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Frequently Asked Questions

General project

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A program of projects which brings together transport and land use planning to support Perth’s growth. METRONET Stage One includes:

  • Thornlie–Cockburn Link
  • Forrestfield-Airport Link
  • Yanchep Rail Extension
  • Morley-Ellenbrook Line
  • Byford Rail Extension
  • Karnup Station
  • Midland Station relocation and extension to Bellevue
  • Level Crossing Removal
  • Railcar Program
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Due to operational constraints, the Thornlie-Cockburn Link will open all at once.
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We are working towards keeping construction impacts to a minimum. There will be construction vehicles in the area during this phase, but the impact on the current traffic conditions will be minimal. 
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Managing street parking is the responsibility of the local authority and outside of the Public Transport Authority’s control. We will raise these concerns with the relevant local authorities.
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We are aiming to meet the Government’s preferred completion date of 2021. The schedule will be developed by the contractor when they are appointed in mid-2019.
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Current designs will see 400 parking bays at Ranford Road Station and 1000 parking bays at Nicholson Road Station. Ranford Road Station car park will be built in such a way that it can be expanded in the future as demand for parking at the station increases.
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At this stage the station names are currently working project names, based on their locations, and are subject to approval from the Geographic Naming Committee, closer to project completion. 
 

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link area includes a mix of established and developing suburbs that are experiencing significant population growth due to the availability of urban zoned land and continuing demand for affordable land, particularly from young families. South of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is an 80.8 km2 area which currently has poor public transport services, but is estimated to grow significantly in the future.

 

After the options analysis work during the business case phase, we knew the preferred solution for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link was to relocate the freight lines to make room for passenger rail from Thornlie to Cockburn Central with new stations at Nicholson and Ranford roads

Since then the METRONET Office with its partner agencies and stakeholders, has completed early engineering designs, environmental and ground analysis, land use planning to inform transport infrastructure design, construction requirements and other modelling.

The result is a more detailed scope of each project, which will be used during procurement to select a contractor to deliver the work.

 

Extensive modelling was undertaken to estimate patronage using data sources including current passenger numbers, population growth, housing density and other demographic information. The modelling uses a Department of Planning tool, the Strategic Transport Estimation Model (STEM).

 

All platforms will be built to accommodate six-car trains in the future. However, the four-car A-series or three-car B-Series will be able to meet passenger demand for day one of operations.

 

Yes, this project allows for a future Mandurah special event service to Stadium Station.

 

Some bus services will be redirected from Thornlie Station to the new Nicholson Road Station and a new route introduced linking Nicholson Road Station with Maddington Station. Given its location along an existing high-frequency bus corridor, all passing services will be diverted into Ranford Road Station, with a number of services extended to and some lower demand services truncated and terminated at the station.

Final service details will be determined 12-18 months before operations. This will follow detailed planning and community consultation to develop a bus network which best aligns with local development and community needs.

 

The project was accounted for in the 2017-18 State Budget, with $350 million provided by the Federal Budget.

 

Construction is expected to begin in 2019.

 

We welcome all queries and feedback from the community. Community sessions will be promoted when they occur, and information will be regularly updated on the website and via project email updates. The community is also welcome to email info@metronet.wa.gov.au or call 9326 2666.

Tenders and jobs

 

The Public Transport Authority will manage all rail infrastructure procurement, with tenders advertised via TendersWA. Once a main contract is awarded, the contractor will source its own suppliers. Construction contractors and supply chain providers are encouraged to register their services on the Construction Capability Register, which will be provided to successful tenderers for consideration.

 

No. Registering your services does not guarantee work or imply State Government endorsement. It is provided as an opportunity to help connect major construction companies with local businesses.

 

It is expected the Thornlie-Cockburn Link will generate around 1,680 jobs. These will include construction works and supply chain contractors. Any WA Government roles associated with the project will be advertised on the WA Jobs Board.

Rail alignment

 

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link was first proposed in the South West Metropolitan Railway Master Plan (April 2000). In July 2001, the then State Government announced a major change in the route to follow the alignment of the Kwinana Freeway. However, at that time a spur line from Beckenham Station to Thornlie was constructed and future-proofing included to eventually accommodate a connection to the Mandurah line.

 

Yes. The freight lines will be relocated to the northern part of the rail corridor, creating enough space for the passenger lines to be built in the southern section.

 

This level pedestrian crossing will be replaced with a pedestrian bridge to improve safety in the area. Noise impacts will also be reduced as the signals will be removed.

 

Some maintenance and upgrade work will be required within the Glen Iris tunnel to accommodate it for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.

 

While there are no current immediate plans to build the orbital rail line for Perth, there is the potential to do so and is factored in the early designs, as well as the Forrestfield-Airport Link. This planning work will occur when demand for the orbital rail line increases.

Land use development

 

In the short term the Thornlie-Cockburn Link’s new station precincts at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road will principally support access to the new rail service, including parking and bus transfer facilities, and improved cycle and pedestrian links to surrounding residential and employment areas.

In the medium-to-long term, the stations will be a catalyst for change in their immediate vicinity, encouraging the transformation of underutilised urban and industrial land into new transit-oriented precincts.

 

METRONET Office will continue to work with key stakeholders, including local government, in guiding any land planning and development to ensure the benefits of investing in good public transport are realised.

 

Typically when passenger rail is introduced, property values have improved. Better transport connections have the potential to lift property values directly while METRONET’s integrated planning approach also enables indirect benefits from denser development, leading to more amenities such as shops and health facilities. However, it is too early at this stage to forecast how this project will impact the local area.

Nicholson Road Station

 

The station will be accessed off Canna Drive, between the Willow Pond Reception Centre and the Police Station.

 

Some roads that approach the station will be changed as part of this project. Changes to the network outside of the project area will be managed by the local government. When appointed, the contractor will assess the local road network, including the Nicholson Road, Garden Street and Yale Road roundabout. Details will be provided as the project progresses.

 

When appointed, the contractor will work with the local council to assess the path network to determine safe connections for pedestrians and cyclists. Details will be provided as they progress.

 

The Nicholson Road Station design allows for future connection to development north of the rail corridor, which can be developed as demand increases. The area around the station, such as the passenger car park, will also be flexible and can change to support future developments.

 

The universally accessible station will have:

  • Passenger amenity: public toilets, public services (such as vending machines), kiosk, passenger ticketing/information, staff amenities, station administration offices, storage/cleaning and operational facilities.
  • Pedestrian/cycle access: well connected to a shared path west of the station, with two secure bicycle parking shelters, bike u-rails and ability to add two additional secure bicycle parking shelters in the future.
  • Bus interchange: seven-stands with weather protection, seating and information facilities. The interchange includes three layover bays.
  • Vehicle access: dedicated passenger drop-off area and approximately 1,000 parking bays.
 

Nicholson Road Station will be fitted with all the security measures that are standard at our stations. This includes CCTV, lighting and clear sight lines throughout the area. In the future as development occurs around the station, passive security will also increase as there will be more activity in the area.

Ranford Road Station

 

Ranford Road Station will be accessed from a precinct entry road, off the proposed new Jandakot Airport Eastern Link Road to the south-east of the station.

 

Every attempt will be made to limit traffic impacts on Ranford Road. When appointed, the contractor will assess the local road network and work with the local council to determine what, if any, changes are required to the local road network. Details will be provided as the project progresses.

 

The universally accessible station will have:

  • Passenger amenity: public toilets, public services (such as vending machines), kiosk, passenger ticketing/information, staff amenities, station administration offices, storage/cleaning and operational facilities.
  • Pedestrian/cycle access: well connected to a shared path west of the station, with two secure bicycle parking shelters, bike u-rails and ability to add two additional secure bicycle parking shelters in the future.
  • Bus interchange: 14-stands with weather protection, seating and information facilities. The interchange includes six layover bays.
  • Vehicle access: dedicated passenger drop-off area and approximately 400 parking bays.
 

Ranford Road Station will be fitted with all the security measures that are standard at our stations. This includes CCTV, lighting and clear sight lines throughout the area. In the future as development occurs around the station, passive security will also increase as there will be more activity in the area.

 

In the early technical studies a number of options were considered, with the ultimate station and supporting infrastructure design chosen to minimise how much is built on the old council tip. During the next phase of design, the contractor will further refine the design to avoid the area as much as possible. Should works be required within the tip boundaries, a contaminated site management plan will be required.

Environment

 

Environmental and heritage considerations are a key priority for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.

Early studies undertaken by specialist consultants have identified the following environmental and heritage considerations:

  • Removal of native vegetation
  • Loss of fauna habitat
  • Disturbance of acid sulphate soils
  • Dewatering and groundwater quality
  • Existing soil and groundwater contamination
  • Noise and vibration
  • Aboriginal heritage
  • Waste Management

These will continue to be assessed when the main contractor is appointed and in consultation during the approvals processes with the various regulatory bodies.

 

The first phases of environmental approval are underway for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link. The METRONET Office and Public Transport Authority are working closely with the various regulators and have had early discussions with key local environmental groups, such as the Urban Bushland Council and Friends of Ken Hurst Park.

 

We recognise the importance of Aboriginal heritage and are finalising a METRONET Aboriginal Engagement Framework. Specifically for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, duplicating the rail bridge over the Canning River will occur within an identified 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 monitoring personnel will also be engaged during initial ground work to further ensure there are no heritage sites or artefacts located within these areas.

 

The original scope of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link was reviewed to ensure the amount of vegetation clearing was reduced. For example:

  • Initially around 11 hectares of the Banksia Woodland was to be cleared and through engineering reviews this is reduced to around three hectares;
  • Initially around 41 hectares of Carnaby Cockatoo foraging habitat and 176 potential habitat trees were to be cleared this was reduced to around 28 hectares of foraging habitat and 96 potential habitat trees; and
  • The Caladenia Grove Wetland Reserve was avoided.
 

Where possible replanting areas with fast-growing small native shrubs and trees will take place in the autumn/winter after construction is finished. Replanting will be minimal within the rail reserve due to visibility and rail safety rules.

Larger or more mature trees are rarely replanted as they have little success rate of uptake. To ensure the best chance for survival, the planting will be mostly of smaller, fast growing native plants that will reach mature heights in a short timeframe.

 

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 required for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, which will require approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

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

 

Once appointed the contractor will be required to complete a Construction Noise and Vibration Management Plan, following Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.

This will detail how they will minimise impacts to nearby residents. When construction starts, there will be dedicated information available for affected areas, and those impacted will receive advance notice of works and potential impacts.

 

Based on early designs, an initial operational noise and vibration assessment has recommended a combination of up to four-metre high 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 when the contractor is appointed.

 

Once appointed, the contractor will be required to complete construction management plans to minimise impacts to nearby properties. Nearby property owners will also be invited to be part of a pre-condition survey. This will form part of managing any damage that may occur during construction.

 
The speed limits along the freight line were reduced while Arc Infrastructure replaced some sleepers along a section of the track. However, once the work was complete trains were able to return to the standard speed limits.  
 
No. The current freight rail traffic will continue while we build the new tracks in the rail corridor.
 

Freight trains are required to sound horns at level crossings for safety reasons. If level crossings are removed as part of this project, freight trains will no longer be required to sound horns at these points.

However, trains will still use their horns as warning if they see people in the rail corridor. 

 

As part of the project, property condition surveys will be conducted to understand if construction activities will have any impact to nearby structures. This will also be used to track any changes after construction.

The levels of vibration generated from rail operations are below any level which would cause structural damage to a building, even over a long period of time. The limits set by the Environmental Protection Authority are designed to minimise human annoyance and is 25 times below the vibration level likely to case structural damage to buildings.

As part of this project the State Government are looking to minimise vibration from the rail operations and will install matting under the freight and passenger rail tracks. 

Page last updated: 30/08/2018