Premier Richard Court announced today that the State Government would build a dual rail track right through to Mandurah under the Perth Urban Rail Development Project, speeding up travelling times for many passengers.
Mr Court said that under the initial project plan, a single-track was planned between Mandurah and Waikiki.
Now a dual rail line will be built between Mandurah and Waikiki, at a cost of approximately $20 million, eliminating the need for commuters to change trains at Waikiki and allowing for higher-frequency services.
“The single track between Waikiki and Mandurah would have caused some inconvenience to passengers and limited some running times,” the Premier said.
"Building the dual track now instead of later will allow Transperth to operate Mandurah trains at 15-minute intervals during peak times instead of every 30 minutes under the original plan.
“Mandurah commuters will now be fully integrated into Perth’s world-class rapid transit network and be able to travel to or from Perth in less than one hour.”
The original single-track shuttle service at 30-minute intervals was based on passenger projections for the region during the first few years of operation.
Under the original plan, a second track was to have been built as passenger numbers grew.
Mr Court said that after strong representation from local members of Parliament Arthur Marshall and Roger Nicholls, discussions with the City of Mandurah and other interested groups, the Government could see that a second track was justified from the beginning.
“I commend the efforts of the two local members for presenting a professional and compelling case to convince the Government to build the second track now instead of later,” he said.
"We believe that offering a faster, more efficient rail service will encourage Mandurah residents to use the train as an alternative to the private car.”
Preliminary works for the Perth Urban Rail Development Project, including tunnels at Kenwick, Glen Iris and Anketell Road, are currently under construction and full services to Mandurah will be up and running at the end of 2005.
Transport Minister Murray Criddle said that expressions of interest to build the railway to Mandurah would be called as planned on December 16 with a requirement for dual railway tracks to be included in that document.
The expressions of interest document also included the extension of the urban railway from Currambine to Clarkson.
“Tenders for 117 new electric railcars have already been called and the number is sufficient to operate the higher-frequency services between Mandurah and Waikiki,” Mr Criddle said.
“While the cost of the additional track to Mandurah is expected to be $20 million, there were savings in building the track as part of the initial project rather than remobilising contractors to build it later.
"Depending on the outcome of tenders it is possible that costs can be contained within the original budget.
“The construction of dual tracks all the way to Mandurah means we will now have a uniform urban rail system and the flexibility to run the highest-frequency services possible.”
Justine Whittome 9222 9475
Doug Cunningham 9321 7333