Thornlie-Cockburn Link

Thornlie-Cockburn Link

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will be Perth’s first cross line connection, making travel around the city by train more flexible and providing a higher level of public transport service to Perth’s southern suburbs.

Connecting the Mandurah and Armadale lines will open up new opportunities for longer-term developments around the future Nicholson Road and Ranford Road stations.

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will support growth and accessibility across the southern suburbs by providing direct access to employment, sporting and recreation opportunities at Canning Vale, Cannington Strategic Metropolitan Centre, Burswood Peninsula and the eastern Central Business District.  

Work is expected to begin in late-2019.


The Thornlie-Cockburn Link is in Alliance Development Phase. The two consortiums on the short-list for final consideration are:

METROconnex - Coleman Rail, Clough and Georgiou;

NEWest Alliance – CPB Contractors and Downer.

Construction aims to meet the Government’s completion date of 2021. However, the schedule will be developed by the Alliance when it is appointed in 2019. More than 300 service relocations need to take place to pave the way for major construction to start and this work will begin in late 2019.

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will open all at once, which allows flexibility for the Alliance and their preferred construction methodology. 


While the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is located in existing rail corridors, a number of important environmental concerns will continue to be considered.  

Flora management
The existing rail corridor has been largely cleared of native vegetation and is maintained as an active freight rail corridor.
However, some clearing will be needed for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, which will require approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.  

Fauna management
During construction, any areas marked for clearing will be inspected for animals to be relocated beforehand. Relocation by an appropriately qualified  specialist will be timed, where practicable, to prevent coinciding with the main nesting/breeding season of fauna species – usually spring and summer.

Noise, vibration and light
Investigation and planning is underway to ensure introducing the passenger lines means noise and vibration levels are no worse, and where possible are better, than existing levels experienced by the community.

Predicting noise and vibration is a complex science that takes a number of inputs to create a comprehensive model for the project. For this project, the inputs included:
  • onsite noise monitoring results conducted  in June 2017;
  • noise monitoring  of similar noise sources;
  • data on existing soil conditions and structures (buildings, bridges, walls) in the project area; and
  • early rail design.
Based on early designs, an initial operational noise and vibration assessment has recommended noise walls in certain locations and anti-vibration ballast matting under both the freight and passenger lines.

This will continue to be reviewed and updated as the designs progress once a contractor is appointed.

Lighting for the shared path and station areas will be directed away from residential properties as much as possible and will be assessed during the final design stages.

Aboriginal heritage
Duplicating the rail bridge over the Canning River will occur within an Aboriginal heritage site.

While the project impact is expected to be minimal, recognising the importance of this site to the Whadjuk people, relevant approvals have been sought. Specialist Aboriginal people  will also be engaged to monitor the  initial ground work to further ensure there are no heritage sites or artefacts disturbed  within these areas.


Community Reference Groups

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link Community Reference Groups (CRGs) consists of local residents and businesses to help the project team identify local opportunities, issues and concerns.

The role of the CRGs is to act as a sounding board regarding the delivery and impacts of the project throughout the construction phase. The CRGs will bring feedback or collect community enquiries for discussion in the meetings to identify any issues.

Given the breadth of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, and the density of surrounding residential areas, two zones were identified and CRGs were formed for each - an east and west CRG zone either side of Nicholson Road. Formed in July 2019, the CRGs represent a range of demographics, locations, interest, opinions and experience.

Thornlie-Cockburn Link CRG West members are:

Alec Frith, Christine Hulley, Curtis Mckinley, Kathy Pritchard, Patricia Skinner, Robert Stanton, Scott Kivelhan, Senthilatiban Vembaiyan, Todd Wood and Zaaren Dhanbhoora.

The minutes of each meeting will be published below.

Thornlie-Cockburn Link CRG East members are:

Amanda McCormack, Anoop Kumar Malaviya, Derek Muttitt, Ernest Nnadigwe, Kelly Ibbitson, Kirsty Connell, Kishin Bhavnan, Molly Tebo, Rebecca Druce and Veronica Ye.

The minutes of each meeting will be published below.

Refer to the map for the defined group borders. 
  • Community Reference Group: Thornlie-Cockburn Link West
  • Community Reference Group: Thornlie-Cockburn Link East

Community Reference Groups Zone Map

Place Making

While transport projects can be planned and delivered in a relatively defined timeframe, the associated development around a station can take longer and is often not within the State Government’s control.

For the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, the METRONET Office will continue to work with state agencies, local governments and the private sector to help transition the areas around Nicholson Road, Ranford Road and Thornlie stations into mixed-use centres.


Project Documents

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Great response to Community Reference Group nominations

Great response to Community Reference Group nominations

Since nominations opened in late May, over 250 community members applied to be part of one of four METRONET Project Community Reference Groups.

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