Thornlie line and station opening a major milestone for public transport network
The opening of the new Thornlie rail spur and station later today will see Perth's passenger rail network expanded from four to five lines and the third new train station built in less than a year.
Premier Geoff Gallop said completion of the $75million project was a significant milestone in the State Government's New MetroRail Project - Labor's plan to double the size of Perth's passenger rail network by 2007.
Full train and bus services for the new spur line, which connects to the existing Armadale line, start tomorrow morning.
"Today we deliver on another part of our plan to expand Perth's public transport network," Dr Gallop said.
"The new spur line increases our network from four to five rail lines - this will increase again to six lines when the 70km Southern Suburbs Railway to Mandurah is completed in early 2007.
"At the same time, we have opened new stations at Clarkson, Greenwood and Thornlie within the last 12 months.
"The momentum of this project is unstoppable.
"Investing in essential infrastructure such as public transport is part of our commitment to improve services and protect our unique WA lifestyle.
"Getting people out of their cars and on to public transport is good for the liveability of our city, good for the environment and good for people's hip pockets."
Trains will leave Thornlie Station every 15 minutes and are expected to carry 3,500 passengers during the working week.
The station precinct is a major transit node, accommodating a bus/rail interchange, car drop-off facilities, pedestrian and bicycle access, and parking for 450 cars.
The building itself was custom-designed, reflecting the rich heritage character of Thornlie.
It also incorporates the latest technology, safety and security facilities, including the Transperth's world-leading CCTV surveillance system.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Thornlie spur line and station was a significant engineering achievement.
"As well as the station building, car park and railway line, the project included construction of an electrical sub-station at Beckenham, the Kenwick Tunnel, the rail bridge over the Canning River, and the traffic bridge at Spencer Road," Ms MacTiernan said.
"Simultaneously with the opening of Thornlie, Transperth is reconfiguring the way it allocates its trains so it can introduce more of the new high-speed three-car sets on the northern line.
"In turn, this frees up more two-car sets for the other lines, including the new Thornlie line.
"The end result will include faster journeys for most Armadale line travellers, considerably increased peak-hour capacity on the Armadale, northern and Midland lines, and doubled Sunday frequency on the Armadale and Midland lines."