The Armadale, Midland and Fremantle rail lines are known as Perth’s ‘heritage lines’. They were built in the 19th Century and service well-established suburbs around Perth.
These lines experience significant peak-period demand, which is expected to grow as they serve areas with considerable infill targets.
Perth’s passenger-rail network accommodated 61.54 million trips in 2018–19 and is a key access mode for commuters to and from Perth city.
The capacity of the heritage lines is insufficient to accommodate future growth. This will lead to crowding, passenger discomfort, unreliability and road congestion if people choose not to travel by rail.
Much of the signalling, rolling stock and station assets on the heritage lines are nearing obsolescence. This creates challenges in managing and operating the network and interface between the heritage lines and the newer Joondalup and Mandurah lines.
The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that densification in our largest cities is placing pressure on legacy networks like Perth’s heritage lines.
Potential options to address the initiative include:
- investments to support the continued service of existing rolling stock
- enhancing existing train stations and platforms to accommodate longer and higher-capacity services
- ensuring trains can operate across multiple lines in the rail network
- complementary investments in train–bus interchanges and active-transport infrastructure.
Investing in existing infrastructure and new technologies could increase the capacity of Perth’s heritage rail lines without the need for more expensive alternatives.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).