Most extensive community consultation in WA public transport history shapes final station design

The new designs of the future Bayswater station in Perth have been updated after the most extensive community consultation in the history of transport projects in Western Australia.

Online surveys, community events, briefings, presentations, enquiries and community reference groups contributed feedback on the station’s initial design.

As a result of those inputs, escalators were added to the station, which previously only included stairs and lifts.

Architectural elements were also tweaked due to community feedback. More colour, and texture were added, and streamlined shaping was added to the structures, as well as the public spaces and landscaping.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the station’s design was a product of its community.

“Today’s new designs reflect the feedback provided by the Bayswater community,” she said.

“The new designs are a great outcome for the local community and public transport users, drawing on both local rail heritage and the natural world that surrounds it.”

Finished designs mimic the metal fluting on train carriages and the ripples of the nearby Swan River.

At the High Wycombe station, community consultation will also shape the station, with young people from the Kalamunda area to collaborate with an established artist for an art piece that will stretch across a 40m-long wall at Ibis Place.

High Wycombe is one of the new stations constructed as part of the Forrestfield-Airport Link project, and the youth-led art piece is designed to foster positive interactions between young people, Perth’s public transport workers and infrastructure.

WA public Transport Authority (PTA) spokesman David Hynes said the art was part of the Right Track program.

“Building a positive relationship between ourselves and our young passengers is a win for everyone on the Transperth network, and collaborations like this go a long way to achieving that,” he said.

“By its nature public transport infrastructure can produce a few of these large blank walls, so when it’s appropriate to do so it’s great to involve the local community – in this case local youth – in making the space their own.”

Perth signalling upgrade added to Infrastructure Priority List

Infrastructure Australia has listed the High Capacity Signalling Project, part of the Metronet program, as a priority project.

Now added to Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List, the move acknowledges the benefits which could come from upgrading signalling on the Perth network.

In addition to extensions to lines and new stations, Metronet is proposing to replace the existing signalling and train control system with new infrastructure. This would lead to improvements across the network, said Romilly Madew, chief executive of Infrastructure Australia.

“Modern Automatic Train Control systems can facilitate a range of service improvements, such as schedule and headway optimisation, turn-up-and-go service frequencies, real-time passenger information, faster recovery from operational disruptions, and better regulation of train traffic at network pinch points.”

The system will use a Communications Based Train Control System (CBTC), and the project’s wider scope covers implementing automation train operation, supervision, and regulation, as well as the construction of a Rail Operations Centre, a back-up signalling equipment room, and upgrades to the current Alternate Train Control facility. Current signalling and control systems are reaching the end of their operational life.

“The High Capacity Signalling project will make better, more efficient use of the existing rail network. The existing signalling and control systems are nearing the end of their asset lives. Upgrading them to an integrated high-capacity signalling system will give Perth’s rail network the capacity to grow while also creating more reliable, safe and punctual train operations. Coupling this project with Metronet new lines and stations will create a more attractive public transport network for Perth residents,” said PTA spokesman, David Hynes.

Madew said the project aligns with the priorities of Infrastructure Australia.

“It’s important to note that the High Capacity Signalling Project strongly aligns with Infrastructure Australia’s own recommendations to improve the performance of urban rail networks in our capital cities by making better use of existing networks and technology.”

Implementing the signalling project would enable capacity increases of up to 150 per cent on the rail network and the business case submitted by the WA Public Transport Authority found a cost benefit ratio of 2.6.

The business case stated that a single contractor will design, build, and maintain the Automatic Train Control system, and that the first roll out would be either on the North-South line group by 2026 or the South-East line group also by 2026.

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said that the signalling upgrades will fit alongside other improvements to the network also designated significant by Infrastructure Australia.

“For people in the north of Perth the Morley-Ellenbrook Line will be 21 kms of rail line improving connectivity and productivity for locals,” said Tudge.

“At the same time the Capacity Signalling System project will improve the performance of the current rail network by allowing trains to run more often, reliably and safely.

“Metronet will get cars off the road, bust congestion, connect communities to jobs and services and unlock opportunities for business growth in the region.”