Metro Area Express (Perth)

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Metro Area Express (MAX)
MAX (Perth) urban centre station concept image.jpg
Concept image of urban centre station
LocalePerth, Western Australia
Transit typeLight rail
Number of lines1 + 2 spur lines
Began operationProject cancelled
Number of vehiclesArticulated trams
System length22 km (14 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
System map

Polytechnic West
Mirrabooka bus station Bus interchange
Cottonwood Crescent
Morley Drive North
Morley Drive
Dianella Plaza
Woodrow Avenue
Terry Tyzak Aquatic Centre
ECU Mt Lawley
North Perth
Robertson Park
Aberdeen Street
Perth Arena
City Square Bus interchange Mainline rail interchange
QEII Medical Centre Bus interchange
Causeway Bus interchange

Metro Area Express (MAX) was a proposed light rail network for Perth, Western Australia, as part of Colin Barnett's 2010 announcement of a decade of light rail for Perth. It was scheduled to open in 2018, then postponed until 2022, then replaced by concepts for rapid buses and heavy rail, until it was abandoned in 2016.


Perth's original tramway network, which linked the Perth central business district with many of Perth's inner suburbs, was in operation between the end of the nineteenth century and 1958.

Since the start of 2007, there have been four proposals for the reintroduction of trams to the Perth metropolitan area, in the form of light rail.[1] At least two of the proposals have been the subject of a detailed feasibility study.[2][3]

In September 2012, the Government of Western Australia announced plans for a new Perth network, to be known as Metro Area Express (MAX).[4][5]

Construction of the first stage was originally scheduled to begin in 2016, and be completed by the end of 2018.[5] However, in December 2013 the government announced the project would be deferred for three years.[6] Under the new timeframe the MAX network was to open in 2022.[7]

In April 2014, incoming transport minister Dean Nalder stated the government would investigate splitting the project into two parts, to allow an earlier start to be made on construction with priority given to the Balga - CBD section.[8]

In March 2015, the government announced it was considering using buses to implement the MAX route rather than light rail. Transport minister Dean Nalder said a preliminary analysis suggested that using buses would cost approximately 50% less than a light rail system.[9] In February 2016 it was proposed by the government that a heavy rail line be built.[10]

In June 2016 the government confirmed that the MAX light rail plan had been cancelled. While still planning a northern transport corridor, Transport Minister Dean Nalder said it would not be implemented using light rail and instead would use other alternatives.[11]


Indicative route map.

The first stage of the MAX network was to run from the Polytechnic West campus in Balga, in Perth's northern suburbs, to the Perth CBD, with spur lines from the CBD to the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre in Nedlands and to the eastern end of the Causeway in Victoria Park.[5]


Stop Area
Polytechnic West Balga
Mirrabooka bus station Mirrabooka
Cottonwood Crescent Dianella
Morley Drive North
Morley Drive
Dianella Plaza
Woodrow Avenue Dianella/Yokine
Terry Tyzak Aquatic Centre Inglewood
ECU Mt Lawley Mt Lawley
Woodville North Perth
North Perth
Robertson Park Northbridge
Aberdeen Street
Perth Arena Perth CBD
City Square
Swan River
Causeway Victoria Park
QEII Medical Centre Nedlands

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Ryan, Diana (17 January 2011). "Light rail decisions needed now". The West Australian. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  2. ^ Department for Planning and Infrastructure (2007). "Perth Light Rail Study". Planning Western Australia website. Department of Planning, Western Australia. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  3. ^ Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia (February 2010). "Stirling tram feasibility study – Preliminary patronage estimates" (PDF). Stirling City Centre Alliance website. City of Stirling, Western Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  4. ^ "WA's first light rail network gets the green light". Ministerial Media Statements. Government of Western Australia. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Trenwith, Courtney (2 September 2012). "A 'bold' light rail system to 'transform' Perth". watoday. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Reform and restructure puts brakes on debt". Ministerial Media Statements. Government of Western Australia. 18 December 2013. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014.
  7. ^ "About the Project – Anticipated timeline". MAX - Metro Area Express. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Transport Minister Dean Nalder reveals MAX light rail rethink". Perth Now. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  9. ^ O'Connor, Andrew (8 March 2015). "Move from light rail to buses not a broken promise, WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder says". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015. Additional archives: 8 March 2015.
  10. ^ Perth to Morley underground rail line favoured as MAX light rail put on backburner ABC News 2 February 2016
  11. ^ O'Connor, Andrew (21 June 2016). "Perth MAX Light Rail promise abandoned by WA Government in long-term transport plan". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


  • Brimson, Samuel (1983). The Tramways of Australia. Dreamweaver Books. ISBN 0-949825-01-8.
  • Campbell, Bob (1999). Getting there by Tram in Western Australia. Mt Lawley, WA: Perth Electric Tramway Society Inc. ISBN 0646-38447-3.
  • Culpeffer-Cooke, Tony; Gunzburg, Adrian; Pleydell, Ian (2010). Tracks by the Swan: The Electric Tram and Trolleybus Era of Perth, Western Australia. Mt Lawley, WA: Perth Electric Tramway Society Inc. ISBN 978-0-9807577-0-5.
  • Jones, Colin (1993). Watch for Trams. Kenthurst, N.S.W: Kangaroo Press. ISBN 0-86417-544-2.

External links[edit]

  • MAX – official site
  • Perth Light Rail – a coalition lobbying for the introduction of light rail to Perth