Publication Details

Laird, P. (2016). Perth's urban rail renaissance. AusRAIL PLUS Proceedings 2016, Rail - Moving the Economy Forward (pp. 1-8). Canberra, Australia: Australian Railway Association.

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Over the past thirty five years, instead of being discontinued from use, Perth's urban rail network has been tripled in route length and electrified at 25,000 volts AC. The extensions include the Northern Suburbs Railway (with stage 1 opened in 1993 and this line reaching Butler in 2014), and, the 72 kilometre Perth Mandurah line opening in 2007. Integrated with a well run bus system, along with fast and frequent train services, there has been a near ten fold growth in rail patronage since 1981 when some 6.5 million passengers used the trains to 64.2 million in 2014-15. Bus patronage has also increased. These increases are even more remarkable given Perth's relatively low population density and high car dependence. The overall improvements in Perth's urban rail network, with many unusual initiatives, have attracted international attention. However, ongoing improvements in public transport and also road pricing are needed to contain road congestion.