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Sat July 31 2021

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Western Australia to build elevated railway

20 Jul The state of Western Australia plans to build a stretch of elevated railway to remove five level crossings that block traffic for several hours a day.

The announcement on the preferred solution follows a decision on new station locations along the Armadale Line in Perth.

The level crossings at Mint Street, Oats Street, Welshpool Road, Hamilton Street and Wharf Street will be removed and replaced with a single elevated rail structure, allowing motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to pass through the area without interacting with the rail line. Each of the level crossings is down longer than three hours a day, causing traffic back-ups.

New elevated stations will be built at Carlisle, Oats Street, Queens Park and Cannington, while Welshpool Station - which has very low patronage - will be closed.

In response to community feedback, a single structure elevated rail solution was chosen to maximise the freed-up land, minimise visual impact and create public spaces. This design also helps moderate train noise, while the platform shelters will act as privacy screening.

Elevating the railway line will create about six hectares of public open space in areas of the rail reserve no longer occupied by railway infrastructure.

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A contract award is expected later this year.

To facilitate the works, Western Power will be relocating - and in some cases putting underground - a number of high-voltage transmission lines around the stations and rail corridor. A contract for the key Western Power works is due to be awarded later this year, with the main construction works expected to be completed in late 2022.

WA transport minister Rita Saffioti said: “Anyone who has been stuck at a level crossing knows the dread when the lights start flashing and the boom gates start coming down. These boom gates are down for a total of three hours each per day, which is frustrating for commuters, pedestrians and cyclists.

“Our government has a programme of level crossing removals along the Armadale Line which will mean we can wave goodbye to those pesky boom gates. We have already removed the dreaded Denny Avenue level crossing in Kelmscott and I cannot wait to get to work to remove these five level crossings throughout Victoria Park and Canning.

“We have worked with the community to determine that elevated rail is the preferred solution and will minimise noise while opening up six hectares of land for community activation.”

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