

A 14km extension of the Joondalup line to Yanchep, costed at $A 520.2m, has been allocated $A 440.8m over the next four years.

Several additional rail projects given budget funding include:
• $A 22.1m for detailed planning work for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line and Byford Rail Extension
• $A 70m to eliminate Denny Avenue level crossing and begin planning other future crossing removals
• $A 28.2m towards relocation of the existing Midland Station to Cale Street and an extension of the line to Bellevue, and
• $A 7.4m to plan the rollout of an automatic train control system to allow increased service frequencies on the future Metronet network.

“Metronet is our long-term plan to not just reduce traffic congestion, but to connect our suburbs and drive sustainable new developments,” says transport minister Ms Rita Saffioti. “Work is underway on the Yanchep Rail Extension and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link projects, with business cases already submitted to Infrastructure Australia.”

The government says most of funding comes from the cancelled Perth Freight Link road project.

The government has also allocated $A 33.8m in the budget to modernise SmartRider, Transperth’s cashless ticketing system, to cater for future patronage growth and accommodate advances in technology. The upgraded system is due to be ready by 2021.

Regional rail will benefit from $A 32m in funding to revamp the Perth - Bunbury Australind service.

The 30-year old DMUs used on these services will be replaced with modern rolling stock, while several stations on the route will be upgraded to make them compliant with modern accessibility standards.

Get the latest rail news

Global news and analysis from IRJ, Railway Age and RT&S by email