The Joondalup Railway Line Extension project, also known as ‘Butler Extension’, involved the extension of the rail route by further 7.5km from the north of Clarkson station to Butler on the Joondalup Line, a suburban railway line in Perth.
Construction of the $241m project began in 2011 and the extension was concluded with the opening of Butler Station in September 2014. The extension increased the length of the railway line from 33.2km to 40.7km.
The Joondalup line was opened in 1993 to operate between the Perth Underground and Currambine.
Due to the growing urban population, the line was further extended to Clarkson as part of a project by New MetroRail, a division of the public transport authority (PTA) of Western Australia. The extended line was opened in October 2004.
Further extension to Butler has been undertaken to meet the transportation needs of the rapidly growing population in the north-west corridor. The extension eases the traffic pressure on the Mitchell Freeway, as more than 2,000 passengers board at Butler station every day.
Joondalup railway line extension project details
The extension to Butler was proposed in 2000 as a part of MetroRail Project. PTA prepared the masterplan in August 2008 under the direction of the Northern Suburbs Railway (NSR) Extension Steering Committee.
The initial plan indicated a staged approached to extend the line from Clarkson to Butler in four years and further to Yanchep between 2017 and 2020 with stations at appropriate places. However, the PTA could only confirm the route until Butler station at that time. The Butler to Brighton Bill was introduced in the parliament in November 2009.
The Joondalup Railway Line Extension project reached a milestone when the state parliament passed the Butler to Brighton Railway Bill in July 2010.
Joondalup line routes
The Joondalup line is in the middle of the Mitchell Freeway, which travels northward from Perth via Joondalup and terminates at Currambine. The designated stations on this route are Leederville, Glendalough, Stirling, Warwick, Greenwood, Whitfords, Edgewater, Joondalup and Currambine. It is operated by PTA under the brand name Transperth.
The rail line continues to run from the north of the proposed Lukin Drive Freeway Interchange towards the tunnel under the northbound carriage way of the Mitchell Freeway.
Travelling in the north-west direction, the line enters the Butler section and passes under three proposed road-over-rail bridges at Landbeach Boulevard, Beneden Avenue and Butler Boulevard to arrive at Butler station.
Infrastructure of the Butler Extension
The extension involved the establishment of rail infrastructure between Clarkson and Butler railway stations.
The 7.5km route comprises 2.5km of single track, 4.5km of double track and 1km triple track.
The infrastructure of Butler Extension includes a railway line, vehicle and pedestrian areas, three bridges, lighting, noise barriers, fencing, landscaping, signalling and communication systems.
The rail is aligned through the Nowergup Depot in Hester Avenue in Clarkson along the Mitchell Freeway. The single track of Nowergup was doubled from the depot’s entry point in the northward direction along the western boundary.
The freeway section has a concrete boundary walls or wire rope barriers. A tunnel was constructed where the rail line exits the freeway.
The Butler station has a park-and-ride facility with space for approximately 930 car bays. Railway stations at Butler and Clarkson operate as interchange stations as 11 new feeder buses serve the passengers at these stations.
The trains that have been operating on the Joondalup line are the Transperth B-series electric multiple units (EMUs) manufactured by Edi / Bombardier. A total of 15 B-series EMUs were purchased in 2009, four of which have been dedicated to the Butler Extension project.
The B-series is a three-car train that can be coupled to form a six-car set. It travels at a top speed of 130km/h.
RJ Vincent was awarded a $6m contract in December 2010 to prepare the railway alignment. The 15-month contract involved 4km of earthworks from the Nowergup railcar depot to Landbeach Boulevard in Butler. Earthworks at Landbeach were completed in 2008.
A $9.8m contract to build three road-over-rail bridges was awarded to a Bocol Constructions and R J Vincent joint venture in May 2011. The contract involved the construction of three bridges at Benenden Avenue, Butler Boulevard and Landbeach Boulevard. Construction began in June 2011.