The benefits of going underground
27 August 2020
The Armadale train line plays an important role in connecting our community to the Perth CBD and south-east metropolitan region. But from a local perspective, it disconnects our community. As a long physical barrier that is primarily fenced off, the train line divides our neighbourhoods in a noisy and annoying way.
If this barrier was removed and people could move freely across this corridor it would change the way residents experienced their local places and spaces. People who lived on either side of the train line could be neighbours again. Local parks and businesses would be in walking distance to more people. Put simply, it would connect our community. But connecting Carlisle to East Victoria Park is one thing, creating the spaces that encourage people to cross the divide is another.
The State Government has committed to removing the level crossings at Mint/Archer St, Oats St and Welshpool Rd as part of the METRONET program. This is a significant investment in our community’s future. It’s a once in a lifetime legacy project for the Town of Victoria Park. But removing the level crossings is not just about getting rid of the boom gates, it’s a chance to create new public spaces, great walking and cycling environments, and explore housing and commercial opportunities along and close to the rail corridor where our community can come together. The State Government and Town are aligned in this regard.
The Town, however, is advocating for the rail line to be lowered underground so the land above the rail can be turned into green spaces, housing and development, interesting and unique commercial offerings and the best quality streets for our community. This would reconnect our community to their neighbours, create new places for people to enjoy, lead to more long term jobs and economic activity, contribute to the self-sufficiency of the Town and improve the safety and amenity of our suburbs. We believe if the train line was underground, it could unlock all of these benefits and more.
Regardless of how the METRONET project continues, we need to keep bringing a local focus to this project to ensure our community sees the benefits.
The Town’s advocacy platform supports an underground solution for Carlisle Station and Oats Station, but whatever happens we will continue to work collaboratively and constructively with the State Government to get the best outcome for the local community.