Transperth Trains

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Transperth Trains
Transperth Trains.svg
OwnerPublic Transport Authority
Transit typeCommuter Rail
Number of lines7
Number of stations70 (3 underground)
Annual ridership64.2 million (June 2015)
Began operation1998
System length180.8 km (112.3 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

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


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.[1] 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 around $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.[2] The line was later extended to Currambine in 1993, to Clarkson in 2004 and Butler in 2014.[3]

Mandurah Line[edit]

Legislation for the construction of the Mandurah Line was passed in December 1999.[4] 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.[5]

Construction of the line started in February 2004 and it opened on 23 December 2007.[6]

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]

The Perth metropolitan railway lines shown in their scheme colours. Forrestfield-Airport Link currently under construction is shown in grey.

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:

Future expansion[edit]


A link to Ellenbrook had been promised by Premier Alan Carpenter and Opposition Leader Colin Barnett prior to the 2008 elections however this had evaporated by 2011.[7] But it was back in 2017 and budgeted for with other projects by the Mark McGowan government.[8]


Former Premier Alan Carpenter had announced a study on the feasibility of a high-speed rail service running from Perth to the south city of Bunbury as a replacement of the current Australind train service. The study stated a new line could be built just after Cockburn Central station on the Mandurah line, then following the Kwinana Freeway south to the new Perth-Bunbury Highway and following the highway until it reaches Bunbury.

Forrestfield-Airport Link[edit]

In August 2014, the government announced the Forrestfield-Airport Link[9][10] would be constructed providing a service to Perth Airport and Forrestfield.[11][12] Construction commenced officially in November 2016, with the line due to open in 2020.[13]

Current system[edit]


Transperth runs five train lines with one spur line. 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
20 stations 17 stations 13 stations 12 stations 15 stations
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Free Transit Zone
McIver Free Transit Zone
Claisebrook Free Transit Zone
Perth Stadium
formerly Belmont Park
Special event station
Victoria Park
Oats Street Bus transfer CircleRoute
Queens Park
Cannington Bus transfer
Thornlie Bus transfer
Maddington Bus transfer
Gosnells Bus transfer
Kelmscott Bus transfer
Armadale Bus transfer Transwa
Perth Bus transfer Transwa 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
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 Free Transit Zone
Elizabeth Quay Bus transfer Free Transit Zone
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Free Transit Zone
Elizabeth Quay Bus transfer Free Transit Zone
South Perth
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
Secret Harbour
Mandurah Bus transfer
Midland Bus transfer Transwa Indian Pacific
East Guildford
Success Hill
Bassendean Bus transfer
Airport Central Perth Airport
Bayswater Bus transfer CircleRoute
Mount Lawley
East Perth Transwa Indian Pacific
Claisebrook Free Transit Zone
McIver Free Transit Zone
Perth Bus transfer Transwa Free Transit Zone
Stations in italics are under planning or under construction. They are not included in the total number of stations as specified in this table.


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%
Source: The Public Transport Authority of Western Australia

Below is the annual patronage of each railway line as of the 2014/15 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.[14]

Transperth Trains annual patronage (2014–2015)
Railway line/services Patronage %
Mandurah 20,699,900 32% 32
Joondalup 17,105,797 27% 27
Armadale/Thornlie 9,066,797 14% 14
Fremantle 8,228,255 13% 13
Midland 6,661,434 10% 10
Rail replacement/special services 2,462,712 4% 4
Total annual patronage 100% 64,224,895

Transit Type[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[15]), short distances between stations (less than 2 km on Midland/Fremantle lines) and high capacity, single deck electric multiple unit trains with fast acceleration. The frequency of service on the Mandurah and Joondalup lines makes Transperth the most frequent suburban rail system in Australia. Trains on the new Sydney Metro rapid transit system will run every 4 minutes in peak periods when it opens in 2019, surpassing the Transperth network.

The train system can be described as a mixture between Metro and Commuter rail systems, or an S-Bahn style of service. The system is clearly divergent from other commuter rail networks, such as those in North America, of which "many, but not all, newer commuter railways offer service during peak times only"[16]


Current fleet[edit]

  • 43 two-car first-generation A-series EMU sets/86 carriages
  • 5 two-car second-generation A-series EMU sets/10 carriages
  • 31 three-car first-generation B-series EMU sets/93 carriages
  • 15 three-car second-generation B-series EMU sets/45 carriages
  • 22 three-car third-generation B-series EMU sets/66 carriages
  • 10 three-car fourth-generation B-series EMU sets/30 carriages (Being delivered soon)
  • One GE U20C diesel-electric locomotive, classed U and number 201

Note: All first and second generation B-series are being upgraded and renumbered to resemble the third generation.

A-series EMU[edit]

A-series at Bassendean in February 2010
B-series in February 2010

The A-series electric multiple-unit sets are two-car trains with a driver’s cab at each end. They were built by ABB and Walkers in Maryborough, Queensland.

The A-series sets 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 trains were followed by an additional order for 5 second-generation trains due to the Joondalup line exceeding passenger estimates. Delivered in 1998, the second-generation trains differ in having LED screens and other upgrades to security and accessibility. A-series sets can be coupled to form four or six carriage sets.

B-series EMU[edit]

Introduced in October 2004, the B-series are the newest electric trains to operate in Perth. They were built by Bombardier Transportation and Downer Rail in Maryborough, Queensland, and operate on the Joondalup and Mandurah lines.

Each sets 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 trains operate as three, six and nine carriage sets. They have a top speed of 130 km/h.

On 19 September 2006 Premier Alan Carpenter, announced that the Public Transport Authority would purchase another 15 new 3-car sets from the EDI Rail-Bombardier Transportation joint venture. The first three B-series railcar sets were introduced on 28 June 2009 and have allowed some of the A-series trains to be transferred to the Midland-Fremantle line. As more sets become available, they will allow the remaining two-car A-series trains currently being used on the Perth-Butler line to increase total capacity for the Armadale-Perth and Midland-Fremantle services, with an overall increase of 3,900 passengers, or more than 30%. By January 2016 66 sets will be in service.

Diesel locomotive[edit]

Transperth purchased a GE U20C, originally from Kereta Api Indonesia, from Greentrains in 2014 for use as a shunter at Claisebrook depot.

Future fleet[edit]

50 new six carriage trains are planned to enter service between 2020 and 2028.

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, withdrawn in 1993 and sold to New Zealand Rail
  • 10 ADL/ADC class, withdrawn in 1993 and sold to New Zealand Rail

Two sets of SX carriages were leased from Queensland Rail in 1986. They were originally intennded 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 trains run from two main depots and one minor depot:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mees, Paul (2009). Transport for Surburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age. Routledge. ISBN 978 1844077403.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "PTA History at a Glance, 1976 to 2000".
  5. ^ "PTA History at a Glance, 2001 to Present".
  6. ^ "1500 people take the first Perth to Mandurah train journey". Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2007.
  7. ^ When is a promise, a broken promise?
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Annual Report 2009–2010". Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA). Government of Western Australia. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Annual Report 2010–2011". Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA). Government of Western Australia. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. ^ 8km Forrestfield-Airport Link tunnel revealed Archived 15 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Government of Western Australia 9 August 2014
  12. ^ Perth rail link approved Railway Gazette International 13 August 2014
  13. ^ Forrestfield-Airport Link[permanent dead link] Public Transport Authority August 2014
  14. ^ Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2015 Public Transport Authority
  15. ^ "Joondalup Line Timetable" (PDF). Transperth.
  16. ^ "Commuter rail in North America". Wikipedia. 2017-09-26.

External links[edit]