Thornlie-Cockburn Link

Thornlie-Cockburn Link


The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will be Perth’s first east-west cross line connection, making travel around the city by train more flexible and providing a higher level of public transport service to Perth’s southern suburbs.

Connecting the Mandurah and Armadale/Thornlie lines will open new opportunities for longer-term developments around the future Nicholson Road and Ranford Road stations.

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will support growth and accessibility across the southern suburbs by providing direct access to employment, sporting and recreation opportunities at Canning Vale, Cannington Strategic Metropolitan Centre, Burswood Peninsula and the eastern Central Business District.  

In December 2019, the NEWest Alliance, with CPB Contractors and Downer Group, was formed to deliver the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.

Early works and detailed design are underway and with main construction work expected to start in mid-2020.

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will support about 1,680 jobs. Any WA Government roles associated with the project are advertised on the WA Jobs Board. Project roles will be advertised through CPB Contractors and Downer Group.


While the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is located in existing rail corridors, important environmental issues have, and will continue to be, considered.  

Flora management
The existing rail corridor has been largely cleared of native vegetation and is maintained as an active freight rail corridor.
However, some clearing will be needed, which has the required environmental approvals.   

Fauna management
During construction, any areas marked for clearing will be inspected for animals. Any animals found will be relocated by a qualified specialist and this will take place, where practicable, outside of the main nesting/breeding season of fauna species – usually spring and summer.

Noise, vibration and light
Planning is underway to ensure introducing the passenger lines means noise and vibration levels are no worse and, where possible, are better than existing levels experienced by the community.

Based on studies and early designs, an initial operational noise and vibration assessment has recommended noise walls in certain locations and anti-vibration ballast matting under both the freight and passenger lines. This is being reviewed and updated as the designs progress.

A Construction Noise and Vibration Management Plan will be followed to minimise potential impacts during construction.

Lighting for the shared path and station areas will be directed away from residential properties as much as possible.

Aboriginal heritage
METRONET acknowledges the People of the Noongar Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land and waters on which the METRONET Program of Projects is located. We pay our respects to their Elders, both past, present and emerging, and thank them for their continuing connection to country, culture and community.

Duplicating the rail bridge over the Canning River will occur within an Aboriginal heritage site. While the project impact is expected to be minimal, necessary approvals have been obtained. Also, specialist Aboriginal people will be engaged to monitor the initial ground work to ensure there are no heritage sites or artefacts disturbed within these areas.


Keeping the community informed is a key project priority. Community members can stay up to date in a number of ways:

Community Reference Groups

The Thornlie-Cockburn Link Community Reference Groups (CRGs) consists of local residents and businesses who represent the community and will help the project team identify local opportunities, issues and concerns. CRGs act as a sounding board regarding the delivery and impacts of the project throughout the construction phase. CRG members bring feedback or collect community enquiries for discussion in the meetings.

Given the breadth of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, and the density of surrounding residential areas, two zones were identified and CRGs were formed for each - an east and west zone either side of Nicholson Road. Formed in July 2019, the CRGs represent a range of demographics, locations across the project area, interest, opinions and experience.

Thornlie-Cockburn Link CRG West members are:

Alec Frith, Christine Hulley, Curtis Mckinley, Patricia Skinner, Robert Stanton, Scott Kivelhan, Senthilatiban Vembaiyan, Todd Wood and Zaaren Dhanbhoora.

The minutes of each meeting are published below.

Meeting 1 | August 14, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting 2 | November 6, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting 3 | March 11, 2020 - Minutes

Meeting 4 | July 1, 2020 - Minutes

Meeting 5 | September 23, 2020 - Minutes

Thornlie-Cockburn Link CRG East members are:

Amanda McCormack, Anoop Malaviya, Derek Muttitt, Ernest Nnadigwe, Kelly Ibbitson, Kirsty Connell, Kishin Bhavnan, Molly Tebo, Rebecca Druce and Veronica Ye.

The minutes of each meeting are published below.

Meeting 1 | August 22, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting 2 | November 14, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting 3 | March 18, 2020 Cancelled – Refer CRG West Minutes #3

Meeting 4 | June 25, 2020 - Minutes

Meeting 5 | September 24, 2020 - Minutes

Local businesses

Minimising construction impacts on business and residents is a high priority and will continue throughout the project.

We’d like to hear from business owners in the area to learn more about you so that we can implement measures to reduce impacts during construction and identify opportunities for mutual benefit. Please complete the simple online survey.

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) Small Business Friendly Projects program has a number of resources available to small businesses who may be impacted by construction works. The SBDC website contains downloadable guides.

Visit the SBDC website here or you can also connect with them through Facebook

In the meantime, if your business is associated with the construction industry, there are opportunities to be involved, email the procurement team at

Place Making

While transport projects can be planned and delivered in a relatively defined timeframe, the associated development around a station can take longer.
For the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, the METRONET Office will continue to work with state agencies, local governments and the private sector to help transition the areas around Nicholson Road, Ranford Road and Thornlie stations into mixed-use centres.

  • General Project

  • How long will construction take?

    The first trains on the Thornlie-Cockburn Link trains will run in 2023.

  • Will the Thornlie-Cockburn Link be opened in sections or all at once?

    The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will open all at once. 

  • How will construction traffic be managed?

    Construction vehicles will be in the area while the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is built, but the impact on traffic conditions will be minimal.

  • How will you manage people parking on residential streets instead of station car parks?

    Managing street parking is the responsibility of local government and is outside the Public Transport Authority’s control. We will raise any concerns with the relevant local authorities.

  • How many parking bays will be installed at the stations?

    Designs include about 400 parking bays at Ranford Road Station and about 1,000 parking bays at Nicholson Road Station. Ranford Road Station car park will be designed to allow for future expansion as demand for parking increases.

  • What changes to the bus services will there be in the future?

    Some bus services will be redirected from Thornlie Station to the new Nicholson Road Station and a new route will be introduced linking Nicholson Road Station with Maddington Station. 
    Given its location along an existing high-frequency bus corridor, all passing services will be diverted into Ranford Road Station. A number of services will be extended, while some lower demand services will be truncated to terminate at the station.

    Final service details will be determined 12-18 months before operations begin. This will follow detailed planning and community consultation to develop a bus network that best aligns with local development and community needs.

  • Why build the Thornlie-Cockburn Link?

    The Thornlie-Cockburn Link area includes a mix of established and developing suburbs that are experiencing significant population growth due to the availability of urban zoned land and continuing demand for affordable land, particularly from young families. South of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is an 80.8 km2 area of land that has poor public transport services, but is estimated to grow significantly in the future.

  • What is new in the project definition plan?

    The options analysis work completed during the business case phase, established the preferred solution for the projects.

    Since then, the METRONET Office with its partner agencies and stakeholders, have completed early engineering designs, environmental and ground analysis, land use planning to inform transport infrastructure design, construction requirements and other modelling.

    The result is a more detailed scope for the project, which will be used during procurement to select a contractor to deliver the work.

  • What modelling was done to estimate the patronage?

    Extensive modelling was undertaken to estimate patronage using data sources including passenger numbers, population growth, housing density and other demographic information. Modelling was conducted through the Department of Transport’s Strategic Transport Estimation Model (STEM).

  • What trains will use the Thornlie-Cockburn Link?

    All platforms will be built to accommodate six-car trains for future use. However, the four-car A-series or three-car B-series train sets will be able to meet passenger demand for day one of operations.

  • Will this provide a special event service from Mandurah to Stadium Station?

    Yes, this project allows for a future Mandurah special event service to Stadium Station.

  • Can we change the names of Nicholson Road and Ranford Road stations?

    The station names are working project names based on their locations. The names will be subject to approval from the Geographic Naming Committee closer to project completion.

  • Is the project fully funded?

    A combined budget of $1.25 billion has been allocated to the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension as a joint funding arrangement, with $700 million from the Commonwealth Government and $550 million from the WA Government.

  • When will works begin?

    Works are expected to begin in late 2019.

  • What employment opportunities will this project provide?

    It is expected the Thornlie-Cockburn Link will generate around 1,680 jobs. Any WA Government roles are advertised on the WA Jobs Board. Project roles are also being advertised through CPB Contractors and Downer Group.

  • Land use development

  • What land development opportunities are there around the new stations?

    In the short term, the Thornlie-Cockburn Link’s new station precincts at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road will support access to the new rail service, including parking and bus transfer facilities, as well as improved cycle and pedestrian links to surrounding residential and employment areas.

    In the medium-to-long term, the stations will be a catalyst for change in their immediate vicinity, encouraging the transformation of under-utilised urban and industrial land into new transit-oriented developments.

  • Who is responsible for these land developments?

    The METRONET Office will continue to work with key stakeholders, including local government, to guide any land planning and development to ensure the benefits of investing in good public transport are realised.

  • How will the Thornlie-Cockburn Link affect property values in the area?

    It is too early to forecast how this project will impact property values in the nearby area. Better transport connections have the potential to directly lift property values. Property values could also benefit indirectly because METRONET’s integrated planning approach enables denser development, leading to more amenities such as shops and health facilities. 

  • Nicholson Road Station

  • How will passengers access Nicholson Road Station?

    Nicholson Road Station users will access the station from a new shared path connection along Canna Drive (from Nicholson Road), bus and vehicle access through an upgraded Tulloch Way and Panama Street, and a new shared path connection from the underpass recently constructed as part of the Nicholson Road Bridge upgrade.

  • Will the local road network be upgraded as part of the project?

    Some roads that approach the station will be upgraded as part of this project. Changes to the network outside of the immediate project area will be managed by local government. Consultation is underway with Main Roads WA and local government to assess the local road network, including the Nicholson Road, Garden Street and Yale Road roundabout. Details will be provided as the project progresses

  • What pedestrian/cycling connections will there be?

    Consultation is underway with various local governments to assess the path network connections for pedestrians and cyclists. Details will be provided as they progress.

  • Will Nicholson Road Station connect to the Canning Vale area to the north?

    The Nicholson Road Station design allows for future connection to the north of the rail corridor, when demand in this area increases. The area around the station, such as the passenger car park, may change to support future developments.

  • What security measures will be put in place at Nicholson Road Station?

    Nicholson Road Station will be fitted with security measures that are standard at all PTA stations. This includes CCTV, lighting and clear sight lines throughout the area. In the future as development occurs around the station, passive security will also increase with the increase in activity in the area.

  • Ranford Road Station

  • How will passengers access Ranford Road Station?

    Ranford Road Station will be accessed from a precinct entry road off the proposed Jandakot Airport Eastern Link Road to the south-east of the station.

  • What are the traffic impacts associated with Ranford Road Station?

    As Ranford Road is an important distributor road serving both commuter traffic in peak periods and local traffic throughout the day. Planning is underway to minimise disruption during construction.

    This includes consultation with the City of Canning, Main Roads WA and community groups. The works will include upgrades to Ranford Road, construction of a new Ranford Road / Jandakot East Link Road signalised intersection, modified City of Canning Waste Transfer Station access and the new Ranford Road Station entry.

  • What security measures will be put in place at Ranford Road Station?

    Ranford Road Station will be fitted with security measures that are standard at all Transperth stations. These include CCTV, lighting and clear sight lines throughout the area. As development occurs around the station, passive security will also improve with an increase in activity in the area.

  • Environment

  • What are the Thornlie-Cockburn Link’s environmental and heritage considerations?

    Environmental and heritage considerations are a key priority for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.
    Investigations and surveys have identified the following environmental and heritage considerations:

    • Clearing of native vegetation
    • Loss of fauna habitat
    • Disturbance of acid sulfate soils
    • Dewatering
    • Existing soil and groundwater contamination
    • Noise and vibration
    • Aboriginal heritage
    • Waste management

    These will be monitored and managed in consultation with the governing and regulatory authorities. 

  • Has the project received environmental approval?

    The Thornlie-Cockburn Link has environmental approvals from both the State and Federal governments.

  • How will impacts to Aboriginal heritage be managed?

    We recognise the importance of Aboriginal heritage and a METRONET Aboriginal Engagement Strategy has been developed. Initial studies for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link identified that works to duplicate the rail bridge over the Canning River will occur within a registered Aboriginal heritage site.

    Although the project impact to the Canning River is expected to be minimal, recognising the importance of this site to the Whadjuk land owners, the Public Transport Authority sought the relevant approvals for the proposed works. Aboriginal monitoring personnel will be engaged to monitor initial ground works to ensure any culturally significant material, if uncovered, is managed appropriately.

  • What has been done to minimise the amount of land being cleared for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link?

    The Thornlie-Cockburn Link’s original development envelope was reviewed to minimise the amount of vegetation clearing. Thorough engineering and environmental reviews of the project’s original development area reduced the amount of native vegetation to be cleared and potential habitat trees likely to be impacted. Also, the Caladenia Grove Wetland Reserve was avoided.

  • Will replanting take place after construction is completed?

    Yes. Where possible, replanting of areas with fast-growing small native shrubs and trees will occur following construction. Replanting will be limited within the rail reserve due to visibility and rail safety rules.

    Larger or more mature trees are generally not replanted due to a lower success rate of uptake. To ensure the best chance for survival, the planting will be mostly smaller, fast-growing native plants that will reach maturity in a shorter time.

    Rehabilitation of the impacted Canning River banks will be undertaken with input sought from the local environmental community groups.

  • How will vegetation clearing and animal relocation be managed during construction?

    The existing rail corridor has been largely cleared of native vegetation and is maintained as an active freight rail corridor. However, some clearing will be required and the environmental conditions outlined in the approvals will ensure this is done in an environmentally responsible way. 

    Prior to vegetation clearing, all areas will undergo fauna trapping by a licensed contractor, with any captured fauna relocated to a suitable location advised by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

  • How will noise and vibration be managed during construction?

    All works will follow a Construction Noise and Vibration Management Plan, in accordance with the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.  The plan will detail how potential noise and vibration impacts will be minimised and how impacted properties will be kept informed.

  • How will noise and vibration be managed when the lines become operational?

    Initial noise and vibration modelling recommended a combination of up to four-metre high noise walls in certain locations and anti-vibration ballast matting under both the freight and passenger lines to minimise noise and vibration. This is being refined as the design progresses.

  • How will impact to my property be managed during construction?

    Construction management plans will be followed and include mitigations to minimise impacts to nearby properties. A pre-condition survey was offered to property owners close to the rail alignment and there was a high level of participation. This survey information will form part of managing any damage that may occur during construction.

  • Elliot Place footbridge

  • Why is the level crossing at Elliot Place / Cameron Street being removed?

    The Public Transport Authority (PTA) is progressively removing level crossings across the Perth metropolitan area and where appropriate replacing them with bridges, footbridges or underpasses. Replacing level crossings significantly improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists and benefits the reliability of train operations and means the frequent sounding of train horns at
    level crossing is no longer required.

  • Why is access needed over the rail at Elliot Place / Cameron Street?

    A rail crossing is needed at this location as it is an important access point with alternative crossing points for pedestrians at Nicholson Road and Spencer Street, which are 1.5km and 1.9km away, respectively.

  • Where will the footbridge be located?

    The footbridge will be located where the existing Elliot Place / Cameron Street pedestrian level crossing is situated. The early design shows the footbridge crossing over the railway positioned slightly southwest of the crossing (i.e. 10 metres toward the future Nicholson Road Station).

  • How will users access the footbridge?

    Access to the footbridge will be from the Elliot Place and Cameron Street.
    Both stairs and ramps will be provided access both sides of the bridge. Ramps will be built in a ‘switchback’ configuration parallel to the rail corridor, on the Nicholson Road side.

  • What are the dimensions of the footbridge?

    Early design indicates the footbridge walkway level to be around 8.6 metres above the ground level at the highest point, where it crosses the rail.
    The main bridge is a straight steel truss spanning 41 metres across the rail reserve with no skew. The main truss is 3.6 metres deep and will support a concrete base.

    There will be 3.6 metres between hand rails on either side of the bridge and ramps. Each ramp will be about 153 metres long, totalling 306 metres. Both ramps will have ‘switchback’ landings (180-degree return) at mid-height.

  • Will there be safety elements included to stop people entering the rail reserve?

    The rail corridor will be fully fenced to prevent people accessing the corridor at ground level.

  • Will footbridge users be able to see into my property?

    The fencing and screening incorporated into the bridge design will prevent footbridge users from overlooking. Property frontages facing local roads will be visible. The bridge and ramps will be screened, where adjacent to properties, to prevent users throwing materials onto the rail or into adjacent properties, and for privacy.

  • How is security and crime prevention considered in the design of the footbridge?

    Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles have been incorporated in the design. Screening has been carefully located to provide an adequate line of sight at abrupt changes in the ramp direction and to avoid creating ‘dead spots’. Passive surveillance exists through visually transparent screens.

  • Will the footbridge provide for mobility requirements?

    The footbridge, including the ramps will comply with the access and mobility standards.

  • What other design options were considered?

    Other options were considered, including:

    • No alternative means of rail crossing installed at this location i.e. permanent detour for pedestrians to use Nicholson Road / Spencer Road options. This was not desirable due to connectivity requirements in the local area.
    • A rail underpass – this was not desirable due to the ground water conditions and crime prevention design standards.
    • Alternative configurations for the northern ramps, including the switchback or straight ramp extending up Cameron Street, was not aesthetically desirable.

  • When will the footbridge design be finalised?

    It is anticipated the footbridge design will be finished in late 2020.

  • Will there be clearing needed to construct the footbridge?

    Clearing of trees and vegetation will be limited and will require environmental approval.

  • How will the footbridge be constructed, and will I notice the works?

    The steel structure will largely be constructed offsite and arrive to be installed by large cranes onto concrete footings and piers. There is a local government-approved construction noise and vibration management plan.

  • Will there be acoustic barriers installed to protect my property from noise?

    Early indications show acoustic barriers will be required in the vicinity of the bridge. However, the extent, height and materials to be used needs to be determined. The current images shown do not include the extent of these noise walls.


Project Documents

Latest News

Local Aboriginal businesses delivering METRONET projects

Local Aboriginal businesses delivering METRONET projects

Contracts worth more than $7 million have been awarded to a diverse array of Aboriginal businesses across the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension projects by NEWest Alliance. 

Thornlie-Cockatoo Link

Thornlie-Cockatoo Link

Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre has some valuable new eucalypt tree materials thanks to a collaboration with the centre and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link project.

METRONET Building For Tomorrow

METRONET Building For Tomorrow

Building For Tomorrow – an information campaign and supporting website – kicked off this week to give travellers information and updates on the major road, rail, cycling and marina projects in planning, underway or fast-tracked across WA.

Steady progress on the missing link

Steady progress on the missing link

METRONET’s Thornlie-Cockburn Link continues to progress with design packages and on-the-ground investigations well underway. 

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