Yanchep rail sought more than a century ago

Metronet rail extension to Yanchep.
Metronet rail extension to Yanchep.

THE latest Metronet update on the Yanchep rail extension highlights how long residents have been waiting for trains to arrive.

The October 25 update asked readers if they knew the State Government had “considered building a rail line to Yanchep in as early as 1901?”

It referred to records from the City of Wanneroo Regional Museum showing State MP Mathieson Jacoby led a deputation on September 3, 1901 for the Minister for Works at the time, Walter Kingsmill.

“It was claimed the greater proportion of land in Wanneroo was ‘extremely suitable for vegetable growing and mixed farming’ but had not been taken up because of the difficulties associated in moving produce from the area to the city,” it said.

“Minutes show the deputation’s consensus was the preferred option for a rail link as it would make clearing land viable and therefore be accepted by the community.

“At the time, the cost of providing a railway to Wanneroo was estimated at £2500 per mile using a 3ft. 6 in. track.

“Despite this encouraging report little work progressed, until now.”

As reported by Community News last week, the Environmental Protection Authority has released a Public Transport Authority report as part of its assessment of the rail extension from Eglinton to Yanchep.

A concept design for a green bridge over rail tracks.

In the report, PTA outlined plans to build a green bridge for wildlife to safely cross above the tracks.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told Community News the final design had not been concluded, so she could not provide a cost for the green bridge.

However, Ms Saffioti said environmental costs had been factored into the overall budget for the Metronet project, which would be built under one contract with the Thornlie-Cockburn link.

“We are hoping to finalise the contract in the next two months,” she said.

“Forward works will commence by the end of this year.”

Main Roads recently built a fauna bridge in the Swan Valley. Picture: Main Roads

Main Roads recently installed a fauna crossing bridge that was about 12m wide over road for the NorthLink project in the Swan Valley.

Ms Saffioti said feedback on that bridge had been good so far, with kangaroos, bats, mice, wallaby, bandicoot (quenda), lizards, snakes and small bird species expected to use it.

She said the target was still to start passenger train services on the Yanchep line by the end of 2021, although the timeframes would be finalised with the contract.

The update invited community members interested in being more involved in the project to join an online ‘My say community’ by registering with MySay Transport, emailing registration details to info@metronet.wa.gov.au and joining the Yanchep Rail Extension Facebook Group.