Midland,_Western_Australia

Midland, Western Australia

Midland is a suburb in the Perth, Western Australia metropolitan area, as well as the regional centre for the City of Swan local government area that covers the Swan Valley and parts of the Darling Scarp to the east. It is situated at the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Great Northern Highway. Its eastern boundary is defined by the Roe Highway. Midland is almost always regarded as a suburb of Perth, being only 16 km away from the city centre.

History

Railway

Midland, known as Midland Junction, was the site of the Midland Railway Workshops - the main workshops for the Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) for over 80 years. It was also a terminus for the Midland Railway Company. At the end of the Second World War it was the junction of the Midland Railway, the Upper Darling Range Railway, and the main Eastern Railway.

The Transperth suburban railway system currently has a terminus at Midland station.

Until 1966 the earlier railway station at Midland was the connecting location for trains to Bellevue and then onto Chidlow. Prior to 1954 it included the passenger service from the Mundaring Loop - or the original Eastern Railway (Western Australia), which went through Mundaring, Glen Forrest and Darlington. Until 1949 the passenger service to Kalamunda on the Upper Darling Range Railway was still operating via the 'Zig Zag' at Gooseberry Hill to Midland.

Commercial

Midland Junction developed around the Town Hall (1906) and Post Office (1913) sites and spread slowly east and north for over 70 years. The centrality of the main services, and the unusual presence of the Midland Railway Company sheds and yard directly adjacent to the Town Hall and Post Office, combined with the Government Railway Workshops, gave a focused sense of location to the commercial centre, and the local residences. The commercialisation of Great Eastern Highway roadfront residential properties to Bellevue was not complete before the 1990s.

In the 1970s the development of Midland Gate Shopping Centre completely changed the focus of the community, with businesses traditionally within walking distance of the Post Office and Railway Station closing down or shifting over the following decades. The current re-development of the Midland Gate Shopping Centre is reasserting the car oriented nature of the regional centre, and despite various attempts at revitalisation, the old centre of Midland remains relatively unchanged.

Townsite

Midland's townsite is based around both Great Eastern Highway, which carries east bound traffic, and Victoria Street, which carries westbound traffic. It is possible to transfer from one to the other via the Padbury Terrace intersection to access Great Eastern Highway from Victoria Street, or use Helena Street to complete the reverse.

The townsite is very old and stagnant, and dotted with traffic lights. Although attempts have been made to expand the townsite further east on Great Eastern Highway, only Midland Gate Shopping Centre exists in this area. Despite the age of the townsite, it is the main port of call for eastern travellers who do not bypass the historical area via Roe Highway.

Redevelopment

It currently is being re-developed in part by the Midland Redevelopment Authority, which is organising redevelopment of the Railway Workshops site. Although some museum and storage facilities are being developed at the old workshops site, most of the massive railway superstructure and presence in Midland has gone. The Redevelopment Authority has under its act been vested with lands that do not fully encompass the whole 'old town' of Midland, but only parts of it.

The Midland Saleyards which are at the eastern end of the Railway Workshop site have been in the process of closing and all the related businesses and properties are in the process of being relocated and redeveloped. The Midland Military Markets at the northern edge of the Midland Saleyards - literally utilised an old Military site for a weekend market. The markets were destroyed by fire on 25 April 2007. Not far west and adjacent to the Lloyd Street railway crossing - a large Harvey Norman store was opened in 2005 on the corner of Clayton and Lloyd Streets.

Parts of the Midland Railway Workshops site are now home to a campus of Curtin University and a large Western Australian Police Operations Centre, as well as other projects. The Coal Storage dam at the western side of the Workshops has become an ornamental lake adjacent to residential redevelopment called 'Woodbridge Lakes'.

In November 2005 the State Government announced plans to construct a 326 bed Hospital on the site of the old railway workshops. Located on Clayton Street, the estimated new A$182.7 million dollar Swan Health Campus will be constructed by around 2010-2011 and replace the old Swan District Hospital.

Notable people from Midland

See also

References

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