The power to Perth's $275 million northern suburbs railway was switched on today and from tomorrow the new electric system will be designated 'live'.
Premier Carmen Lawrence today threw the switch to energise the Edgewater substation which is the primary power source for the system.
Dr Lawrence said that from tomorrow 25,000 volts would be feeding the overhead system that carried power for railcars and other equipment.
"Today, work on the northern suburbs rapid transit system enters the home straight," the Premier said.
"The first electric trains will run next week as the whole system undergoes a stringent testing program which includes training for drivers."
Dr Lawrence said a ceremonial passenger run would be held on December 20, after which there would be a staged introduction of passenger services.
"By early next year there will be a fully-integrated rail and bus service between Joondalup and Perth. The entire system will be on line by June when the Currambine station, north of Joondalup, is completed," she said.
Dr Lawrence said the northern suburbs railway marked a new era in public transport linking the northern suburbs with the central business district and the rest of the metropolitan area.
"In the past 10 years, public transport has been placed at the forefront of the planning process for the metropolitan area," she said.
"The electrification of the existing rail network, the construction of the northern suburbs line and the planned extension of rail links to the south west corridor are part and parcel of planning for the future as well as meeting the needs of today.
"Fast, efficient, comfortable and safe public transport gives people greater flexibility to choose where they want to live and where they want to work," Dr Lawrence said.
The Premier said the northern suburbs rail project had created direct jobs for about 600 people and had indirectly contributed to hundreds more.