AUSTRALIA: Work has started on the terminus of Perth’s northeastern suburban line, with a groundbreaking ceremony for the rail-bus interchange at Ellenbrook attended by Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.


Being built as part of the state’s Metronet expansion programme, the 21 km Morley-Ellenbrook line is expected to open in 2024. It will diverge from Transperth’s existing Midland line at Bayswater and run north to Ellenbrook, serving intermediate stations at Morley, Noranda, Malaga and Whiteman Park; there is also provision for an additional station at Bennett Springs East.

According to the state government, the A$1·1bn Morley-Ellenbrook project is the largest expansion of the Perth rail network since the opening of the Mandurah line in 2007. The A$700m main works contract was awarded in October 2020 to the MELconnx Consortium led by Laing O’Rouke, and civil works are underway along much of the route.

Pointing out that she had been campaigning for the line for more than a decade, Saffioti said on January 30 that she was ‘proud’ to turn the first sod for the new station. ‘Our northeastern suburbs are one of Australia’s fastest growing communities’, she explained, adding that the local population was ‘expected to double from 209 000 in 2011 to more than 450 000 by 2050’.


The interchange close to Ellenbrook town centre is expected to serve more than 46 000 inhabitants. The station has been designed the heart of a transit-oriented development, with high intensity housing adding around 1 400 homes and doubling the number of people living within a 1 km radius of the station.

Noting that the line was one of 15 Metronet projects under construction, completed or planned, McGowan said the line would ‘completely change the way people in our northeastern suburbs travel, slashing travel times almost in half’.