Transperth Train Operations

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Transperth Train Operations
Transperth logo.svg
A B-series at McIver Station
A B-series at McIver Station
OwnerPublic Transport Authority
Transit typeCommuter Rail
Number of lines7 (with 1 additional line under construction)
Number of stations74 (5 underground) (plus 12 additional under construction with 1 to be closed)
Annual ridership60.6 million (2017-18)[1]
Began operation1998
CharacterHeavy rail, grade separated, rapid transit metro
Number of vehicles48 two-car A series sets, 78 three-car B series sets, 41 six-car C series sets (under construction in Bellevue)
System length252.8 km (157.1 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead lines

Transperth Train Operations is a division of the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. It is responsible for operating Perth’s urban passenger rail system, as part of the Transperth network.

Perth's passenger rail network covers 252.8 km (157.1 mi) of track with 90 stations on 8 lines across the city's greater metropolitan area.[2] Over the last three decades the rail network has undergone rapid expansion. Between 1981 and 2016 the network tripled in route length and was electrified.[3] The Northern Suburbs Railway was opened in 1993 and was progressively extended, while the new 72 km (45 mi) Mandurah Line was opened in 2007.[3] Rail patronage over this period grew from just 6.5 million passengers in 1981 to 60.6 million in 2017–18.[3][2] The Airport Line was opened on 9 October 2022.

Perth's rail network is a commuter rail service that connects its suburbs with the city centre. It is notable within Australia, however, for its high frequency of services and high average speeds.[4] Its main hub is Perth railway station, which serves all Transperth rail lines in the central business district.

There are currently several large extensions to the network either under construction or planned, including the Morley-Ellenbrook Line and Thornlie–Cockburn link, under the Metronet expansion project.



The Fremantle to Guildford line commenced operating as a steam-powered service in March 1881, followed by the Perth to Armadale line in May 1889, and the Perth to Joondalup line (now Butler) in 1993 and the Perth to Mandurah line in December 2007. The Fremantle line service ceased in September 1979 but was reinstated in July 1983.[5][6] Diesel trains were used on the rail network until the three lines then in service, the Armadale, Fremantle and Midland, were electrified in the early 1990s.

The first service with the A-series train was introduced in September 1991, with regular services beginning on the Armadale line on 7 October 1991. The Midland and Fremantle lines commenced service with the then-new A-series trains in December 1991.

The conversion from diesel to electric trains was accompanied by many upgrades to the rail network, such as upgrades to stations and tracks, and the cost of the undertaking was estimated at $109 million.

Northern Suburbs Transit System[edit]

The Northern Suburbs Transit System was the name given to the project to provide high-speed passenger rail services to the northern corridor of metropolitan Perth. To service the expanding northern suburbs, Joondalup line was built in the median of the Mitchell Freeway in the early 1990s, after several years of planning.[7] The line was later extended to Currambine in 1993, to Clarkson in 2004 and Butler in 2014.[8]

Mandurah Line[edit]

Legislation for the construction of the Mandurah Line was passed in December 1999.[9] The original proposed route branched from the Armadale line at Kenwick, and then ran alongside the freight lines until Jandakot where it would run in the middle of the Kwinana Freeway. However, a bill passed in November 2002 after a change of state government saw that the route would start at Perth, traverse the Kwinana Freeway, and then continue along its initial route after Jandakot.[10]

Construction of the line started in February 2004 and it opened on 23 December 2007.[11]

Thornlie Spur[edit]

Because the government did not begin its review of the Mandurah Line masterplan until after construction had begun, the tunnel under the Roe Highway had already been constructed. To make use of the new tunnel, the government decided to convert this section into a small spur line to Thornlie.

It was decided that Armadale trains would alternate with Thornlie trains, with the Thornlie trains stopping at all stations and Armadale trains only stopping at Oats Street and Cannington stations. Thornlie station opened on 7 August 2005.

New MetroRail[edit]

In 2003, the government launched the New MetroRail program as the official name of the upgrades to the rail network. This program included the following projects:

Airport Line[edit]

In August 2014, the government announced the 8.5 km (5.3 mi) Forrestfield-Airport Link[12][13] would be constructed providing a service to Perth Airport and High Wycombe.[14][15] Construction commenced officially in November 2016, with the Airport Line in service on 9 October 2022.[16][17]


Rail services in Perth were at first operated by the Department of Works and Railways until 1890, when Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) was established.[18] In 1974, the suburban train network was placed under the control of the Metropolitan (Perth) Passenger Transport Trust (commonly called the MTT), which had operated Perth's buses since 1958. The MTT contracted out the operation of rail services to WAGR, trading as Westrail following 1975.[19][20]: 6, 8 [21]: 233  On 31 August 1986, the MTT changed its trading name to Transperth.[19][22] The rail system was rebranded as Fastrak in November 1992,[23] however this name stopped being used around 1995.[21]: 237  On 1 July 2003, Transperth merged with several other government authorities to form the Public Transport Authority.[24] Prior to that, services were operated by the WAGR Commission's Urban Passenger Services Group,[25] and since then, services have been operated by Transperth Train Operations.[26]

Future expansion[edit]


Prior to the 2017 Western Australian state election, the then-opposition Labor Party promised a large expansion to Perth's rail network under the title Metronet.[27] After the comprehensive victory by Labor, the Mark McGowan government established Metronet to oversee a number of projects to expand and improve the network.[28] Projects in stage one include:

Morley–Ellenbrook Line[edit]

A rail link to Ellenbrook had been originally promised by then-Premier Alan Carpenter and Opposition Leader Colin Barnett prior to the 2008 elections, however this proposal was not realised.[29] Mark McGowan revived the project in 2017.[30] A business case was prepared for a new 21 km (13 mi) Morley-Ellenbrook Line with stations at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook, with a future station planned for Bennett Springs East.[31] Construction started in 2021, with the line expected to open in 2024.[32][33]

Thornlie–Cockburn Link[edit]

Perth's first east–west rail link is planned to run between Thornlie and Cockburn Central stations, connecting the Mandurah and Armadale lines.[34] This proposal involves 14.5 km (9.0 mi) of new railway, relocating 11 km (6.8 mi) of freight line and building two new stations. Construction started in 2020, with the line expected to open in 2025.[34][35]

Yanchep Rail Extension[edit]

The Yanchep Rail Extension is a project to extend the Joondalup line north for 14.5 km (9.0 mi) with stations at Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep.[36] The Yanchep Rail Extension and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link are slated to have a combined cost of $1.1 billion.[37] The extension started construction in 2020, with a planned completion in 2023.[36][38][39]

Other Metronet projects[edit]

Perth–Bunbury fast rail[edit]

Proposals exist for a higher-speed rail link from Perth to Bunbury,[47] with a proposed travel time of 45 minutes[48] compared to the current Australind service's 2 hours 30 minutes.

Other proposals[edit]

Circle Routes[edit]

The original Metronet plan promised by WA Labor proposed the creation of two circle routes linking what is now High Wycombe Station to Thornlie Station following the freight rail line, then following that freight rail line to Fremantle Station creating a southern circle line.[49] This plan likewise identified a second circle route splitting from the under construction Noranda Station following the median of the Reid Highway to link with the Joondalup Line at Balcatta.

The Infrastructure WA State Infrastructure Strategy published in 2022 calls for the State Government to investigating the feasibility of these long-term major projects the East Wanneroo Rail Link, Bunbury Faster Rail and Perth metropolitan orbital rail route.[50]

East Wanneroo Line[edit]

The original Metronet plan promised by WA Labor also proposed the creation of a branch off of their proposed northern circle to Wanneroo. In 2018 work was commissioned to identify an East Wanneroo Rail alignment as part of the East Wanneroo Structure Plan.[51] These planning documents identify the railway splitting from the Morley-Ellenbrook Line after Noranda, travelling through East Wanneroo and connecting to the Joondalup Line at Clarkson Station. Stops are proposed in the Structure Plan at Gnangara and East Wanneroo.

The Infrastructure WA State Infrastructure Strategy published in 2022 likewise identified the need for the State Government to investigating the feasibility of the East Wanneroo Rail Link.

Extension to Mundijong and Pinjarra[edit]

WA Labor's original Metronet plan further proposed duplication and electrification of the South Western Railway, Western Australia to Pinjarra. The Byford Rail Extension project definition plan identifies future construction of electrified rail line south to Mundijong.[52]

South Perth station[edit]

A station in South Perth on the Mandurah Line has been proposed since 2010 to serve Perth Zoo and the City of South Perth as a bus-rail interchange. In 2019, South Perth MLA John McGrath made renewed calls to plan and build the station.[53]

Suburban services[edit]

The Transperth train system is generally regarded as a commuter rail system. However, it shares many similarities with rapid transit systems, including high frequency services (every 5 minutes from 2–6 pm on the Joondalup/Mandurah lines),[54] short distances between stations (less than 2 km or 1.2 mi on Midland/Fremantle lines) and high capacity, single deck electric multiple unit (commonly known as EMUs) trains with fast acceleration.


Transperth system map

Transperth runs six train routes along five train lines that converge at Perth railway station, with two spur lines. These lines are:

All of the above services except the Prospector and AvonLink run on 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow-gauge tracks. The Prospector and AvonLink run on 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge tracks and takes the same route as the Midland line services. Consequently, the track between East Perth and Midland is dual gauge.


Transperth serves the following railway stations:

Armadale/Thornlie Line Fremantle Line Joondalup Line Mandurah Line Midland Line Airport Line Ellenbrook Line
(Under Construction)
21 stations 17 stations 13 stations 12 stations 15 stations 3 stations 5 stations
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Trains Free Transit Zone
McIver Free Transit Zone
Claisebrook Free Transit Zone
Perth Stadium Special event station
Victoria Park
Oats Street Bus transfer CircleRoute
Queens Park
Cannington Bus transfer
Thornlie Bus transfer
Nicholson Road
Ranford Road
Cockburn Central Bus transfer
Continue to Mandurah Line    
Maddington Bus transfer
Gosnells Bus transfer
Kelmscott Bus transfer
Armadale Bus transfer Transwa Trains
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Trains Free Transit Zone
City West Free Transit Zone
West Leederville
Subiaco Bus transfer
Shenton Park Bus transfer CircleRoute
Loch Street
Special events only
Special event station
Claremont Bus transfer
Grant Street
Cottesloe Bus transfer
Mosman Park
Victoria Street
North Fremantle
Fremantle Bus transfer CircleRoute
planned extension
Butler Bus transfer
Clarkson Bus transfer
Joondalup Bus transfer
Whitfords Bus transfer
Warwick Bus transfer
Stirling Bus transfer CircleRoute
Glendalough Bus transfer
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Trains Free Transit Zone
Elizabeth Quay Bus transfer Free Transit Zone
continues to Mandurah line     
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Trains Free Transit Zone
Elizabeth Quay
(formerly Esplanade)
Bus transfer Free Transit Zone
Canning Bridge Bus transfer
Bull Creek Bus transfer
Murdoch Bus transfer CircleRoute
Cockburn Central Bus transfer
Aubin Grove Bus transfer
Kwinana Bus transfer
Wellard Bus transfer
Rockingham Bus transfer
Warnbro Bus transfer
Mandurah Bus transfer
Midland Bus transfer Transwa Trains Indian Pacific
East Guildford
Success Hill
Bassendean Bus transfer
High Wycombe
Airport Central Perth Airport
Bayswater Bus transfer CircleRoute
Mount Lawley
East Perth Transwa Trains Indian Pacific
Claisebrook Free Transit Zone
McIver Free Transit Zone
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Trains Free Transit Zone
Bayswater Bus transfer CircleRoute
Redcliffe Bus transfer
Airport Central Perth Airport
High Wycombe Bus transfer
Whiteman Park
Stations in italics are under planning or under construction are labelled as Under Construction till project is fully finished.


Transperth Trains patronage
2003–04 31,114,975—    
2004–05 32,652,117+4.9%
2005–06 34,132,593+4.5%
2006–07 35,757,833+4.8%
2007–08 42,636,075+19.2%
2008–09 54,749,770+28.4%
2009–10 56,408,742+3.0%
2010–11 58,867,780+4.4%
2011–12 63,029,878+7.1%
2012–13 65,689,337+4.2%
2013–14 63,491,683−3.3%
2014–15 64,224,895+1.2%
2015–16 62,644,806−2.5%
2016–17 60,092,097−4.1%
2017–18 60,600,052+0.8%
2018–19 61,539,510+1.6%
2019–20 49,734,197−19.2%
2020–21 42,998,449−13.5%
2021–22 42,779,726−0.5%
Source: Public Transport Authority

Below is the annual patronage of each railway line as of the 2020–21 financial year. Figures are provided as total boardings, which includes all fare-paying boardings and free travel on stations within the free transit zones as well as transfers between stations. The figures for rail replacement and special events services are included in the total but not allocated to any railway line.[55]

Transperth Train Operations annual patronage (2021–2022)
Railway line/services Patronage %
Mandurah 14,856,023 34% 34
Joondalup 11,885,779 27% 27
Armadale/Thornlie 5,768,087 13% 13
Fremantle 4,853,233 12% 12
Midland 4,407,653 10% 10
Rail replacement/special services 1,227,674 4% 4
Total annual patronage 42,779,726 100%

Rolling stock[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

  • 43 two-car first-generation A-series EMU's/86 carriages
  • 5 two-car second-generation A-series EMU's/10 carriages
  • 31 three-car first-generation B-series EMU's/93 carriages
  • 15 three-car second-generation B-series EMU's/45 carriages
  • 22 three-car third-generation B-series EMU's/66 carriages
  • 10 three-car fourth-generation B-series EMU's/30 carriages
  • One GE U20C diesel-electric locomotive, classed U and numbered 201

Note: All first and second generation B-series have been upgraded and renumbered to resemble the third generation. The fourth generation is practically the same as the third.

Class Image Type Top speed Formation Total built Entered Service Lines
km/h mph
A-series EMU 120 75 2 cars 48 1991–1999
B-series 160 100 3 cars 78 2004–2019

A-series EMU[edit]

The A-series railcars are two-car electric multiple-unit's with a driver's cab at each end. They were built by Walkers/ABB (Sets 01 to 43) and Walkers/ADtranz (Sets 44 to 48) in Maryborough, Queensland.

Classified AEA-AEB (A for passenger, E for electric and the final letter being the car type) under the old WAGR classification system, these units were simply known as EMU's. It was not until the ordering of the first B-series, that they were given the name A series.

The A-series railcars were built for the electrification of Perth's suburban railway system in the early 1990s and the Joondalup line, which was being constructed in the same period. The first was delivered on 1 September 1990. The original order for 43 first-generation railcars were followed by an additional order for 5 second-generation railcars due to the Joondalup line exceeding passenger estimates. Delivered in 1998, the second-generation railcars differ in having LED screens and other upgrades to security and accessibility, as well being the first suburban trains to feature longitudinal seating throughout. A-series railcars can be coupled to form four or six carriage trains.

B-series EMU[edit]

Introduced in October 2004, the B-series are the newest electric railcars to operate in Perth. They were built by EDI/Bombardier Transportation in Maryborough, Queensland, and operate predominantly on the Joondalup and Mandurah lines, but can be regularly seen on the Armadale/Thornlie line for Perth Stadium event trains.

Each set consists of three carriages. The powered 'A' and 'B' cars each have a driver's cab, while the central 'T' car is entirely devoted to passengers, and supplies power from overhead lines to the powered cars. The B-series railcars operate as three and six carriage trains, with the potential for nine car trains in the future. They have a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).

On 19 September 2006 Premier Alan Carpenter, announced that the Public Transport Authority would purchase another 15 new 3-car sets from the EDI-Bombardier Transportation joint venture. The first of the second generation B-series railcars were introduced on 28 June 2009 and have allowed some of the A-series railcars to be transferred to the Midland-Fremantle line.

As more B-series railcars became available with the ordering of a third generation, they allowed the remaining A-series railcars operating on the Joondalup and Mandurah lines to be redistributed to the Armadale/Thornlie, Midland and Fremantle lines, increasing total capacity for these lines.

Future fleet[edit]

41 new six-car sets are planned to enter service between 2023 and 2029 (17 for passenger growth and 24 allowing for the removal of the A-series railcars), the purchase and maintain contract for which has been won by Alstom. These railcars will be designated as C-series railcars.

Past fleet[edit]

Transperth operated diesel multiple units prior to the introduction of electric trains in 1992.

  • 10 ADX class, introduced starting 1959, withdrawn between 1982 and 1988
  • 18 ADG class, introduced in 1954, withdrawn in 1992
  • 4 ADH class, built for regional service in 1955/1956, transferred to metropolitan service in 1962/3, withdrawn in 1992
  • 10 ADK/ADB class, introduced in 1968, withdrawn in 1993 and sold to New Zealand Rail
  • 10 ADL/ADC class, built 1982–1985, withdrawn in 1993 and sold to New Zealand Rail

Two sets of SX carriages were leased from Queensland Rail in 1986. They were originally intended for use during the 1987 America's Cup but remained in Perth until 1991.

Following the separation from Westrail, Transperth retained an MA class diesel-hydraulic locomotive for shunting at Claisebrook depot. It was withdrawn in 2014.


Transperth Train Operations run from two main depots and one minor depot:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PTA Annual Report 2017-18 Public Transport Authority WA
  2. ^ a b Public Transport Authority WA (2018). "PTA Annual Report 2017-18" (PDF). Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Laird, Philip (2016). "Perth's urban rail renaissance". Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences Papers – via University of Wollongong Online.
  4. ^ Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Transport (2012). "Understanding Australia's urban railways" (PDF): 56. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Mees, Paul (2009). Transport for Surburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age. Routledge. ISBN 978-1844077403.
  6. ^ Newman, Peter (16 November 2015). Biermann, Sharon; Olaru, Doina (eds.). Infrastructure Planning in Perth: Past, Present and Future (PDF). Planning Boomtown and Beyond (PDF). Esplanade Hotel Fremantle, Western Australia: UWA Publishing. pp. 190–208. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  7. ^ Transport 2000 – A Perth Study, Northern Suburbs Rapid Transit Study (File 8722/1). Perth, Western Australia: Department of Transport, Government of Western Australia. 1987. Accessed at State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth
  8. ^ "2009–10 State Budget: Transport initiatives designed to keep Western Australia moving". Public Transport Authority. 18 May 2009. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
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  10. ^ "PTA History at a Glance, 2001 to Present".
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  12. ^ "Annual Report 2009–2010". Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA). Government of Western Australia. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Annual Report 2010–2011". Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA). Government of Western Australia. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  14. ^ 8km Forrestfield-Airport Link tunnel revealed Archived 15 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Government of Western Australia 9 August 2014
  15. ^ Perth rail link approved Railway Gazette International 13 August 2014
  16. ^ "Perth Airport link delayed by one year after sinkhole". ABC News. 18 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Joint media statement - All aboard as new METRONET Airport Line opens". Government of Western Australia. Perth, Western Australia. 9 October 2022. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  18. ^ "Railways and WAGR Staff". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  19. ^ a b "Our history". Public Transport Authority. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Bus Reform: Competition Reform of Transperth Bus Services" (PDF). Office of the Auditor General. June 1997. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  21. ^ a b Higham, Geoffrey (2007). Marble Bar to Mandurah : a history of passenger rail services in Western Australia. Rail Heritage WA. ISBN 9780980392203.
  22. ^ "AU WA A1001 - Metropolitan (Perth) Passenger Transport Trust". State Records Office of Western Australia. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
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  28. ^ "About". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  29. ^ When is a promise, a broken promise?, archived from the original on 27 December 2013, retrieved 24 September 2012
  30. ^ Caporn, Dylan (8 September 2017). "Budget 2017: Metronet construction to start in 2019". The West Australian. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Morley-Ellenbrook Line". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  32. ^ Staff writer (27 October 2017). "Planning works tender released for Morley-Ellenbrook Line". Rail Express. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  33. ^ "Impacts". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  34. ^ a b "Metronet > Projects > Thornlie-Cockburn Link". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Thornlie-Cockburn Link piles through 2020". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  36. ^ a b "Yanchep Rail Extension". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  37. ^ "Two vie for $1.1b Metronet rail work". The West Australian. 6 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  38. ^ "Eight months of milestones for Yanchep Rail Extension". Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  39. ^ "Pipidinny Road closure extension needed". PerthNow. 11 May 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  40. ^ "Byford Extension". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  41. ^ "Midland Station Project". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  42. ^ "Bayswater Station". Metronet. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  43. ^ "Lakelands Station". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  44. ^ "Level Crossing Removal". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  45. ^ "Railcar Program". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  46. ^ "Largest ever order for WA made railcars". Metronet. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  47. ^ "A fast train from Perth to Bunbury is on the Federal Government's agenda". The West Australian. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  48. ^ "Does WA need high-speed rail between Perth to Bunbury?". ABC. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  49. ^[bare URL PDF]
  50. ^[bare URL PDF]
  51. ^
  52. ^[bare URL PDF]
  53. ^ "South Perth MLA: It's time for a South Perth Train Station". Community News. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  54. ^ "Joondalup Line Timetable" (PDF). Transperth.
  55. ^ Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2018 Public Transport Authority

External links[edit]