Gallop Government delivers northern rail extension on time and budget
Stage One of the Gallop Government's New MetroRail vision became reality today, when services began to the new Clarkson Station on the extended Northern Suburbs Railway.
Premier Geoff Gallop said the Clarkson extension was the first expansion of Perth's urban rail system since the Northern Suburbs Railway opened to Joondalup in 1992 and extended to Currambine the following year.
Opening the station this morning, Dr Gallop said the occasion marked the delivery of the first stage of the $1.5billion New MetroRail Project - Labor's plan to double the capacity of Perth's passenger rail network.
"We are celebrating a triple achievement - the completion of the track extension, the opening of Clarkson station and the introduction of the first of our new high-speed trains," the Premier said.
"All three elements have been delivered on time and on budget.
"Only Labor is committed to delivering a world-class, fully-integrated, rapid transport system to the whole of Perth.
"Against a background of skyrocketing oil prices and increasing pressure on our freeways, we remain on target to double Perth's railway network with the Southern Suburbs Railway to Mandurah by the end of 2006."
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said today's event represented the handover of the $136million first stage of the New MetroRail Project to Transperth - the Public Transport Authority's urban passenger operation.
The Stage One package includes:
- $60million for the Northern Suburbs Railway extension work, including the $8million Clarkson Station and lengthening existing platforms to take six-car trains;
- $36million for a new railcar maintenance depot at Nowergup, 2km beyond Clarkson; and
- $40million for the five, three-railcar sets accepted so far from a total order of 31 three-car sets, worth a total of $300million.
Ms MacTiernan said when the Southern Suburbs Railway opened in 2006, passengers would have a continuous 104km link between Clarkson and Mandurah.
"Initially, the trip from Clarkson to Perth will take 32 minutes," she said.
"But by the end of 2006, passengers can stay on the same train and complete the journey from Clarkson to Mandurah in 80 minutes - connecting the northern and southern extremities of Perth by rail for the first time."
The new state-of-art railcars are capable of travelling at speeds of up to 130kph.
The Minister said the Clarkson train service would operate every 15 minutes during the day, and more frequently at peak times.
"Though it is a bus interchange, Clarkson Station has parking for 800 cars as well as a drop-off and pick-up area," she said.
"The station will have closed-circuit television and a full-time attendant, it is designed to offer convenient pedestrian, cycle and wheelchair access with escalators and a lift."
This morning, Ms MacTiernan also launched a new town centre for Somerly Estate - a transit-oriented development that will eventually house 5,400 residents next to the new Clarkson Station.
Bus services to the new Clarkson Station start tomorrow (Tuesday).