WA cabinet pushes Yanchep extension and Thornlie-Cockburn link closer to start of construction

The Western Australian cabinet has endorsed two Metronet project definition plans which the WA government says construction in both cases is on track to start next year.

The Yanchep rail extension project will see the Joondalup Line extend northwards from Butler to Yanchep over 14.5km of new track.  The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will provide Perth's first east-west rail link outside the centre of the city, linking the Armadale and Mandurah rail lines through Perth's southern suburbs.

Metronet's extension to Yanchep will include adding three new stations to the Joondalup line at Alkimos, Eglington and Yanchep and the project will also include delivering 14km of new Principal shared paths to connect the new stations to the community.

Butler station will see work as well to convert it from a terminus station to a through station so the 13.8km of new dual track passenger railway can connect to the rest of the network.

The Thornlie-Cockburn link will see track duplication works carried out on the existing Thornlie branch, and the freight corridor between Thornlie and the Mandurah lines will see augmentation works to move freight rail lines and then two new passenger tracks will be added to the corridor.

Two new stations at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road, effectively bookending the Canning Vale employment area, will be added to the corridor and the line will then join the Mandurah line and run in the Kwinana Freeway median into Cockburn Central Station.

Like Butler station on the Yanchep extension, Thornlie Station will be modified from a terminating station to a through station and Cockburn Central will have a third terminating platform added to the existing configuration for trains coming from Thornlie, allowing passengers to interchange with the Mandurah line. 

$1.056 billion has budgeted for both projects of which the Federal Government will be funding $700 million jointly with the WA government's $356 million.

A WA Government media release states both projects returned positive benefit-cost-ratios, a prerequisite for Commonwealth funding, and a briefing to the construction industry will be held on Wednesday, July 2018.

Metronet is a McGowan Government policy that will see greater integration of public transport and development throughout metropolitan Perth.  Metronet encompasses multiple projects including the Airport-Forrestfield rail link and Byford rail extension project.

The suite of rail projects also includes a brand new line to Ellenbrook from Morley and several level crossing removals across the network as well as an eventual signaling upgrade and fleet renewal program.

Lead image credit: Currambine station/Wikipedia.

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