The northern suburbs railway proved an instant hit this morning, with more than 700 people travelling on the first Discoveride train from Joondalup to Perth.
The train left Perth with around 100 people at 9.25 am but on the return trip from Joondalup at 9.55 am, it carried about 600 passengers, picking up a further 100 at Edgewater and Leederville stations.
Transport Minister Pam Beggs today said the familiarisation service was popular throughout the morning and Transperth expected crowds to build up over the next few days as people took advantage to come to Perth for Christmas shopping.
There was an average of around 250 people on each train.
"For many people living in the northern suburbs, train travel is going to be a new experience and we want them to be fully familiar with the service before it is integrated with the connecting bus services in March," Mrs Beggs said.
Trains to Joondalup leave Perth station every half hour between 9.25 am and 2.25 pm seven days a week.
Mrs Beggs said the commissioning of the northern suburbs line capped an historic year for the State's rail system.
"This year has seen the full electrification of the suburban rail network, the creation of the National Rail Corporation, the opening of the first new metropolitan rail service this century and a State Government commitment to extend rail services to the suburbs in the south-west metropolitan corridor," she said.
"Other major rail initiatives include $13 million to upgrade the Bunbury-Perth line, $13 million to improve the Fremantle to Kalgoorlie rail link as part of stimulating the use of landbridging through the port, and the announcement that $16.5 million would be spent on the Leonora to Esperance line.
"So in many respects, 1992 has been the year of rail and heralds an exciting area for passenger and freight transport as we approach the next century."