Project Objective

“To provide passenger rail access and journey to work opportunities to the South West Metropolitan Region from the southern and eastern regions of the metropolitan area (including the new Perth Stadium), whilst increasing rail network capacity and contingency for the Mandurah Rail Line in the event service disruption north of Cockburn Central.”

Recommended Action

The South West Group is seeking the Federal Government to provide $80 million (50% of total cost) over the next term of government to fund the construction of the Armadale Road Bridge.

Project Objective

“To provide passenger rail access and journey to work opportunities to the South West Metropolitan Region from the southern and eastern regions of the metropolitan area (including the new Perth Stadium), whilst increasing rail network capacity and contingency for the Mandurah Rail Line in the event service disruption north of Cockburn Central.”

Introduction

The Mandurah Rail Line is the busiest in the Perth Metropolitan area with over 20 million in annual boardings recorded over each of the last four years. This level of patronage represents one third of all branch line boardings, with data for the first quarter of 2015/16 suggesting the boardings trend is likely to continue.

The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit predicts that the Mandurah Rail Line will reach or exceed “crush capacity” by 2031. The State Government, as part of the draft Perth Transport Plan for 3.5 Million and Beyond, identified the Thornlie Rail Extension to be constructed around 2031 when Perth’s population reaches 2.7 Million.

Key Issues & Solutions

proposed-thornlie-line-extensionThe Thornlie Line extension would provide much needed east-west public transport option to employment centres such as Canning Vale, Cockburn Central and Jandakot City. The Thornlie Line extension would also provide an alternative route and contingency in the rail network for commuters accessing the Perth CBD in the event that Mandurah line north of Cockburn Central was not operational or experienced technical faults during busy periods.

In addition, the construction of the Perth Stadium and associated $130 million train station at Burswood necessitates the need to bring forward the Thornlie to Cockburn rail link as an essential component of the rail network.

It is estimated that the Mandurah line will carry about 15% of patrons to events at the Perth Stadium, with about 5% (or approximately 3,000 people per event) expected to board from Mandurah to Cockburn Central stations.

The Thornlie to Cockburn Central rail line would provide a more direct route for patrons accessing Perth Stadium via the Armadale line and relieve congestion by avoiding the need to change trains in the busy Perth station during events.

The RAC identified the Thornlie Rail Line extension at an estimated cost of $340 million as one of their top priorities in their submission on Federal priorities to the Commonwealth in July 2015.

Given that the Perth Stadium will be open in 2018, there is a need to bring forward the construction of the Thornlie Rail Extension to 2020, rather than by 2031 as outlined in the draft Perth Transport Plan for 3.5 Million and Beyond.

South West Group Position

The South West Group supports the inclusion of $170 million in the State budget to construct the Thornlie Rail Line extension by 2020, on the basis that the remaining 50% of the cost would be met by the Federal Government.

Recommended Action

The State Government and Opposition commit $170 million (50% of total cost) to construct the Thornlie Rail Line extension to Cockburn Central by 2020.