Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Light Rail

Historic tram line gets extension

The WA Government has announced a major tourism boost for Whiteman Park with the park’s heritage tram line to be extended to the new METRONET Whiteman Park Train Station.

The project will see a new tram platform built just south of the METRONET Whiteman Park Station, and the line extended east from the existing heritage line within the park.

The tramway is an iconic piece of Perth’s history and its extension to the new train station will provide a unique way for local and international tourists to access Whiteman Park.

Premier Roger Cook said the Morley-Ellenbrook Line is powering ahead – creating local jobs, slashing congestion and setting up our suburbs for the future.

“Western Australians love Whiteman Park, and this project will help us to show off our beautiful metropolitan bushland to more visitors, and more locals,” he said.

“It also great to see this project being used to train up local apprentices for jobs in our rail industry, as part of our commitment to boosting training opportunities for future jobs.”

The project will be constructed using approximately 85 per cent recycled materials donated by industry partners, including from local projects such as ballast and pole bracket arms from the New Bayswater Station project.

The extension of the heritage tram line will include 1.3 kilometres of new tram line, 3,900 rail sleepers and 3,000 tonnes of ballast.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said preserving rail history and providing a genuine rail heritage experience is important for visitors to Western Australia.

“Delivering the Morley-Ellenbrook Line provided us with an incredible opportunity to connect people to Whiteman Park, and the extension of the heritage tram line will not only deliver an incredible experience for families but also provide a unique way for people to access the park,” she said.

“We’re proud to be working with the Perth Electric Tramway Society to connect the iconic Whiteman Park heritage tram picnic areas and bushland that also connect an important tourist attraction to a growing community precinct.

“The resources provided by industry representatives, including the provision of recycled materials, support our vision for providing more than just transport projects but long-term legacies for our community and travellers to Western Australia.

“To celebrate the historic tramway and its connection to the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line, we are providing free tram rides to Whiteman Park until the end of 2025,” Saffioti said.

The State Government will invest around $1 million to deliver the project – with donated materials and in-kind support from industry partners significantly reducing overall costs.

Funding, donation of materials and labour is being provided by industry partners including Acciona Construction, Allworks WA, Alstom, Arc Infrastructure, BMD Constructions, Georgiou Group, Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction, North Metropolitan TAFE and WA Limestone Contracting.

METRONET is also partnering with North Metropolitan TAFE to provide rail industry students with hands-on training opportunities during project delivery.

Minister Assisting the Training and Workforce Development Minister Hannah Beazley further explained the collaboration with TAFE.

“North Metropolitan TAFE is proud to partner with METRONET on this project, which will provide Western Australians with an enhanced rail heritage experience and hands-on training for our future rail industry workers,” she said.

“Aboriginal students from North Metropolitan TAFE’s Koomba Birdal (Big Spark) Program will gain practical experience as part of their Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure studies.

“Through the partnership North Metropolitan TAFE will also receive a purpose-built rail welding truck, which will provide students with modern equipment to train on, ensuring they are job-ready when they complete their qualifications,” Beazley said.

The collaboration will deliver a purpose-built rail welding truck that will be used on the project and to train future rail industry workers.

The new tram extension is expected to be in operation when the 21-kilometre METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line opens later this year.

To commemorate and celebrate the opening of the extension, free tram rides will be provided until the end of 2025.